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Low-cost system for people counting in public spaces based on Wifi-tracking

The RTSI group is developing a prototype for measuring the number of people in venues. Possible applications of the system include the assesment of maximum occupancy load permitted in public spaces (shopping malls, metro stations, museums, libraries, streets, …) and events (concerts, sporting events, demonstrations, …).
The solution is based on WiFi tracking technology, which allows analyzing the presence of WiFi devices by passively analyzing the traffic transmitted by them. Given that most of the current mobile terminals (smartphones) have the WiFi connection activated, the analysis of this type of signal allows us to estimate the number of people in a certain area. The collected data are processed anonymously in order to ensure compliance with the RGPD.
The system under development is based on the use of low-cost and small WiFi probes. The probes can be deployed at fixed points connected to the electrical network, for a continuous measurement of the capacity of a premises or enclosure, or can be used in a portable way through the use of a battery, which facilitates the performance of spot checks during a event.
The processing of the data collected by the probes is carried out on a platform that applies a series of advanced algorithms to extract information about the number of terminals detected, the average time of stay, people trajectories, etc. The results are displayed graphically through a web application, through which a window for remote monitoring and management of the devices is also offered.