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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is people counting?

Simply put, people counting technology is an array of sensors positioned around a retail, museum, casino or other space to count visitors and track their movements. Sensors positioned near an entrance count visitors as they enter, then additional sensors throughout the location track individuals as they move within the space. Neat, huh?

Q: Why use people counting?

Important note: the benefits of people counting vary by industry. This list is generalized and for the most part, applies across industry. Unimportant note: the first videotape recorder was the size of a piano

Our clients use people counting technology to optimize and track:

  • Staffing needs: learn when your business is busiest (and slowest) so you can be properly staffed at all times
  • Display positioning: improve the layout of your sales floor by analyzing customer movements within a retail space
  • Conversion rates: easily compare traffic and transaction data to see how successful your salespeople and practices are
  • Store comparisons: for multi-location businesses, see traffic data side-by-side to compare performance and solve problems before they arise
  • Funding: places like museums use visitor counts to receive funding from grants & donations

For additional uses, check out What is People Counting?

Q: What industries benefit from people counting, and why?

Roll call! People counters are being used by thousands of businesses on six continents (as far as we know, no one is tracking the penguins in Antarctica…yet), in a large assortment of business types and models, including:

  • retail, including everything from mom-and-pops to multi-location and shopping malls
  • museums/attractions
  • libraries
  • casinos

Q: Why would a museum use people counting?

Since many museums do not charge admission, people counters are an excellent way to quantify how many visitors an exhibit receives in a given day. But the benefit doesn’t stop there; museums and attractions also use people counting technology to optimize exhibit layouts, track certain exhibit visits and maximize volunteer retention, among other purposes.

Q: Can a people counter account for more than one person walking through a door simultaneously?

Is a group of engineers called an ‘awkward’? (Hint: search for ‘engineers’ here.) The answer to both questions is yes! An overhead video-based setup, like those from Flonomics, is positioned above an entrance and used to scan the entire threshold. This allows our users to distinguish between individuals in a group not just when they enter, but throughout their entire visit.

Q: What is the difference between various people counter technology?

Beware, we’re entering total people-counting-nerd territory here. That said, we’ll try to keep this short and simple.

Here are the key distinctions between four of the most common people counting methods:

  • Video overhead: this type is commonly believed to collect the most accurate data. Video systems can also distinguish between children and adults, as well as recognizing inanimate objects that other systems could mistake for a person, like a shopping cart.
  • Infrared overhead: since they are positioned similarly to a video system, infrared overhead also has the ability to survey a wide area entrance or sales floor. However, these are generally seen as less accurate, as some infrared systems can only recognize one person at a time.
  • Infrared beams: these systems are positioned at entrances, and consist of a horizontal beam that projects across a doorway. Often these are used only to count visitors, and given their horizontal orientation, can have difficulty counting individuals who enter in a tightly-packed group.
  • Thermal: thermal imaging users can see similar results to video counter systems, and have the added bonus of being able to track a larger amount of square footage per unit. However, thermal systems have a much harder time distinguishing between types of people, as mentioned above with video systems.