Counting the number of people in a space is essential for various businesses and organizations to ensure safety, optimize resource usage, and improve customer service.
However, privacy concerns arise when using traditional people counting methods, such as cameras or manual counting, as they may intrude on individuals’ privacy or private data. To address this issue, many businesses have started using Time-of-Flight technology, which is non-camera based and only collects anonymous data.
What is Time-of-Flight technology?
Time-of-Flight (ToF) is a sensing technique that measures the time taken by light to travel between a sensor and an object. In a people counting application, a ToF sensor emits a beam of light, which bounces off people and returns to the sensor.
By calculating the time taken for the light to travel back and forth, the sensor can determine the distance between itself and the people. By using multiple sensors, the system can also estimate the location and direction of movement of each person.
How does Time-of-Flight technology ensure privacy?
ToF technology is non-intrusive and non-invasive as it does not use cameras or any other device that captures images or sounds. Instead, it only measures the distance between the sensor and people, which is not personally identifiable information. The system does not collect any other data, such as facial features, clothing, or voice, that can identify individuals. Furthermore, the data collected is anonymous and aggregated, meaning that it cannot be traced back to any individual.
Why is camera-based people counting not anonymous?
Camera-based people counting technology captures images or videos of people, which can reveal their identity, facial features, clothing, and personal information. This data can be used to identify individuals or track their movements, which raises privacy concerns. Even if the data is anonymized, it can still be re-identified by cross-referencing it with other data sources or using AI algorithms. Additionally, camera-based systems require higher processing power and storage capacity, which can be costly and raise cybersecurity risks.
In conclusion, Time-of-Flight technology provides a privacy-friendly solution for people counting, as it is non-intrusive, non-invasive, and anonymous. It enables businesses and organizations to collect valuable data while respecting individuals’ privacy and complying with data protection regulations.
Discover Terabee’s secure, accurate people counters
Terabee, who design and manufacture their people counting sensors in the EU, offer the People Counting L-XL LoRa device which uses LoRaWAN, eliminating the need to install Ethernet cables or connect to the main IT system. It is also available in a PoE model. This is a highly accurate solution to gather people counting data at large doors, entrances and indoor gates.
Its smaller sibling, the People Counting M, also available in PoE and LoRa models, is suitable for standard doors and narrow corridors, such as in meeting rooms and waiting areas.