People counting gives shopping centres a business edge

Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

The HIkvision people counting system can distinguish between different people, even if they enter in a group close together.

Hikvision has been working with the Schalkwijk Shopping Centre in Haarlem, the Netherlands using technology to help them make business decisions. Hikvision’s people counting cameras are being used to provide visitors number and flow information so the centre can maximise both customer experience and layout effectiveness.

Traditional methods of counting people going in and out of the mall were not effective for the shopping centre. They involved counting the numbers of people connecting to the centre’s Wifi. As people can walk around the mall without entering, and may not have switched their Wifi on, this was not very accurate. These methods are also limited in the information they can provide.

The centre says: “People counting is very important to shopping centres because the retailers always want to know what ‘footfall’ they are likely to expect. This information helps the larger chains, for example, to make a decision on whether or not to invest in the centre and move in.”

Cocon Security - based in Breda in the Netherlands - installed eight Hikvision dual-lens Deepinview people counting cameras (iDS-2CD6820F/C) around all of the entrances to the shopping centre. The cameras, armed with deep learning technology, are also equipped with binocular stereo vision, 3D people detection and tracking capabilities, and height filtering – all contributing to their quoted amazing 97% accuracy rate.

These cameras were picked for their accuracy, which had to be higher than 95%, and their deep learning capability, which gives the camera a lot more ‘intelligence’ to filter out ‘false alarms’, or inaccurate data. For example, it can distinguish between different people, even if they enter in a group close together. There also have the ability to track individuals and filter for ‘loitering’, which helps with the overall data analysis.

Of course, every solution will have its differences, and so the cameras were adjusted to meet the needs of Centrum Schalwijk and tailored to the environment. For example, tweaks were made to the cameras to discount prams and trolleys from the count.

Bringing the whole solution together in Centrum Schalwijk’s Security Centre is a Hikvision Blazer Express (v1.3), an easy-to-use and highly efficient intelligent video management software (iVMS) station, designed specifically to meet the needs of small- to medium-sized retail surveillance applications.

The data from the cameras can be analysed, displayed and reported on, with a function to export to the centre’s own software platform. There, the data can be displayed and reformatted into spreadsheet reports, for example. The system can integrate 16 cameras in total and simultaneously bring data from all of them to analyse. According to Hikvision, this is the only suitable solution that can bring so many cameras together and is designed to make access to data and analysis a lot easier.

Reports from the system can be configured for: Number of people entering/exiting, number of people entering or exiting and data from a single camera or multiple cameras. There is also an auto-send function which automatically sends reports to designated recipients, streamlining the process and getting accurate information to the people who need it quickly.

Centrum Schalkwijk: “We are amazed with the accuracy of the new solution – it is leaps and bounds above our previous people-counting methods. This will be incredibly useful to provide centre management with footfall information that they can use to make business decisions in the future.”


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