July 13, 2015
If somebody asked me to pick one word that quantifies the entirety of the world we live in right now, I would say “data”. That is, if you’re not the one innovating new solutions for collecting data then you’re probably one of the many companies or businesses looking for a way to gather data about your own customers.
That data is broken down into several niches, but a lot of businesses tend to focus on foot traffic. For example, we’ve all been to the local 7/11, walked through the door, and heard the annoying *ding ding* sound as we did.
You’re walking across what’s known as a break beam, which provides an accurate and anonymous count of how many people have come into the store that day. However, break beams tend to fall short when it comes to real time data, and they’re often expensive to install.
Video surveillance, another popular method of data collection thrives in the area of real time collection where break beams don’t. However, it’s not anonymous at all and rarely cheap to install.
Not to mention it’s difficult for certain businesses to implement these technologies effectively. I’m talking about places like gyms and upscale restaurants. Therefore, more often than not they lack the relevant data about their customers. As we know, that be the kiss of death for a lot of companies in today’s rapidly advancing technological world.
Density is a San Francisco based company that just launched today with the express goal to end this lack of access to data. If you had to sum it up, you could say that Density has built a new age sensor specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT).
It’s a tiny, little box that you can have installed in your place of business, regardless of what you do. Attached to the door frame, Density will gather real time data on how many people are inside your business as well as how many people have visited on any given day.
Unlike video surveillance systems and break beams though, Density is totally in real time, accurate, completely anonymous, and incredibly cheap. In fact, installation for anybody is 100 percent free: clients only have to pay $25 a month for access to the service.
The real time data is collected, organized, and made available through the API, which is what you’re paying to access. The API itself provides access to metrics on location capacity, head count, and historical foot traffic. By design Density can’t capture any personally significant or identifiable information about any consumers either as it operates purely on infrared lights to measure movement.
It’s a gift from on high for a lot of businesses that have never had access to these kinds of insights. Further, all of the aggregated data can be integrated into preexisting platforms.
For example, Density has already partnered with Workfrom, Requested, and the Associated Students University of California (ASUC) even though they only launched today. Here’s how it specifically helps them:
Workfrom: Density measures the real time seating capacity in popular places and Workfrom integrates the data directly into their website of open places to do remote work.
Requested: Users on the Requested platform can request discounts at popular restaurants. When Density notices that the foot traffic into a certain restaurant has been slow for too long it’ll automatically accept a certain discount. It’s basically automating a manual process, helping Requested drive business to restaurants when they need it most.
ASUC: In Berkeley, CA, a team is adding Density to school gyms and workspaces. From anywhere on campus, students will be able to see if a popular place is busy or quiet. Apparently, “How full is the gym?” is a problem they’ve been trying to solve for years.
There are an incredible amount of practical applications for this technology, just let your imagination run wild and consider some of them. There’s no denying that Density is going to change a lot of businesses for the better, we’ll keep you posted as they continue to provide access to data for their customers.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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