Privacy Settings
By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy for more information.

People Counting

Learn more about what people-counting is, what different solutions to people counting exist and why there is a need for automated people counting.


April 21, 2021

People counting

Why people counting is needed

Depending on the industry, people counting has different names: Visitor Count, Passenger Count, Passenger Count, Pedestrian Count, or Customer Count. People counting is important in several industries for several reasons. Not all reasons apply to all industries, but often there are multiple reasons within the same industry that justify people counting. The reasons listed below are directly related to decision making. When making important decisions, it is usually better to rely on accurate data rather than gut feelings or projections based on pure assumptions. Counting people is often one data source of many needed to make better decisions.

Safety guarantee

Large crowds need sufficient space and security personnel to avoid mass panic and injuries. Counting people helps adjust security measures in real time and learn from past experiences.

Burglary detection

Counting a single person without permission to enter a room, site, or building can trigger an alarm.

Improvement of services

To measure the usage of a service, it is often not enough to look only at the revenue generated. Whenever people can access a service without causing a payment, counting people becomes relevant to fully capture service usage.

Sales increase

Performance measurements often compare what is possible and what is actually achieved. For example, two important KPIs for retail optimization are the number of people who pass through the store without entering or enter without making a purchase.

Reduce operating costs

Operating costs for cleaning activities, for example, can be reduced if the number of people using the service is known in real time and the level of service is adjusted accordingly.

Performance and KPI measurement

To evaluate the success of marketing actions such as redesigning a website, launching a media campaign or placing new products, it requires knowledge of the costs, additional visitors gained and additional revenue.

Use cases and industries

Public transport

Counting people on public transport serves as a basis for optimized timetables, estimating revenue, planning maintenance and staff deployment. Better decisions benefit both public transport operators and passengers.

Traffic and urban planning

To manage the increasing demand for mobility in modern cities, urban planners need accurate traffic measurement, including pedestrian traffic. Optimizing existing capacity and designing and evaluating infrastructure projects using accurate data helps cities cope with urbanization.


From parking to boarding, from check-in to restaurants, from stores to sanitary facilities. People counting provides data for optimizing supply, planning cleaning services and evaluating business processes.

Stadiums & Events

Moments to remember. Arenas, stadiums and major events use visitor counting to evaluate and improve security concepts in real time. By analyzing the customer journey from the parking lot or train station to the venue, customer touchpoints can be used more effectively.

Fairs and museums

Possible are, for example, the analysis of the walking routes and the number of visitors. The visitor count improves the visitor experience and provides meaningful arguments for communication with exhibitors.


Customer counting provides answers to which areas of the store are visited most often, how long queues are, and how conversion rates evolve over time and across multiple stores.

COVID-19 Measures

All of the above industries are affected by the recent developments regarding Covid-19. Little distance to other people quickly becomes uncomfortable. Covid-19 has exacerbated this tendency. People counting can be used to effectively limit the number of people in certain areas, buildings or locations. Adapting services to the new situation helps to always provide enough space for people to maintain sufficient distance.

Solutions for people counting

There are several solutions for counting people. When designing systems, it is crucial to know their differences and carefully weigh their strengths and weaknesses.

Manual count

People counting people is an obvious solution for people counting. If people counting is rarely required, it may make sense to limit oneself to manual counting. However, especially in developed countries, high wages make this approach inefficient and costly relatively quickly. Approaches such as using smartphone apps instead of hand counters shown below at least allow for digital data collection.

Light barriers in doors

A relatively simple way to measure the number of people entering a room is to install a photoelectric sensor in each door. Depending on the deviation from the undisturbed state, the system detects whether a person has entered or left.

In such systems, the weakness is that the simultaneous entry and exit of several people is often incorrectly detected. Bicycles or baby carriages are also a problem.

Photoelectric sensors are often used for intrusion detection systems because they are not affected by exposure.

Mobile Radio Signals Measurement

Most people carry mobile devices such as smartphones that emit signals like WIFI, Bluetooth or LTE. By measuring these signals, one can infer the number of people.

However, many people wear multiple devices or none at all, which reduces accuracy. Likewise, too great a distance from the sensor is a common source of error.

WIFI Access

By providing free WLAN, providers can measure the number of users and their proximity to access points. However, walls or large distances from the access point can reduce the accuracy of the count results. Although using free WLAN reduces mobile data consumption, not all visitors log on to free WLAN networks.

3D sensors

Special 3D sensors or stereo cameras provide additional information about the height of people. While this additional information is intended to increase robustness and accuracy, it comes at a significantly higher cost than other sensors.

Smart cameras

Cameras are already installed in many places for security reasons. Isarsoft offers video analytics software to turn existing cameras into smart sensors that accurately count people. In addition, Isarsoft works with camera manufacturers to offer highly accurate people counting directly on the camera. By not requiring two different sensors, one for people counting and one for security, the cost of people counting can be reduced by a factor of ten compared to dedicated 3D sensors.

If you would like to learn more about using cameras for people counting, our article "Why isarsoft" may be of interest to you.

More about Isarsoft

With Isarsoft Perception, your camera systems become part of your business intelligence. Whether the goal is to increase efficiency, customer satisfaction or safety, Isarsoft Perception provides the insights needed for informed decisions.

The Isarsoft Perception Dashboard

Contact us, to learn more about how to turn security cameras into intelligent sensors.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Optimize your business processes.

Improve business processes with video-based business intelligence from Isarsoft.

Explore More Publications

Innovating Overcrowding in the Entertainment Industry with AI

Innovating Overcrowding in the Entertainment Industry with AI

AI's smart solutions enhance our experiences and ensure events are both enjoyable and safe, maintaining the venue's reputation. Are you interested in seeing how AI is enhancing the entertainment experiences with innovative approaches? Let's explore how it's transforming our visits into futuristic and hassle-free adventures.

Learn more
An elderly woman being assited by a nurse in a garden.

AI Solutions for Enhancing Elderly Care

As our populations age and the number of seniors around the globe rises, the demand for comprehensive elderly care becomes ever more pressing. Can AI video analytics provide an answer, not just in augmenting elderly support but also in fostering an environment where older adults can thrive? This article delves into the capabilities of AI video analytics in revolutionizing elderly care by offering sophisticated solutions to monitor, assist, and enhance the lives of the elderly.

Learn more
Passenger Terminal EXPO & Conference 2024

Meet Isarsoft at PTE2024

Join the Isarsoft Team at the Passenger Terminal EXPO & Conference 2024, which takes place April 16th-18th in Frankfurt, Germany. Discover 300+ new products, hear from 450+ speakers, and network with industry experts. A key event for those in airport design and operations.

Learn more