The many applications of people counting technology in public buildings
For Smart Buildings, people counting solutions have primarily been used to reduce costs and improve sustainability by optimising HVAC and lighting in response to room or building occupancy. For public institutions such as museums, art galleries, exhibition centers and libraries, people counting solutions are also being applied for commercial, safety and security, as well as sustainability reasons.
What is occupancy monitoring?
Occupancy monitoring describes the process of tracking how many people occupy a given space at a given time. Modern people counting systems achieve this using networked sensors. Positioning people counting or footfall sensors in entrances and exits allows the sensors to monitor the flow of people traffic in and out of a room or designated area. The recorded running total enables historic as well as real time analysis of occupancy data. This provides a rich source of information that can be put to immediate practical use for informed decision-making across a range of public buildings.
For museums, the data from a people counting solution can be used to understand the footfall and therefore the popularity of different exhibitions and collections.
Knowing objectively which exhibits are the most popular can help business decision-making in relation to budgets, space and staff allocation, as well as justification for expansion or renovation.
The quantifiable evidence of footfall data that reveals the popularity of collections and events can also be extremely valuable when it comes to reporting purposes as well as in the preparation of applications for charitable donations, grants and funding.
Similarly, art galleries and other public institutions can utilise data from people counting technology to better understand space occupancy in order to deploy staff appropriately – thereby improving the visitor experience, ensuring visitor safety and potentially saving money by allocating resources more efficiently.
Also, as for museums, data-based insights on the popularity of particular displays and exhibitions can be a valuable tool for reporting purposes, future planning, fundraising and marketing.
For public libraries, people counting solutions deliver considerable advantages. The ability to monitor footfall during peak and non-peak times and by days and weeks, enables the optimisation of staff, as well as additional services such as cleaning and security, based on real time data as well as traffic forecasting.
Understanding which are the most and least used areas and services can help a library understand its patrons better, whilst also assisting with funding applications and regulatory reporting where occupancy compliance is required.
Whilst people counting solutions have many applications, for larger exhibitions centres, perhaps one of the most valuable is being able to link occupancy data to the Building Management System (BMS) for energy efficiency improvements: having HVAC and lighting set for the actual occupancy of a room or area, rather than running them for full occupancy even when the numbers may be lower.
Safety and security services in exhibition centers can also benefit from accurate people counting data. By understanding footfall and space occupancy in any given area, organisers can deploy appropriate staff and security resources at shows, meetings, events and exhibitions.
As with all public institutions, attracting patrons and visitors is always a priority. With a greater understanding of the popularity of particular events or more specifically, aspects of events, organisers can apply these insights to future marketing and advertising campaigns in order to attract more visitors.
Cafeterias, information desks, gift shops and washroom facilities
Across all these types of public buildings, anonymous people counting data can provide valuable utilization insights for cafeterias and dining facilities. Data on the number of visitors to onsite food outlets and the peak and off-peak visitor times can enable facilities’ managers to maximize their resourcing and improve visitor experience.
Similarly for information desks, gift shops and washroom facilities, accurate people counting data can result in informed decision making for the best allocation of resources based on actual demand.
Guaranteed privacy protection and GDPR compliance
For public institutions where privacy of images and data relating to both staff and visitors is an absolute requirement, a people counting solution based on Time-of-Flight technology guarantees privacy protection and GDPR compliance. By emitting a pulse of near infrared light and measuring the time it takes for the pulse to reflect off the environment and back to the sensor, Terabee people counters calculate depth information about their surroundings.
A low resolution “depth map” where each pixel corresponds to a distance measurement is produced. This results in highly accurate people counting data (typically 95% for People Counting M to 98% accuracy for People Counting L-XL) that does not capture any distinguishing features or personal identifiable information (PII). Read more about people counting devices GDPR compliance.
People counting solutions for every scenario
With efficient sensors and no need for external data processing, Terabee people counters provide access to accurate room and building occupancy data at a fraction of the cost of other systems. The People Counting L-XL LoRa device utilises LoRaWAN, which eliminates the need to install PoE cables or connect to the main IT system. This makes it an ideal solution for historic buildings, as the LoRa-enabled solution avoids the need to retrofit Ethernet cabling, which can be both expensive and time-consuming.
With its ability to aggregate data taken from up to five separate sensors, the Terabee People Counter L-XL offers an easy to install and configure, discreet and highly accurate doorway counter for monitoring large doors, entrances and indoor gates. Alternatively, the People Counting M device is suitable for standard doors and narrow corridors. Tailor your people counting solution and system according to your requirements.
Introducing Terabee People Counting Services
With Terabee’s People Counting Services offering, you can tap into the knowledge and support of our team at any stage of a project. Whether you’d like assistance provisioning your People Counting devices before shipment, delivering bespoke customer training we can help. Maybe you could do with assistance to optimise your solution with Helpdesk technical/product support or remote diagnostics, or to integrate our IoT Smart Building platform with your systems – we are on-hand to provide professional assistance and ensure you enjoy a seamless experience.
Contact us to speak to an expert about your people counting challenges and requirements. Get in touch today! If you would like to learn how to deploy people counting solutions in your facility, contact a member of the Terabee team today.