Some time ago we received the following request. Can you measure the visitor frequency in the city center? The challenge was that we shouldn't interfere deeply with the infrastructure, shouldn't use a camera and also have to save the budget.
So we thought about what to use and came up with the idea of using a WLAN and Bluetooth smartphone counter. This analyzes the environment for active smartphones and counts them. Since almost everyone has a smartphone with them these days, the counter provides reliable information about visitor frequency.
Thanks to the continuous counting, it is also possible to find out at what time most visitors are in the city. And thanks to the long-term storage on the Datacake platform, this can be compared historically.
The sensors count active smartphones and transmit the measurement result via LoRaWAN to a stationary gateway. Therefore, it was necessary to build a comprehensive LoRaWAN network in the city.
Installation of a LoRaWAN Gateway
We have achieved this by placing a Datacake LoRaWAN gateway that automatically connects to the Datacake platform via LTE mobile communications. So we only needed a power outlet and a suitable location for the installation. An old building with sufficient height was therefore chosen. The installation was relatively straightforward and was completed within half an hour.
Placement of the sensors
Within the city, smartphone meters have now been set up in interesting locations (marketplace, streets). For this we only need a power supply. After installation, the connection is made automatically and the data is available for evaluation within a few minutes.