If you've ever been on your sofa and wondered how long you might have to queue for a bike at the gym or how long the wait is for a table at your favorite restaurant, then the Density sensor could provide the answer. Designed to be attached to the entrance of a premises, the sensor captures people's comings and goings to provide real-time and historical data about the volume of traffic passing through.

Roughly the size of a sixth-gen iPod nano (the square one), the Density sensor uses infrared light to detect movement. As such, the sensor doesn't obtain personally identifiable information about anyone like video cameras do. It's also cheaper and more compact.

"Sensors don’t need to be invasive to be useful," Density CEO Andrew Farah told Gizmag. "There’s no reason privacy and people data can’t co-exist."

The data captured by the sensor and collated by the Density Application Programming Interface (API), allowing developers to integrate it into application software. The Density API is built upon the Representational State Transfer (REST) software architecture and returns JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) responses, which transmit data between a server and a web application, and supports cross-origin resource sharing.

The API uses token authentication and an application using the Density Sandbox API can make up to 200 authenticated requests per hour, per token. The live API has no rate limiting. This allows large scale collation of data across a wide range of sites.

"We sell to startups and companies that serve or sell to large networks of locations such as POS or loyalty startups, city transportation systems, non-profits, museums, universities, or marketing agencies," says Farah.

Once a business, museum or university has signed on to Density, it can create an app using the location data that best suits their customers' needs to help drive business in their direction, at no cost to the consumer.

The device can also help create unique marketing opportunities, such as the one seized by Sacramento-based startup Requested, whose users are notified of discounts available at popular restaurants when Destiny data advises that foot traffic has been slow.

On the consumer side, this translates into valuable information about the best time to visit a destination to avoid the crowds. For example, a team at UC Berkeley is adding Density sensors to school gyms and workplaces so students can check on traffic numbers from anywhere on campus.

Companies or businesses can purchase location data from Density from US$25 per location, per month, while the hardware and installation are free.

Source: Density

View gallery - 7 images