People Counting Solutions for COVID and Beyond

On April 21, 2021 we partnered with LibraryWorks to host a webinar discussing SenSource’s offerings for COVID-related capacity restrictions and standard foot traffic data. In this recording, you’ll find a full demo of the VIDX people counting sensor, SafeSpace Occupancy Monitoring, and Vea Reporting Platform, as well as a robust Q&A segment.

Q&A Transcript

Does the video actually show people or just bubbles representing people?

The standard sensor setting shows a low-resolution video with bubble overlay on each individual. There are several privacy settings if the video is a concern – Check out our article “Addressing Privacy Concerns”

Do you have sensors without cables?

No, our VIDX series people counting sensors are Power-over-ethernet and require a single network cable for power and network connectivity. However, we are experienced in overcoming installation and cabling challenges and are happy to discuss your scenario.

What is the maximum height for the ceiling above the door or can the sensor be mounted other places than straight overhead?

The ideal sensor location is overhead a few feet inside your door. The sensor can support a slight tilt if the only location it can be mounted is high and away from the door. Our standard sensor can be mounted just under 20 feet high. If your ceiling is higher than that, we have two options – We have an extension pole bracket that can be mounted on the header of the doorway and it sticks out about 10 inches and houses the cable and sensor. The other option is our higher-lens sensor that can be mounted up to 65 feet.

Where does notification to staff go? Must you have a smartphone?

Notification to staff is just a simple text message, it’s SMS, so most any cell phone can receive it. It can also be emailed.

If you have a wider door where two people can walk in side-by-side will it still count the two people?

Yes. These are the same sensors we use in amusement parks and very high-traffic areas. The algorithms can detect each individual, walking side by side, in a very large group as well as distinguish which direction they are going.

Can you set the time for occupancy to reset, for a 24-hour library for example?

Yes, you can do a manual reset. For 24-7 facilities, we don’t recommend a daily reset, you can do a hand-keyed reset by counting how many people are in your building at a certain time, say 2 AM, then inserting that number into Vea and the system will correct your data.

Can I print out yearly, monthly and daily reports for total number of visitors?

Yes. The easiest way is to use the data grid in Vea.

Can you tell how long a person is in the library?

Not at this time. Average Visitor Duration is an algorithm we are working on for a future release in Vea.

Can you have sensors that count total traffic at the entrance and sensors that count traffic within the building?

Yes. We classify the sensors as either perimeter sensors, typically at exterior doors, or interior sensors for interior spaces. You can set the sensors to remove counts, for example if one person leaves the first floor and goes to the second floor, Vea will remove a count from the first floor’s occupancy and add a count to the second floor’s occupancy.

Do you accept purchase orders?

Yes

What is the maximum width of a doorway that a single sensor can cover?

The maximum is 23 feet. The detection area width is contingent upon the ceiling height where the sensor is mounted. The higher the sensor, the wider the detection area. Anywhere from 13-20 feet will get you a detection area of about 23 feet wide.

If the entrance is wider than one sensor can cover, we do have a wide-angle lens sensor that can cover a little more or we can stitch multiple sensors together. We can stitch up to 9 sensors together.

Can you remove staff traffic from the data?

Yes, we can for standard traffic counts, but not for occupancy. We sell a nametag with a special code, or you can print your own, that an employee wears and the sensor identifies it as an employee.

What is the installation cost for SenSource to install?

It really depends on the complexity of the job. Standard pricing is about $400 for a single sensor to run cable, install the sensor, and work with our team to calibrate the sensor.

Can we install the sensor ourselves?

Yes, we offer a lot of videos and documentation to guide you through the installation process. Even with a self-install, you’ll connect with our Support team to confirm placement and accuracy of the sensor. We also work with your team prior to install, to establish the site survey and decide best placement.

Do you provide training on running the reporting platform?

Yes. We train the admin of the system and then the users. We also have video tutorials and documentation. Our Support team is right here in our office in Youngstown, OH to help you.

What happens when the devices are down or unresponsive?

As part of your SaaS subscription, we offer proactive sensor monitoring. Our technical support team will be notified if a sensor has gone offline and we will try to resolve it. You can also setup offline sensor reports in Vea to alert your library staff. As long as the sensor is still powered, it will store the counts and backfill data once the network connection is restored.

How are kids in strollers counted? Or babies on a chest or backpack?

Those individuals would not be counted. The sensor’s algorithm looks for the pattern of a person’s head and shoulder profile. If a child is leaning back in a stroller or has the sun-shade pulled up, the sensor will not detect that child.

However, if children are walking into the library the sensor will count them and has the ability to separate adult and child counts based on the person’s height.

We are working on a future release in Vea to count strollers separately.

Do you have a recommended number of sensors to cover a building or strategically place those based on the data you want to gether?

Yes, strategically placed based on the data you want to gather. If you’re looking to monitor occupancy in a building, you need a sensor to cover each entrance and exit (if it’s an emergency door that isn’t used, you don’t need to cover that door). If you want to look at where patrons are going within your library, then you’re going to need to cover different spaces, such as the children’s wing, the adult area, the makers space, or computer lab.

Do the sensors work in open, wide spaces to track how many people are on each floor, including the stacks?

Yes, they can. We’re working with a library right now that wants to cover a great hall. Instead of a threshold count, we call it zone monitoring to say how many people are in this space. The other option is to mark a perimeter of the space. I’m working with another library that has bookshelves to define spaces, so we’re using six sensors to cover the area and drawing count-lines to distinguish each department.

Was all of the reporting based on relative time or can I set a custom date range?

You can set a custom date range. Relative terms are nice if you’re setting up a recurring report that is emailed to you. But you can easily set a custom date range as well.

How much do the staff name tags cost?

They are $20 each, but you can also print your own from our template. There is an additional license to purchase for the sensor to access this feature and it’s $125 one-time fee.

How does the system handle someone who walks into the library then leaves through a staff door with no sensor?

If we’re not detecting it, it will throw off your occupancy count. The only way to avoid this is to cover the staff door with a sensor or use the SafeSpace app to manually select the decrement button as you exit. Some customer dedicate a tablet to the staff door for staff to manually increment or decrement themselves from the occupancy count.

Does the software have to be hosted on the cloud?

Yes, Vea is a cloud-based system. We do not offer an on-premise software solution.

Are the interior sensors the exact same hardware as the perimeter sensors, and is the cost the same at $845?

Yes

We are situated at an intersection and have two sets of double-doors at a 90 degree angle. Do we need a sensor over each doorway?

It depends on how far apart the entrances are in that corner. We oftentimes use one sensor and draw count-lines to cover the area. We would need to look at the ceiling height and the width of the doors. Sometimes, there is another area like a security gate coming into the library that everyone must pass through and the sensor can be mounted over that instead. We assess your scenario and request measurements so we can decide the number of sensors you need.

Can the capacity count be modified for each sensor such as overall count for the main entrance and separate count for classrooms or study rooms inside the main space?

Yes

We have an older style SenSource unit, does the older wiring work with a new sensor or will we need to upgrade the wiring?

I would say 90% chance the same wiring will work for the new sensor.

Can any data be put into a heatmap?

When I showed the heatmap, it’s a day-hour heatmap and you can have multiple locations stacked side by side – say the children’s area, reading room and makers space – you can compare those spaces. But we do not offer a heatmap that overlays with a floorplan to show tracks of where people are walking.

If we purchase now, and the greater campus decides to order later, can we be under the same system?

Yes, we handle this scenario a lot and it’s not a problem to add a location to your account.