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CrowdScan launches privacy-friendly crowd density detector

CrowdScan, a spin-off of strategic research center imec and university UAntwerpen, has created a real-time measuring system to detect the density of crowds in Flanders using a sensor network instead of smartphone data or camera footage. 

A privacy-friendly alternative

For six years, imec – Flanders’ strategic research center for nanotech and digital innovation – and the University of Antwerp have searched for the most effective way to measure the density of crowds. The result of this collaboration project is CrowdScan.  

Unlike most detection systems, CrowdScan does not use any camera footage, smartphone information, or other privacy-sensitive data to determine overcrowding. Instead, a wireless sensor network transmits low-energy radio waves and measures how much the signal in a busy place attenuates compared to when it is empty. 

Police assistant

Different large-scale events and festivals, such as Tomorrowland, have already made use of CrowdScan’s technology. During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it promptly demonstrated its added value in helping society adapt to the new social distancing measures.  

“The importance of accurate information about crowd density has only increased since the coronavirus crisis”, comments Ben Bellekens, CEO of CrowdScan. “Our wireless sensor network can determine population densities with an accuracy of up to four people. In doing so, CrowdScan can assist police and emergency services in making real-time decisions concerning traditionally busy areas.” 

More info

Reported by
Knack Data News
19 August 2020

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