Placemeter IoT sensor helps retailers generate consumer insights

Retail businesses will soon be able to process pedestrian and vehicle data in real-time thanks to a new Internet of Things (IoT) sensor.

Placemeter, described as an urban intelligence platform, uses an optic sensor to monitor traffic before sending data to the cloud where it can be analysed using the Placemeter dashboard.

Perhaps the most important factor for small businesses looking to generate insights on consumer and vehicle traffic is how easy the sensor is to setup, with users simply having to stick the device on the inside of their shop window.

“Our new sensor reduces setup time to just five minutes; it’s the only plug-and-play urban measurement tool on the market that’s been designed from the ground up to generate this data,” explains Alexandre Winter, Placemeter CEO and founder.

“Since we launched our urban intelligence platform in June, we’ve been developing this sensor for any customer who wants to collect data on pedestrian and vehicular movement right away, without the need for a complicated installation process often requiring IT support.”

For retailers, the ability to gain urban intelligence data easily and discreetly could provide significant business benefits, enabling them to analyse patterns regarding the type of individuals that do, and do not, shop in their store. In addition, the sensor boasts low network usage and all information is processed locally without identity-detection software, so consumer privacy is protected at all times. The latter is likely to become a major consideration for many businesses collecting data through IoT devices.

Any retailers wishing to get on-board with the IoT revolution, can purchase the Placemeter sensor today for $90 (£60). What’s more, customers can trial the device for 90 days free-of-charge, which could prove appealing to smaller businesses with more stringent budget constraints.

Although the sensor is aimed at retailers, it could have a variety of uses, particularly around urban planning. By using IoT devices to evaluate traffic flows, both pedestrian and vehicular, local councils can make better use of public money by designing safer, more efficient urban infrastructure.