Smart building

How crowd counters can help businesses reach a new normal

In one way or another, COVID-19 has forced virtually all businesses to change the way they operate on a daily basis. One of the primary challenges faced by high-street premises and offices alike is the issue of social distancing.
Crowd Counter

Infrared crowd counters developed by Terabee are enabling businesses to easily monitor the number and density of people in indoor spaces, helping them to remain operational during the pandemic.

After hand-washing and use of masks, social distancing is one of the key methods by which the spread of COVID-19 can be managed. Maintaining safe distances between people means that infection rates can be kept down while businesses can continue to operate.

Crowd Counting

While governments continue to issue guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed in various regions, the responsibility of enforcing social distancing frequently falls on the shoulders of businesses.

The Center for Diseases Control (CDC) advises that employers should take into account the level of disease transmission in their communities and “revise their business response plans as needed”, highlighting the need for businesses to take proactive steps to limit infection rates.

Meanwhile, the government in France has mandated that all stores greater than 400 metres squared (400m2) floor space must have systems in place to ensure the density of crowds in stores does not exceed 8 metres squared (8m2) per person.  

One of the most effective ways of enforcing social distancing is to limit the number of people allowed to enter premises. Many shops, restaurants, and other businesses have chosen to do so manually, posting personnel at entrances armed with handheld tally counters to keep track of occupancy. This simple solution can be effective – however the operational costs of posting a member of staff outside the doorway make it far from ideal.

Instead, infrared (IR) sensing technology can provide an effective and cost-effective solution.

Crowd Counters Maintain Social Distancing Without the Administrative Burden

Terabee’s infrared (IR) crowd counters automatically count the number of people entering or leaving a space, enabling real-time monitoring of people density in shops, offices and other establishments. During the pandemic, these crowd counters are proving to be an effective and easy way of enforcing social distancing without increasing operational costs.

Using proprietary Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology, Terabee crowd counters take 3D depth data from their field of view. When installed above doorways, these devices are able to accurately count the number of people entering and exiting a space. Crowd counters can easily be networked and configured via a web-based interface, making it simple to set up people counters in spaces with multiple entrance and exit points.

Harnessing the data from the crowd counting devices, a monitor or digital signage informs your customers when they can enter and when they must wait for other people to first leave your premises, based on the calculated people density within. Measurements from crowd counters can be used to automatically control screens or other visual indicators to control people flow

Crowd Counter Device

Crucially, the IR technology used by Terabee’s crowd counters doesn’t capture any identifying features of the people it counts, making the devices intrinsically secure and GDPR-compliant.

Crowd Counters in a Post-COVID Marketplace

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Terabee crowd counters enabled businesses to improve operations by monitoring the flow of people through different areas. This data can be used to identify under-occupied areas and improve the efficiency of employees or the experience of visitors. Incorporating these sensors into smart systems can realize savings by switching off heating and lighting in unused areas.

Businesses investing in crowd counters during the pandemic will be able to realize all of these benefits too – helping them operate more effectively and efficiently. With uptake of people counters increasing during the pandemic, we hope to see more businesses harnessing the power of people counters as we move into a post-COVID era.

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