[OpenTRV-interest] Count crowds with Bluetooth Connectivity Kit

Tony Brookes tonybrookes65 at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Dec 30 10:46:30 GMT 2015

I remember those traffic surveys! always a nuisance.I also remember seeing discussions online about footfall tracking that shops & shopping centres carry out by monitoring mobile phone signals. 

Using google Scholar, I found these references in a couple of minutes. Looks like there’s plenty of research out there in this area.

The use of Bluetooth for analysing spatiotemporal dynamics of human movement at mass events: A case study of the Ghent Festivities <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622811000944>

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi MAC address based crowd data collection and monitoring: benefits, challenges and enhancement <https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=i-0MMzcAAAAJ&citation_for_view=i-0MMzcAAAAJ:u5HHmVD_uO8C>

Tracking spatio-temporal movement of human in terms of space utilization using Media-Access-Control address data <https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=i-0MMzcAAAAJ&citation_for_view=i-0MMzcAAAAJ:u-x6o8ySG0sC>

Monitoring spatiotemporal dynamics of human movement based on MAC address data <https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=i-0MMzcAAAAJ&citation_for_view=i-0MMzcAAAAJ:d1gkVwhDpl0C>

Assessment of antenna characteristic effects on pedestrian and cyclists travel-time estimation based on Bluetooth and WiFi MAC addresses <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968090X15003113>

I’mm too full of mince pie to be able to read and comment on this stuff, but it does seem there is a lot of research going on in this area.  Also, does anyone else remember the wifi enabled litter bins in London incident? They could clearly sell advertising based on this sort of statistic - well at least before the ICO intervened.


> On 30 Dec 2015, at 09:47, Simon Hobson <linux at thehobsons.co.uk> wrote:
> I wrote:
>> So if you are in the business of counting people, I don't think X is hard to determine (and it'll vary by situation and demographic). Once you know X, you just knock up a device to count Y and you've got a pretty good idea of total numbers. Not "there were 54,157" people there" accuracy, but at least "there are 50-55k people there" levels of accuracy which is probably more than accurate enough for this sort of situation.
> Just to add, this method has a really really useful additional option.
> Traditional methods will only tell you that "about X,000" people came" and the best you'll know is who came in via which entrance. With a bit more logging and data analysis you can track the BT identifiers an work out what routes people took. Again, not to high levels of accuracy, but a fairly good indication of how many came by tube, which stations they used, which way in they used (I'm thinking of something like the Trafalgar Square celebrations), how many came off the tube and went straight in vs how many went via a bar or food outlet, and so on. And of course, when it's all over, where they all went.
> That sort information is hugely useful to planners.
> <cough> decades ago when I was still at school, I got to do a traffic survey for the local council. This was long before ANPR and stuff like that - it was groups of us sat in a site hut at pre-defined locations counting vehicles by type. In addition, they'd setup "checkpoints" where the police would pull over a small subset of vehicles for interview - where have you come from, where are you going, what's the purpose of the journey type of stuff - to get an idea of what the routes were that people were using.
> That's very labour intensive. IIRC there were something like 4 to 6 of us at each point, plus police and council people - and multiple counting points round the town. Other than finding out about purpose of journey, pretty well all of that can now be done automatically with strategically placed cameras, ANPR, and data crunching.
> None of this is about "Mr Smith does ..." This is all about "A thousand people do ..., B thousand do ..."
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