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Infrared is a type of radiation with a wavelength that is longer than visible light. It cannot be seen, but it can be detected. We can sense it – as heat. Even objects that we think of as being very cold, such as an ice cube, emit infrared.
No, they merely detect naturally occurring infrared given off by people as heat.
Irisys people counters detect naturally occurring infrared, and are therefore passive infrared technology.
Active infrared is when infrared light is emitted and then detected when it bounces back off a surface. Passive infrared is the infrared given off naturally from the surface of a material.
So called ‘beam break’ counters use active infrared, Irisys people counters use passive infrared.