In the past two years, people counting systems have gained global popularity due to their evolving technology. Each new generation improves on the drawbacks of the previous one, leading to accurate traffic data. This accumulation of knowledge allows business managers to make informed decisions based on the data provided by these systems.

Evolution of People Counters

Infrared-based people counters are typically placed at the entrance of shops, comprising of a transmitter and a receiver that emit infrared beams horizontally. Each time the beam is interrupted, the count increases by one. However, there are several major errors with this approach:

Infrared-based people counters

  • The system cannot differentiate between incoming and outgoing people.
  • It cannot detect a group of people that enter the shop simultaneously.
  • Those who change their mind and exit the shop after entering are counted twice.
  • People who linger around or talk near the entrance may be counted erroneously if the infrared beams are interrupted.

Therefore, the infrared-based people counting system has limitations and can be inaccurate in certain situations.

Thermal sensor-based people counters

The people counting systems that use thermal imaging sensors are typically installed on top of shop gates. They can detect and count anything with a temperature different from the ambient temperature. However, these systems are known to be inaccurate when the weather is unstable.

2D video people counters

2D video people counters utilize imaging devices to detect motion and count people. They have a wide field of view of up to 90°, making them suitable for counting people in a large area. However, they require adequate lighting conditions and a uniform background to function effectively. In poor lighting conditions, shadows or non-uniform backgrounds may cause inaccuracies.

Additionally, 3D counting systems have a limited range of effectiveness, as they are only effective at short ranges of 1-2 meters from the sensor. The field of view is also narrow, ranging from 45-60°C, and the maximum area they can effectively cover is only 4 m². These limitations make 3D counting systems less suitable for larger areas or environments with complex backgrounds.

3D people counter (two cameras)

3D people counting systems use two cameras to address the limitations of 2D counting systems by capturing depth and filtering straight objects like shadows. However, insufficient contrast between images can lead to inefficient detection algorithms. Despite these drawbacks, 3D counters represent a significant advancement in people counting technology.

The use of radar technology is a highly accurate solution for obtaining inbound traffic data. Originally used for tracking aircraft and vessels, the commercial variant of radar technology, mmWave, became available in 2019. With a frequency range of 60 GHz, mmWave can track objects with a precision of 5 mm.

WaveCount stands out from earlier generations of people counting systems as it can effectively detect moving objects. The radar sensor of WaveCount emits radio waves and receives signals reflected by objects. The use of imaginary lines allows for counting visitors with maximum accuracy. WaveCount remains effective in poor lighting conditions (such as under smoke and dust). It also boasts a wide field of view (120°) and can cover a large area of over 100 m2.

Developed in 2019, WaveCount was designed to address the limitations of previous people counting systems and to provide accurate traffic data. Our technical team is available to answer any questions about the innovative WaveCount system.

WaveCount (radar technology-mmWave sensor)

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