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A History of Occupancy Counter Solutions at SenSource

April 10, 2020

The core of what we do is count people. Why we do it is because we are all data nerds at heart and want to share the power of traffic data with our customers. We test sensors of varying technologies from suppliers around the world. Our in-house software developers work tirelessly to offer a platform that translates raw counts into meaningful data. We are on the perpetual hunt for the next application or problem to solve. So, when the Coronavirus pandemic forced retailers to enforce social-distancing measures in their stores, we knew counting customers in this new way was an issue we were eager to help solve.

museums limiting visitors as they reopen post pandemic

Early Stages of Occupancy Counting

An occupancy counter isn’t a new concept for us. In the last five years sensor technology has improved resulting in an accuracy-level that makes occupancy monitoring a viable solution. One common application is to gauge conference room usage. Large office spaces require efficient use of space and rely on our solution to ensure the meeting size coincides with the size of the conference room. A second occupancy counter application is to track church attendance. Large and mega churches have found hand-counting to be an inefficient and inaccurate way to count attendance. By installing sensors inside the entrances to the sanctuary, churches can automatically collect attendance data by viewing the peak occupancy during a service time.

Covid-19 Makes Occupancy a Mainstay

When state law officials began mandating COVID-19 safety regulations, encouraging essential businesses to set limits and monitor occupancy, our initial thought was – great, we already have a solution for that! But after speaking with prospective customers, we realized the need to count people was immediate and our traditional occupancy counter would take too long to implement across a large chain as many of our field technicians are temporarily furloughed and shipping is unpredictable during a pandemic.

While our standard people counting sensors weren’t the answer, we were determined to find a solution that would work for the current situation, because counting people is the core of what we do. Our conversations with grocery stores confirmed a new occupancy counter would need to be immediately accessible, easy to use, count both in and out traffic, and offer a reporting tool. We researched off-the-shelf digital tally counting applications, but none met our standards or checked every box for customers’ needs. So, our software development team got to work and programmed a solution that met and exceeded our features list.

The Latest in Occupancy Counting Technology

SAFESPACE Occupancy Monitoring System doesn’t require people counting sensors or any hardware. It’s a web interface accessible on any smart device, with simple in and out buttons for door attendants to track occupancy. Multiple attendants can track customers simultaneously at various doors for a real-time combined view of the occupancy status. In addition, the status can be cast to a monitor for customers and staff to view. Administrators can access reporting tools to compare metrics across an entire chain of stores.

While we are confident SAFESPACE will meet immediate customer counting needs, we are also familiar with the human-error associated with hand counting. Therefore, we encourage retailers looking for a long-term solution to consider an upgrade to an automated occupancy counter solution using people counting sensors. SAFESPACE’s handheld option and automated option can be used together, for example the main entrance uses an automated system and the secondary entrance has an attendant using a handheld device. Count data from both will still be combined for a single real-time occupancy status.

We are excited to begin the next chapter of occupancy monitoring at SenSource with new challenges to solve. If you’d like more information on why the off-the-shelf offerings our competitors are using didn’t make the cut at SenSource, please contact us and we’d be happy to explain further!

Learn more about SAFESPACE Occupancy Monitoring System.