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How Can You Use Your Existing Cameras and IT Infrastructure to Gain Smart Data?

You want to gain smart insights into your business but don’t want to exchange your entire camera system for smart cameras? Investing in expensive counting systems is not an option for you? Now you have the chance to gain smart insights cost-efficiently using your existing cameras. How does this work? With a device for your camera, called the Swarm Perception Box. It’s a small device that enables you to gather smart real-time data with the latest AI technology, right at the camera location. The installation only needs power, internet connectivity, and a connection to the camera.

Easily control what data you get

After the plug and play installation, you can configure your device in the Swarm central management platform, using our detailed documentation. The great advantage of this self-service setup in the Swarm Control Center is that you can define the data collection according to your needs and requirements, making it fast and smart. As the picture below shows, you can draw counting areas or entry-exit-zones on the camera’s view to gather location-specific information. It only takes you a few clicks to set up and requires no special computer skills or programming knowledge. You can adjust the setup for every intersection or road. When you think about it, every street or intersection is different, so you should be able to adapt your data gathering accordingly.

What smart real-time data can you get?

As well as traffic data, as briefly described before, you can also gather smart parking, retail, and public transport data. Here is a short list of just some of the possibilities:

Retail

  • Identify the number of people entering and leaving your retail space
  • Coming soon: Estimate customers’ age range and presented gender

Traffic

  • Identify the flow of road users across intersections, sidewalks, and bike paths with entry and exit zones.

  • Identify cars, buses, trucks, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians with smart object classification

Parking

  • Recognize the occupancy rate of parking spots

  • Identify parking vehicle classes including cars, vans, motorcycles, and trucks

Public Transport

  • Identify the number of people in public transport vehicles and stops or stations
  • Coming soon: Estimate passengers’ age range and presented gender

What are the benefits?

  • It’s fast to deploy as it works with your exiting cameras
  • Make better decisions faster. You get real-time data fast, as we analyse video streams in real-time 24/7 at up to 30+ Frames per Second (FPS).
  • It’s easy to integrate into your infrastructure as we use standard Cloud, IoT and Edge Technologies
  • It’s massively scalable. 1000s of Swarm Perception Boxes could be easily managed via our central management
  • It’s much more affordable than counting systems or smart-cameras. We offer transparent and fair pricing, via a predictable all-inclusive annual fee.
  • You save time and money by purchasing only the smart component you need
  • Our smart box is a software defined sensor, meaning that new features and improvements are automatically delivered at no extra cost
Innsbruck, AustriaHow Can You Use Your Existing Cameras and IT Infrastructure to Gain Smart Data?
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How Effective are Recommendations for Staying at Home in Times of COVID-19?

Traffic Monitoring and People Insights

Measures for limiting social interactions have recently become more and more restrictive. Nevertheless, we hear news about people meeting in parks to enjoy the nice weather. Also, traffic volumes should have dropped as a result of new guidelines. Could data help in identifying critical areas and taking appropriate actions?

 

Traffic Monitoring Data

Usually, it is quite busy on the road during the week. Using the AI technology on the Swarm Perception Box, it is now easy to measure traffic by automatically counting all vehicles on a specific road with just a cheap (<€50) IP Camera. Since the data is gathered from a live video stream, you can detect what is happening on the road in real-time and generate immediate alerts. The collected data can also be used to compare traffic volumes for different vehicle types over the last hours, weeks, and months.

In the following real-world example from Austria, over the last few days, it appears that the COVID-19 measures had a significant impact on traffic volumes, causing smaller traffic peaks and lower traffic numbers in general.

Example: Counting line, for capturing traffic and pedestrian volumes

Data for People Insights

If the number of people moving on the streets and in public places is of special interest, people can be counted as well. In the graph below, real-time numbers of people walking on the street are compared to defined safe ‘crowding’ limits. The insights about events where safety limits are exceeded could support decisions about increased safety measures. As the data is collected automatically in real-time, alerts could be sent immediately.

Maintaining the Privacy of Individuals

Although traffic monitoring and data for people insights are generated with the aid of surveillance cameras, the privacy of individuals is fully protected. This is ensured through an innovative approach which “translates” video streams directly in real-time data. No picture ever leaves the camera, but messages, consisting of numbers and words, are sent to the respective operator to put the insights directly into use. Therefore, its also 100 % GDPR-compliant.

danielHow Effective are Recommendations for Staying at Home in Times of COVID-19?
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Using Traffic Insights to Master Smart City Challenges

What city does not have to deal with traffic jams, bottlenecks, or parking? These days probably very few. Therefore, all people who are living in, working in, or visiting cities have to deal with waiting times, air pollution, and frustration. So the question is, what could cities do to become more efficient and react to road usage demand?

Of course, it is not easy for cities to control how many commuters or tourists use their streets every day. Nevertheless, cities must find ways to deal with significant traffic issues. The key is reliable data for the actual traffic situation and usage patterns of streets, paths, and intersections. These insights can be used to create effective plans and respond to traffic issues.

Traffic jam in the city

Swarm Analytics enables cities to get those reliable traffic insights by providing a device for upgrading existing traffic cameras with AI technology. With the Swarm Perception Box, cars, trucks, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and busses counted and tracked in real-time. Even the directions vehicles take at intersections are recognized (e.g. zone a to b or zone b to a). With access to these granular traffic insights, more efficiencies can be created in cities. At the same time, we ensure 100 % GDPR compliance as no picture leaves the camera.

Dashboard Examples

So, how can the gathered data be put into use? Here is a real-world example of traffic insights displayed in a traffic insights dashboard. The different graphs provide an overview of the current traffic volume, capacity status and road usage, as well as historic numbers. It is even possible to gain detailed insights into the types of road users like cars, trucks, busses, motorcyclists, cyclists, and people.

Putting the Data to Use

Of course, traffic data can vary widely depending on the city, intersection or road. Here are some general recommendations for how you could use the traffic data:

  • Analyze traffic volumes, peak times and types of road users
  • Compare data of different intersections or roads
  • Adjust traffic light control
  • Forecast traffic volumes
  • Use the data as a basis for urban planning
  • And generally, streamline operations based on historical and real-time data

For more information, visit our urban traffic solution page.

Innsbruck, AustriaUsing Traffic Insights to Master Smart City Challenges