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Review: The AXIS People Counter Aids with Social Distancing


The AXIS People Counter is a tool that delivered interesting and helpful business insight uses even before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, those same features can now help protect government facilities in this new era of social distancing and strict occupancy rules for public buildings.

At its heart, the AXIS People Counter is a fairly simple and accurate tool. It’s software that can sit on almost any AXIS surveillance camera. When the camera is pointed at a door or entrance, it counts each time someone enters the building in one direction, adding to a running total. It then subtracts from that total whenever someone leaves.

Agencies Can Leverage Integrated Analytical Capabilities

This technology really shines when that data connects into some type of business intelligence or access control software, which is easily done because the people counter is written as open-source code. It also uses open-source application programming interfaces for connectivity. That data might, for example, drive a large display sign that states whether or not people can enter a facility, or whether it’s too full. Once people leave the building and the count drops, those waiting outside can receive a signal that it’s clear to enter.

Several AXIS People Counter devices can be tied together to cover multiple entrances. In that kind of setup, all of the cameras would share their ­running total whether or not people arrived or left the building via the main doors, a side hallway or a monitored employee entrance. Large entrances can also be covered using multiple people counters linked together. Each doorway can have different actions if needed, but they would all share the same overall person count to make those decisions.

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AXIS People Counter Delivers Edge Computing Advantages

Even when networked, the AXIS People Counter is designed as an edge computing device that doesn’t take up much network bandwidth. Data is stored locally on each camera, with only small blips of information sent to a central location as needed, such as when the local people count changes.

Data is stored on the camera for up to 90 days, which can be extended using an SD card for additional storage. Users can access data by operating a web interface, downloading it through the open API or integrating it with the AXIS Store Data Manager program designed to tie together multiple cameras.

Enforcing strict occupancy rules for government buildings is critically important right now. The AXIS People Counter can track that, keeping watch over multiple entrances at all times without ever missing a count or taking a break. 

AXIS People Counter Supports Social Distancing

The AXIS People Counter is an effective device for making sure that government buildings don’t become overloaded with too many people and strain social distancing guidelines. The device was originally designed for retail establishments to capture business insights, but there is no reason a state or local government that is using them can’t also take advantage of those advanced features.

The AXIS People Counter can easily share data because everything is written as open-source code. As such, the people counter can integrate its data with almost any other system that can accept open application programming interface connections. In retail settings, tying the people counter to point of sale machines can show, for example, how long it takes someone to make a purchase. At the Department of Motor Vehicles, it could reveal how long it takes people to move through the building and complete various transactions.

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Determining the Flow of People Through a Government Building

A simpler but quite useful insight could be gained by tracking peak usage hours applied over a long period of time. Agencies might discover, for example, that few people visit a facility on Tuesday afternoons and adjust staff schedules accordingly.

Alternately, officials might learn that lots of people are visiting a facility every Friday evening after work and don’t leave the building until past its closing time. That might indicate that extended hours are needed that day, perhaps at the expense of less popular days.

In the end, what agencies do with data can benefit the public. The AXIS People Counter can easily track those entering and leaving a facility, but with the support of open-source APIs, local governments can also tap into that information to become more efficient, even as they also protect their citizens and employees from viruses and other biological threats through good social distancing programs.

AXIS People Counter

Computing Platform: Self-contained edge device
Stored Data Timeframe: 90 days at each camera, or more with SD card
Mounting Height Range: 8 feet, 10 inches up to 32 feet, 10 inches
Camera Restrictions: Objects and people shorter than 43 inches tall are not counted
API: Fully open-source API



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