CROWD Insights™ Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is CROWD Insights™?

Taoglas CROWD Insights™ monitors the numbers, flows and dwell times of people in public areas and businesses, and sets thresholds to alert if the capacities are exceeded.

The solution is fast and easy to deploy as it’s based on the existing Wi-Fi networks already prevalent in most places today and collects anonymized data via smartphones. All that is required to deploy the solution is a consultation between our technical support team and your network administrator.

Key features include:

  • Entire solution can be deployed same day – remotely – to any facility, venue, retail store, restaurant, airport, city or town using our cloud management platform
  • Provides real-time insights and alerts on crowd and queuing situations with notifications and reports provided via a city/enterprise dashboard or an API
  • No special hardware or software is required on the Wi-Fi network or on the phones to get started
  • The solution works seamlessly with Meraki, Cisco, Ruckus, Aruba, WatchGuard and all main Wi-Fi equipment
  • Remote/zero-touch deployment
  • Highly configurable platform with the end-user ability to set up new monitoring zones as needed
  • Aligns with EU privacy and GDPR requirements

Does a smart phone need to be logged in to the Wi-Fi to be recognized by the CROWD Insights™ analytics?        

Logging into the Wi-Fi access point is not required, as long as the smartphone has Wi-Fi activated. The Wi-Fi network detects the device when within range and sends this to the CROWD Insights™ platform.

Does the solution store the MAC Address?      

The MAC address is not stored. Immediately upon detection, it is randomized in a non-reversible manner to ensure it cannot be recovered or ever used to identify the owner.

Is the solution GDPR compliant?           

Yes. The solution complies with the EU GDPR regulations and some U.S state privacy laws.

How does the solution deal with MAC address randomization?         

Some Wi-Fi vendors have heuristic algorithms to address MAC randomization at their controller level. In addition, CROWD Insights™ has various filtering capabilities to clean data and remove weak data and individual points when necessary.

Where is the data stored?         

The data is stored on the Amazon Web Services Cloud.

Can we source the data via an open API?         

CROWD Insights™ provides two APIs. One provides access to all of the analytics that are available on the platform so that customers can combine this with any other sources of data using their business intelligence tool sets. The second is a notifications API where the alerts can be sent via API to any external customer system (such as a dispatch system) to manage the venue or city.

What is the accuracy of the data presented? How do you account for the people who do not have their Wi-Fi turned on?

Global research is consistent and shows that between 60% and 90% of smartphone owners have Wi-Fi switched on depending on the location and demographic. This provides a very large sample size and our analytic models take this into consideration and will normalize the data based on these assumptions. We also utilize third-party data sources to assist with this process.

How do you test the accuracy? 

We periodically use other data sources available at the location, such as ticket scans at a conference venue entrance, or head counts from cameras or occasionally manual counts to verify the accuracy and adjust the normalization function.

How accurate is Wi-Fi location versus cellular location?

A Wi-Fi network provides much more accurate location information compared to cellular. The general rule is that a Wi-Fi network, while dependent on the Wi-Fi density, gives between 5-25 meter accuracy where a cellular network is much less dense with 200-300 meter accuracy.

How does the solution deal with people who carry more than one mobile or multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices?  

Based on the historical data acquired for a location or a type of event, the numbers are normalized and additional data sources can be used to confirm and adjust the normalization process. The platform also allows for ‘excluding’ and ‘including’ specific lists of devices.

What are the integration steps and requirements?

Depending on the access point vendor, we have a simple onboarding process. Generally, we need an API feed from the customer’s Wi-Fi network. This is typically a simple process of our team providing a destination URL that is inserted into the Wi-Fi Controller or Wi-Fi Management platform for the API to push data. Once a connection is established, the encrypted data then gets sent to our cloud platform and used for analytics and real-time insights.

What do I need to set up the service (e.g. geo location, address, etc.)?       

Depending on location, Wi-Fi infrastructure and deployment scenario (indoor, outdoor, floor maps, etc.), the customer will be sent a questionnaire where all the required information will be noted. Typically, all of the necessary steps can be completed in 24 hours.

How many floors of a venue can the system manage?          

The solution is unlimited in the number of access points, zones or floors it can support. It can also support multiple buildings, either in a campus or geographically separated.

What alarms/alerts do I have today? 

The platform allows customers to easily create a zone(s) to report on. These zones can be set with a capacity limit, and the platform will report when one or more zone(s) approaches or exceeds this capacity using amber and red alarm settings. These alarms are visual, and available via email, SMS or API.

What are the thresholds that trigger the amber and red alerts when people capacities are exceeded?

The dashboard has an amber alert set for 80% of the capacity limit and flashing red alert  when the limit is exceeded. The zone(s) capacity limit is set by the customer and can be changed at any time.

Can I view the results on my phone or laptop?          

The dashboard is web-based and can be viewed from any device with internet access (e.g. smartphone, PC, laptop, etc.).

Which Wi-Fi infrastructure is supported?

Currently, we support Meraki, Cisco, Ruckus, Aruba, DATTO/Openmesh, WatchGuard and Cradlepoint. We continue to add additional infrastructure vendors based on customer requirements.

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