Placelet is a foot traffic analytics system utilizing privacy-aware computer vision. The system was designed and developed to collect data on pedestrian behavior in an urban setting, with an aim to understand economic activity in an area. Video stream is analyzed in real time to produce (intermediate) contour data using optical flow, and the contour results are uploaded to a server for further analysis. No video is saved on device.
My contribution to the team was ideation and design, data collection schedule and network protocol firmware, and the video analysis algorithms.
The system was deployed in three stores in Downtown Boston, and also in several public places in collaboration with the Boston City Council. A small report about the project can be found here.
Additional sensor units capable of capturing noise and air quality were also constructed as part of the project.
The project won a Knight Foundation prototype grant in 2015.
News Coverage: Boston Globe