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Digital Door Counter From Density Could Prevent Annoying Queues

Ever gone to your favourite coffee shop or restaurant at a time when you thought it would be quiet only to find that every table is taken, and there is a queue dragging along the road outside?

Well, up until today, there was not much you could do to find this out without either heading there first or calling ahead.  The company that is leading the charge here is called Density and they are bringing the humble door counter to the digital world. Two years ago Density had an idea to track your mac address off of your iPhone to determine how busy a location is. Unfortunately, Apple stopped this idea from fruition when it announced it would be anonymising those addresses in iOS8 to avoid apps that track a user’s movements.

So, in true innovative spirit Density re-thought their original plan and came up with something a lot less invasive that still functioned in the same way.

They started to develop hardware for this idea instead of software (non-invasive hardware that is). The hardware they came up with is a tiny box that any business can attach to their door frames, thus gaining real-time data on how many people are inside the establishment on top of how many have visited in any given day.

Finally – a device that will keep track of people movements without actually keeping track of their data, personal details or image etc.

The device is fairly simple and uses two infra-red proximity sensors while taking voltage spikes to determine whether anyone has entered or left the building. The real-time data gained by this device can then be presented in a Yell listing or businesses website giving potential customers information on queues etc.

The hard that Density provides is free, but costs $25 per location per month to get access to the API. This is not their ultimate financial plan though; Andrew Farah the co-founder of Density told TNW that the end goal is to get Density installed “across a city “ and then sell the data to research companies.

Farah believes there are no privacy concerns as it simply counts people and does not track them. This can lead to a larger amount of information e.g. they could get a sense of the most trafficked locations without any costly monitoring involved.

Density plans to partner with a location app and show trending locations, like nightclubs, coffee shops etc, as they get busier through the evening/day. They expect to pilot the scheme in Portland, Austin and New York City by the end of summer

Density launches today, but you will not be able to buy it directly from the company. Instead, it will be available to buy through “existing networks” like location directories or point of sale systems so it doesn’t have to build out its own sales team.

I see a future with no queues so watch this space!

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