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Top 5 3D People Counters: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
Posted on October 30, 2023 by Admin

“Which People Counter is Best for Your Needs?”

People counters are a must-have electronic equipment for many industries. Their primary purpose is to count the number of people who enter or exit a premises. Customers require their people counter to be accurate, reliable, and to provide a set of useful metrics that add value to their business.

In the fierce global market, people counting devices would further commoditise and consolidate, and would eventually be dominated by one or two vendors. Many might assume that a top CCTV manufacturer like Hikvision would dominate the people counting device market; however, this is not the case, nor is it likely to be the case in the future. This is due to the unique set of requirements customers demand, and in this blog post, we will highlight the important factors customers consider when choosing people counting equipment, comparing between FootfallCam 3D Pro2TM [1][2], Brickstream 3D Gen2 [3], Hikvision DS-2CD6825G0 [4], Xovis PC2SE [5], V-Count Ultima AI [6].

Key Features Comparison

FEATURESFOOTFALLCAM 3D PRO2TMBRICKSTREAM 3D GEN2HIKVISION DS-2CD6825G0XOVIS PC2SEV-COUNT ULTIMA AI
Counting Accuracy99%96%92%97%99%
Counting Coverage (@3.0m)3.94m3.47m3.50m3.75m3.10m
WiFi and BLE CountingYesLimitedNoLimitedNo
AI Anomaly Detections8 AI DetectionsNoNoNoNo
Staff Exclusion– Reflective fabric
– BLE button
– Visual badge
– BLE tagNo– Visual badge– Reflective fabric
Counting Metrics– Visitor In / Out
– Outside Traffic
– Turn In Rate
– Visit Duration
– Visit Frequency
– Group counting
– Queue Counting
– Heatmap
– Visitor In / Out
– Group Counting?
– Queue Counting?
– Visitor In / Out, 
– Group counting
– Visitor In / Out– Visitor In / Out
Device APIYesYesYesYesYes
Networking Protocols– HTTPS
– BacNET
– ModBus
HTTPSHTTPSHTTPSHTTPS
Hardware Reliability– Low operating temperature
– Waterproof
– Dual OS
– Protected lens
NoneProtected lensNoneNone
Installation AppsYesNoYesNoNo
MSRP (Compare with FootfallCam)15% more expensive15% cheaper12% more expensive10% more expensive

Key Selection Criterias

  • Counting Accuracy : Ultimately, the key factor in achieving high accuracy is the power of the processor (CPU and GPU) of the people counting device. A powerful processor allows advanced block matching algorithms to produce the most accurate 3D imaging. AI functions are also computationally intensive, and only the most powerful chipset can intelligently compute the tracking paths.
  • Counting Coverage : Having a wider 3D counting area would significantly reduce the number of devices required, thus lowering the project costs. A powerful processor is required to rectify the fisheye image for 3D production. It is computationally intensive to reproduce accurate 3D imaging, especially at the edge of a fisheye lens.
  • WiFi and BLE Counting : WiFi and BLE track the signals emitted by visitors’ smartphones in their proximity. This is currently the only way to gather metrics such as Outside Traffic, Revisit Frequency, and Traffic Flow. To protect visitors’ privacy, smartphones randomise their MAC addresses. However, the wealth of data collected by WiFi and Bluetooth, when normalised against video people counting data, would provide statistically accurate trending data that most businesses need. Therefore, it remains a must-have function for a people counting device.
  • AI Anomaly Detections : To maintain a high level of data integrity at all times, we need to be able to identify issues as it happens and rectify them as soon as possible.  Intelligent AI anomaly functions have proved to be critical in  proactively identifying issues such as visual blockage by decoration, changed sensor location or noise created by a new digital signage newly installed on the wall. FootfallCam has 8x AI detection that have proven to be able to alert users in a timely manner and consistently helping to keep data to be accurate at all times.   
  • Staff Exclusion : People counting sensors are primarily designed to count visitors, not staff. Among different vendors, various staff exclusion methods are available to meet specific requirements. FootfallCam 3D Pro2 offers all 5 staff exclusion methods, allowing customers to choose the most suitable method for producing data that accurately reflects visitor behavior.
  • Counting Metrics : Visitor In / Out, Outside Traffic, Turn In Rate, Visit Duration, Visit Frequency, Group Counting, Queue Counting, Heatmap
  • Device API : Most people counter vendors offer device-level APIs that enable system integrators and ISVs to integrate people counting data into their customers’ corporate data infrastructure. 
  • Networking Protocols : All people counters offer Ethernet connectivity. FootfallCam also offers BACnet and Modbus protocol support, which is often essential if the people counting sensors need to be connected to a smart building infrastructure.
  • Hardware Reliability : FootfallCam has deployed over 300,000 devices globally and has proven to have a very low failure rate. The current life expectancy is 25 years. The factors below are some of the main reasons for achieving high device reliability:
    (i) Low Operating Temperature – The key determining factor for the lifespan of electronic components is temperature. Higher temperatures statistically reduce the expected lifespan of an electronic device. The entire casing of the FootfallCam 3D Pro2 is made of a unibody aluminum that is attached to the processor, thus acting as a giant heatsink to keep the operational temperature low at all times.
    (ii) Dual OS – A people counter is effectively a computer on the ceiling running a Linux OS with a large amount of I/O. Similar to many server computers, it is susceptible to OS corruption in the event of electricity spikes or sudden power-offs. It can often be costly to visit the site and rebuild the corrupted part of the operating system. FootfallCam has a backup OS that automatically rebuilds the entire OS when corruption is detected.
    (iii) Waterproof – Water leakage from the ceiling is a major cause of failures for a people counter. FootfallCam is waterproof and can survive any water leakage.
    (iv) Protected Lens – 3D stereo vision is a sensitive electronic equipment, and any pressure directly applied to the camera lens may shift the position of the camera, thus corrupting the 3D image. FootfallCam has an external layer of glass to protect against accidental damage during maintenance and installation.
  • Installation Apps : People counting devices are considered specialist equipment, and in order to empower field personnel to install and maintain these devices, an app is essential to assist in controlling access rights and performing various diagnostic procedures. This app is crucial for maintaining device availability and data integrity.
  • Price : Having a competitive price indicates a vendor’s potential in dominating the market segment in the future. In the competitive global market, consolidation is expected and customers would expect their vendors to be around for the foreseeable future as switching vendors at a later stage would be cost prohibitive and disruptive.

Summary : FootfallCam is emerging as the dominant people counter vendor. Since 2020, the FootfallCam 3D Pro2TM has become the world’s top-selling people counter. The primary reasons behind this success are its optimal performance-price ratio, exceptional accuracy, and proven reliability. Additionally, FootfallCam’s focused approach to specific people counting market segments, along with our close relationships with system integrators and end users, enables us to consistently enhance our features and deliver added business value to our customers.

Notable Mentions: 

  1. Irisys Vector 4D (www.irisys.net/vector-4d-people-counter) : Irisys has stopped the production of people counters since Q1 2023. One of the reasons is that the use of ToF does not work well in all environments [7].
  2. Axis P8815-2 (www.axis.com/axis-p8815-2-3d-people-counter) : Axis is a reputable IP camera manufacturer. While they produce well-engineered products, their limited focus on people counting devices has caused them to fall short in meeting all customer demands. As a result, they are not gaining traction in the market.
  3. Megacount 3D People Counter (www.megacount.io/stereo: A Russian-made people counting device that offers a competitive price. However, its accuracy and reliability issues have limited its adoption in the market.
  4. Delopt RV3D ULTRA+ (www.delopt.co.in/people-counting-solution) : An Indian-made device. It is a decent hardware, but it is limited in functionality. Its price is not competitive, thus it has limited traction outside India.
  5. ShopperTrak Orbit 8 DDORB1801 (www.sensormatic.com/shoppertrak-people-counting) : As part of the Johnson Controls conglomerate, it is a well-made people counting device that performs its basic functions effectively. However, the product is reserved for existing Johnson Controls customers.
  6. Hella APS-90E (www.people-sensing.com) : A well-made people counter manufactured by the German automotive component conglomerate. It performs its basic counting functions effectively, but its lack of focus and high price have limited its market penetration.

References:

  1. “FootfallCam Webinar: 3D Pro2 (Product Training Level 1)”. by FootfallCam. January 2023.
  2. “FootfallCam 3D Pro2TM People Counter”. by FootfallCam. January 2022.
  3. “Brickstream 3D Gen2”. by Teledyne FLIR.
  4. “Hikvision Dual Lens People Counting Network Camera”. by Hikvision
  5. “Xovis PC2SE Sensor”. by Xovis.
  6. “Ultima AI – Human Detection Sensor”. by V-Count.
  7. “Debunking The Myths Of Time Of Flight People Counting”. by Irisys. December 2021. 

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