Home Technology Retail & IVA: People Counting Gets Smarter

Retail & IVA: People Counting Gets Smarter

by Benchmark

People counting technology is not new. Solutions which claim to offer a high level of accuracy have been around for some time, and many offer benefits which can be of some use for certain applications. However, as is the case with many early-stage analytics, it is fair to say in the past acceptable accuracy didn’t always meet user expectations. However, with the evolution of processing and advances in machine intelligence, today’s next generation systems offer an efficient and reliable option.

People counting, whether to manage flow or control occupancy, has always been a valuable tool for many businesses and organisations. Whether assessing footfall in a retail environment for marketing purposes, counting individuals into and out of secure areas for security and safety, managing occupancy for licensing purposes or gathering trend data to help make staff deployment more efficient, the technology has a high return on investment.

More recently, the importance of creating COVID-Secure sites and implementing social distancing has focused users’ thoughts on how technology can help manage sites in a safe, secure and cost-effective way. Whether monitoring occupancy levels in a specific area or counting people in and out of a space to ensure requirements are adhered to, people counting can help ensure compliance is adhered to.

Historically, many people counting systems had a degree of variance in the delivered accuracy. If, for example, a system was implemented to measure footfall to help assess the best location for a display in a retail environment, accuracy was not a major concern. However, with legal regulations enforcing social distancing in a growing number of businesses and organisations, an inaccurate people counting system could be costly for many users.

Next generation systems have advanced significantly from where basic solutions were only a few months ago. Accuracy is enhanced, enabling the technology to count people in larger scenes, where once such technology was limited to monitoring single-file traffic through a door.

The latest generation people counting solutions can also measure dwell time, gathering data about how long people spend in a specific area. This helps generate reports based on trend analysis, and as a result allows more efficient management across a site, for a range of requirements.

The implementation of next generation people counting solutions is enhanced as the technology can easily be linked with most legacy video surveillance solutions. This allows users to leverage existing infrastructure while enhancing the return on investment for their technology.

People Counter from Facit Data Systems

People Counter allows businesses and organisations to capture real-time, accurate head-counts of people in a building or space. The next generation software is compatible with legacy video surveillance systems and enables precise tracking of occupancy or visitor flow. This enables users to generate reports showing peaks in footfall, as well as insight into dwell times, visitor patterns, the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, etc..

With an increased emphasis on COVID-Secure operations, People Counter can also help to manage occupancy by notifying staff when the maximum number of people in an area is being approached. Users can track the journey of customers, visitors and personnel in a site, identifying trends and monitoring health and safety compliance, including the identification of situations which might breach social distancing guidelines.

When maximum occupancy is reached, the software can use a traffic-light system to only allow entry when others leaves, implementing a ‘one in, one out’ policy. This is efficient as it allows staff to concentrate on core business activities and removes any risk associated with managing flow control using manual methods.

People Counter has a proven track record in various environments, and its use of legacy video hardware makes it a flexible solution which adds value for end users. The benefits range from business insights to health and safety compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The advanced algorithms allows People Counter to manage both groups of visitors and single people, enhancing the understanding of visitor footfall when analysing data for insight into sales conversions. Occupancy intelligence is increased as the software can manage occupancy density across wider areas, as well as counting people in and out through doors.

The fact it can manage accurate people counting in large spaces with multiple users also lends itself to use in outdoor applications. For example, it can be deployed to manage visitors at outdoor attractions or events, and can send notifications to an operator if crowds start to gather or if congestion occurs. This is especially pertinent during the COVID-19 pandemic, where emergency services, councils and site operators might need to implement social distancing policies.

To further add benefits, People Counter can be integrated with PoS (Point of Sale) data to generate reports which deliver information essential for site management, such as insights into sales conversions, peak flow times and days, bottlenecks, etc.. The Facit Data Systems analytics portfolio also includes queue management and heat mapping software, which can be used to further enhance the potential of People Counter.

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