The ongoing advancements in technology increase every day: Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality, cloud computing, sensor data, and the Internet of Things (IoT). It isn’t any surprise that footfall counting is taking bold technology innovation leaps to provide new and advanced functionalities that go way beyond merely counting people.
The growing concerns over safety and security in public spaces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is also prompting footfall counting service providers to push the boundaries in innovation to offer effective screening solutions for retail stores, shopping malls, airports, and public institutions. But what else is in store for the future of footfall counting technology? Let’s dive in and explore!
3D AI cameras
Long gone are the days when infrared beams and 2D cameras were the latest people counting technology. Although still used today, they cannot provide the accuracy or added functionality that modern 3D imaging technology can. 3D cameras embedded with AI functionality can offer up to 98% accuracy in footfall counting. Its advanced depth-sensing skills can even distinguish between adults and children and can track across multiple devices to measure paths in the aisles and entire stores/locations.
Compared to other footfall counting technology, the 3D AI camera offers the most accurate data and behavior analytics, with the following capabilities:
▶︎ People Counting at Entrances
▶︎ Queue and Service Management
▶︎ Full Store/Location Analytics (Track, Dwell)
▶︎ Ability to Detect People vs. Objects
▶︎ Ability to Achieve Accuracy in High Volume Traffic
▶︎ High tolerance for Variations in Environment (Light, Heat, Shadow)
▶︎ Ability to Detect Adults vs. Children
▶︎ Ability to Detect Behaviours of Interest
▶︎ Ability to Detect Direction of Travel
Power of real-time BI analytics
Obtaining metrics about footfall traffic is one thing; knowing what to do with the data is an entirely different kettle of fish. The ability to use the data you capture to inform decision-making, business process optimization and customer experience is not new; however, receiving real-time insights and alerts prompting immediate action is driving enterprises into the future of the digital economy.
BI (Business Intelligence) Analytics platforms linked to footfall counting devices is opening up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of managing social distancing, queue management, enhancing the customer journey, optimizing staff schedules, saving energy and money, tenant revenue management, optimizing store layout and even marketing and sales opportunities. A full end-to-end analytics and reporting solution like Vemcount revolutionizes the footfall counting market by providing the same benefits as leading ERP solutions but uniquely focused on retail analytics.
User-friendly and customizable dashboards, machine learning for predictive analytics, API integrations with 3rd party solutions, real-time analytics, alerts and insights in the cloud, and comprehensive reporting are just some of the future-proof functionalities driving technology innovation in the footfall counting industry.
To become more energy and cost-efficient, smart buildings reactively utilize information to self-regulate the environment and operations in a building. Through a series of integrated technologies and occupancy sensors, smart buildings can automatically control air quality, temperature, lighting, sliding doors, water pumps, fire alarms, and any other connected automated system in a building.
The advances in occupancy sensors and footfall counting devices are vital to smart buildings’ effective functioning, as they collect data to inform decisions about where resources should be allocated. For example, they can detect when zones in a facility are empty, thus prompting the system to turn off lighting or temperature control. The benefits of such smart technology are driving technological innovations as smart buildings are set to be the norm in the near future.
LoRaWAN communication system
LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) technology is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect battery-operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national, or global networks. It targets essential Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility, and localization services.
LoRa Technology has revolutionized IoT by enabling data communication over a long-range while using very little power. When connected to a non-cellular LoRaWAN network, LoRa devices accommodate a vast range of IoT applications by transmitting packets with important information.
LoRaWAN fills the technology gap of Cellular and Wi-Fi/BLE-based networks that require either high bandwidth or high power or have a limited range or inability to penetrate deep indoor environments. In effect, LoRa Technology is flexible for rural or indoor use cases in smart cities, smart homes and buildings, smart agriculture, smart metering, and smart supply chain and logistics.
In terms of footfall counting, LoRa technology is revolutionizing the market. One such revolutionary application includes alert systems that use LoRa technology for real-time communication. The alert system is placed at store entrances to regulate access to shops and other retail spaces through the use of a green-red “traffic light” alert. Lights turn from green to red when stores are at capacity; alarms are triggered, and staff is notified in an app if customers enter when red lights are showing.
The promising future of the people counting system market
According to ResearchandMarket.com, in a Global Forecast to 2025 report, “the overall people counting system market is expected to grow from USD 818 million in 2020 to USD 1,333 billion by 2025; it is estimated to record a CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period.”
The report cites the following as major factors for the people counting system market growth:
▶︎ Ongoing technological advancements in the retail industry;
▶︎ Rising concerns for safety and security at public places;
▶︎ The growing need for people counting systems in hospitality, sports, and entertainment applications, and;
▶︎ The surging demand for people counting systems to ensure people’s safety in public places and retail stores amid COVID-19.
The report states further that “the market for retail, supermarket, and shopping malls is expected to grow at a higher CAGR than other end users during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing adoption of various technologies such as digital marketing, people counting, analytics, omnichannel retail, and artificial intelligence in brick-and-mortar stores and shopping malls.
People counting systems offer critical information about the footfall in a store, which helps store owners to make more effective business decisions. The increasing number of shopping malls in emerging economies such as Brazil, Hungary, Malaysia, South Africa, China, and India also plays a vital role in the growth of the people counting system market. Also, in countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the number of ongoing constructions for malls and smart buildings drives the growth of the people counting system market.”
The future for footfall counting and analytics looks very bright indeed, and Vemcount is leading the way in technology innovation by offering state-of-the-art 3D AI cameras, a unique and powerful BI analytics platform, and other smart technologies that embrace the IoT, machine learning, cloud computing, and AI.
Contact us to find out more about our revolutionary retail analytics solution.