In modern times, we don’t have to count on (pun intended) manual checks – there are plenty of technologies which help any business to count footfalls accurately. Today at GetPlace we will tell you about the latest and greatest technologies to measure footfall!
Security cameras have been around since the 1980s, so it’s quite an early example of technologies for footfall counting. None the less, today we have additional technologies like face-recognition and have an opportunity to count people accurately with video-capture.
Pros of video capture:
o Generally accurate. You can easily distinguish between multiple individuals walking together.
o Can be integrated with facial recognition to provide additional insights like gender and age demographics.
o Can analyze customer behavior within the space.
Cons of video capture:
o Privacy concerns when using facial recognition.
o High installation and maintenance cost.
o Can be affected by lighting conditions and occlusions in the camera's field of view.
Infrared Beams Counting
Infra-red light has been used for people counting not so long ago, but it is very easy to use - just install a few infrared beacons at the entrance to a store or shopping center. It’s one of the most convenient and simple footfall measuring technologies.
Pros of Infrared Beams:
o Simple tech with low installation and maintenance cost.
o Accurate in counting people passing through the infrared beam.
o Less intrusive and privacy-friendly compared to video-based systems.
Cons of Infrared Beams:
o Cannot distinguish between multiple individuals passing through the beam simultaneously.
o Can be affected by environmental factors like dust and insects.
As the most common wireless communication standard, Wi-Fi can also be used as a technology for counting foot traffic in your store or mall. Ease of use and reliability of operation, however, is overshadowed by a number of significant drawbacks.
Pros of Wi-Fi Counting:
o Estimate footfall by tracking Wi-Fi signals of mobile devices.
o Gather valuable data about customer behavior and dwell time.
o No need for additional infrastructure setup in some cases.
Cons of Wi-Fi Counting:
o Due to signal limitations accuracy can be lower compared to other technologies.
o May not be suitable for high-density areas with overlapping Wi-Fi signals.
o Raises privacy concerns as it involves tracking mobile devices.
Blutooth technology appeared a long time ago, and is still successfully used for data exchange. In the case of counting foot traffic, this technology impresses with its low cost and ease of use, but it has a number of limitations.
Pros of Blutooth Counters:
o Can track mobile devices with Bluetooth enabled to estimate foot traffic.
o Provides proximity-based data, enabling targeted marketing and personalized experiences.
o Can work well in indoor environments.
Cons of Blutooth Counters:
o Limited range, requires strategic deployment to provide accurate data.
o Requires users to have Bluetooth enabled on their devices, which may not always be the case.
Thermal sensors allow you to measure footfall traffic by reading the temperature trace of walk-in people. This is convenient, but comes with some complications - for example, the inability to identify two people passing too close to each other.
Pros of Thermal Sensors:
o Can detect the heat signatures of individuals passing through the sensor's field of view.
o Works well in low-light conditions.
Cons of Thermal Sensors:
o Less accurate than video-based systems.
o Cannot provide additional demographic information like age and gender.
o Privacy concerns related to heat signature-based tracking.
Depth sensors (e.g., LiDAR, Time-of-Flight)
As one of the most accurate and advanced technologies for tracking pedestrian traffic, depth sensors allow you to build a full 3D picture of each person and keep an accurate count. The main disadvantage of such sensors is the high cost, as well as software support from your equipment.
Pros of Depth Sensors:
o Can provide 3D data for better tracking accuracy and distinguishing between individuals.
o Works well in different lighting conditions.
Cons of Depth Sensors:
o Higher cost compared to some other technologies.
o May require additional integration with existing systems.
Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on factors like accuracy requirements, budget, privacy concerns, and the specific environment in which footfall needs to be measured. It's essential to evaluate these factors carefully before selecting the best technology for your particular use case.