If you follow tech writing, you won’t scroll too far on any site before you run into an Internet of Things piece. It’s a massive subject, but here’s an IoT gadget you can quickly get your head around, as it might apply to digital signage and digital OOH.
A teeny sensor from a company called Density uses infrared to tell apps or cloud services how many people are entering or leaving an area – like a shop or cafe. It’s a smart pedestrian traffic sensor and could be used to do anything from doing discount or surge pricing at a QSR to suggesting back of house at a store or QSR that another cash station should be opened up to keep lines manageable.
It’s also the sort of thing a company like LivePoster – which mashes up IoT data with messaging for hyper-targeted advertising – would add to its bag of tricks. LivePoster’s Martin Porter will be talking about this sort of thing next month at DSrupted, by the way.
Engadget reports “the sensor is already in use at Requested (which lets you ask for discounts at eateries), Workfrom (remote working spaces) and parts of UC Berkeley’s campus. Density and gadgets like it could do much more if they become truly ubiquitous, though. Eventually, you might never have to guess whether or not your usual haunts are hopping — you’d know right away whether or not you should wait an hour or find an alternative.”
The hardware and installation are free, but you pay $25/month as a SaaS fee to get and use the real-time data.
I could see tons of applications for this sort of thing, from knowing if anyone is actually using a meeting room or classroom, to security and surveillance.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.