Aalborg City Business Association in Denmark is using sensors from BLIP Systems to measure the impact of major events in the city. The association wanted to be able to measure the success of a major event in a city and whether it increase revenue.
It also want to find out how many more people are drawn into the city during an event and where they parked. The questions required the use of a new sensor solution called BlipTrack, developed and produced by the information technology company BLIP Systems, based near the city of Aalborg.
The sensors have been placed at various pinch points in the pedestrian area, and monitor real-time pedestrian flow, people's dwell time and movement patterns - from the moment they enter an area until they leave, and everywhere in between.
The sensors identify the number of people, where and when they shop, by collecting anonymous data from Wi-Fi devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. The data provides Aalborg City Business Association with an understanding of the impact of large events, such as the annual Christmas market in December (pictured above).
The collected data is also used by the municipality for urban development, to optimise the flow of cars and people. And finally, shopkeepers are able to understand retail browsing and purchasing patterns in order to optimise opening hours and allocate staff resources.
“If we are not able to measure the impact of events, such as the Christmas market, which costs over 1 million DKK to arrange, then the event is not justifiable, and perhaps money could be better utilised elsewhere,” said Flemming Tingbak, director of Aalborg City Business Association.
The solution protects individual’s privacy by having the individual sensors convert the detected mobile devices, which contain no personal information, into anonymised and encrypted hashes. This approach to privacy, allows Aalborg City Association to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
Bliptrack is also being used internationally to measure flow and optimise businesses in train stations, road traffic and in airports, such as Amsterdam Schiphol, Toronto Pearson and Dubai International.
Aalborg City Business Association has signed an agreement with BLIP Systems´ Danish partner COWI, to use BlipTrack for the next four years.