The city of Aalborg is using Bliptrack — the device-detecting sensor system — to measure visitor behavior during the busy Christmas period.
The success of a Christmas market or winterfete doesn’t always translate to money spent, it may simply increase foot traffic or visitor dwell time. Now, the Danish city of Aalborg is measuring exactly those quantities during its busy Christmas shopping period, using Bliptrack, the sensor system that detects devices that are using wifi.
We have already seen Bliptrack used in JFK airport to let passengers know their wait times. Now, Aalborg City Business Association has installed the system in the city centre to track visitor behavior.
The system consists of a number of sensors placed around the city, which detect nearby wifi devices such as smartphones and tablets. As a pedestrian or car moves around from point to point, they are detected by each sensor. Each device has a unique MAC address, meaning the system is able to track the user’s journey and how long they took to get from one sensor to the next. Aalborg can then use the data collected to understand the impact of events, as well as visitors’ shopping activities. The insights can help them improve business operations such as opening at optimum hours and providing the right amount of staff.
Google Maps already uses a similar system to estimate arrival times according to real-time traffic data. Where else could data like this be used?