4 months ago · 5 min read
Why People Counting Matters
- Providing Safety and Security
Large crowds require sufficient guidance and security personal to avoid mass-panic and injuries. People counting helps adjusting security and safety measures in realtime and learning from past experiences.
- Intrusion Detection
Counting a single person without permission entering a room, site or building can trigger an alarm.
- Improve Services
Measuring the the utilization of services, revenue alone is often not a sufficient metric. Whenever people can access a service without causing cash flow, people counting becomes relevant to fully capture the use of services.
- Increase Revenue
Performance measurements often compare what is possible and what is the actual outcome. For example two important KPIs in retail are the number of people passing the store without entering or entering without buying.
- Reduce Cost of Operations
Expenses for operational services such as cleaning measures can be reduced if the number of people utilizing the service is known in realtime.
- Performance & KPI Measurement
To assess the success of marketing campaigns such as redesigning a website, starting a media campaign or placing new products requires knowledge of costs, the additional visitors and the additional revenue generated through the campaign.
Use-Cases & Industries
People counting in public transportation serves as basis for optimized schedules, estimating revenue, planning maintenance and staff deployment. Better decisions benefit both operators and passengers of public transportation.
Traffic and City Planning
To manage the increasing demand for mobility in modern cities, city planning departments need accurate measurements of traffic, including pedestrian traffic. Optimizing usage of current capacities and designing and evaluating infrastructure changes helps cities cope with urbanization.
From parking to boarding, from check-in to shopping, from restaurants to restrooms. Creating pleasant customer journeys, schedule cleaning services and evaluating business decisions. Passenger counting has many applications within airports.
Arenas & Events
Creating pleasant memories that last. Arenas, stadiums and large events use passenger counting to evaluate and improve security concepts in real-time. Understanding the passenger journey from the parking spot or train station to the event site, passenger counting aids in making customer touch points more effective.
Fairs and Museums
Analyzing visitor pathways and obtaining insights about visit frequency. People counting improves visitor experience and provides powerful arguments in communications with exhibitors.
People counting provides answers on which areas of the store are visited most frequently, how long waiting queues are and how conversion rates evolve over time and across multiple stores.
All of the aforementioned industries are affected by recent developments regarding Covid-19. While close proximity to other people often feels uncomfortable, Covid has increased this tendency. People counting solutions can effectively limit the number of people within certain areas, buildings or sites. Adjusting services helps to always provide sufficient space for people keeping sufficient distance.
Solutions for People Counting
There exist multiple solutions to people counting. Implementing people counting it is crucial to know the differences of various solutions and to carefully trade their strengths and weaknesses.
People doing people counting is the obvious solution to the problem. If people counting is rarely required it can be reasonable to rely on manual counting. However, especially in industrialized countries high wages let this approach become inefficient and costly relatively fast. Approaches such as using smartphone apps instead of the tally counters shown below enable at least digital data acquisition and storage.
Light Barriers Inside Doors
A relatively simple way to measure the number of people entering a room is to install a light barrier in each door. Depending on the deviation from the undisturbed state, the system recognizes whether a person has entered or left.
In such systems, the weakness is that simultaneous entry and exit of multiple people is often incorrectly recognized. Likewise, bicycles or strollers are a problem.
Beam sensors are often used for intrusion detection systems as they do not depend on lightning conditions.
Measuring Mobile Signals
Most people carry mobile devices such as smartphones which are emitting signals such as WiFi, Bluetooth or LTE. Measuring these signals one can infer the number of people.
However, many people carry multiple devices or no devices at all, which reduces the accuracy.
Measuring Wi-Fi Access
Providing free wi-fi providers can measure the number of users and their proximity to the access points. However, walls or large distance to the access point can reduce the accuracy of the counting results. Albeit using free wifi reduces mobile data consumption not all visitors log into free wifi networks.
Dedicated 3D sensors or stereo cameras obtain additional height of objects. While this additional information is supposed to increase robustness and accuracy it comes with a significant higher cost than other sensors.
Cameras are already installed in many locations for security or safety reasons. Isarsoft provides video analytics software to turn existing cameras into smart people counting sensors. Additionally Isarsoft cooperates with camera manufacturers to provide highly accurate people-counting directly on the camera. Not needing two kinds of sensors, one for people counting, one for security and safety, the cost of people counting can be reduced by a factor of ten compared to dedicated 3D-Sensors.
Philipp Schmidt - 7 months ago
Oskar Haller - 9 months ago