-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 170 www.windmill.co.uk September 2012 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- We focus on the data acquisition of people counts this month - how many people went into a building, passed by an entrance, travelled on a bus or walked down the street. We also welcome back the Excel Corner after its summer break, bring news of upcoming exhibitions and conferences and round up the highlights of this months's data acquisition news. For more data acquisition news, tips and special offers, follow us on Twitter - @DataAcquisition. I hope you enjoy this issue, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing please go to Monitor Newsletter CONTENTS ======== * Windmill used in Outdoors People Counting System * Choosing a People Counting System: infra-red, thermal, video... * Excel Corner: Finding What Happened When * Data Acquisition Exhibitions * DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill used in Outdoor People Counting System ________________________________________________________ Windmill Software has written the software for the Video Turnstile outdoor people counting system. With an embedded video server, Video Turnstile lets you view live TV footage and verify the counts through our setup software over the internet, from anywhere in the world. We've designed the software to be highly versatile, so users of the system can change settings for each individual counting area. For example, you can choose whether or not to count children or to optimise the counting zone for crowds. With the help of Windmill, the bi-directional Video Turnstile system counts outside with the highest accuracy no matter what the weather. Tried and tested in sun, wind, rain, snow and ice, Video Turnstile is over 98% accurate, even in the busiest situations. CCTV cameras link to intelligent people counters which detect the people in the picture. The software regularly collects data from the people counters - every day or every hour for example - and can show the updating counts in real-time as they happen. For more details contact Windmill Software - sales[email protected] or see the Video Turnstile website: http://www.retailsensing.com/people-counting-outdoors.html ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Choosing a People Counting System: infra-red, thermal, video... ________________________________________________________ You've decided you want to count people: perhaps to monitor occupancy or see which areas of a building are most used. But which type of people counting system to choose? There are several options out there, including: - video people counting, - thermal sensors, - infra-red beams, - hand-held tally counters. Which you choose depends on your priorities, which will probaby include: 1. Accuracy 2. Flexibility 3. Directional or non-directional 4. Reporting 5. Cost 1. Accuracy =========== How accurate do you need the data to be? The best performing systems achieve 98% accuracy. But make sure that the accuracy quoted on the manufacturers' web sites is not just that for perfect conditions. Will the system meet your accuracy needs in your specific conditions? Amongst the most accurate systems are the video people counters. Here software analyses CCTV pictures and identifies people crossing a counting zone. These systems can exceed 98% accuracy. Next are the thermal sensors. Positioned above an entrance, they detect people's body heat. Quoted accuracies are between 96 and 98%. Accuracy, though, can be affected by the ambient temperature within the counting area being above or below a certain value. Low ceilings can also reduce the accuracy. With infra-red beam systems, a sensor sends a beam to a reflector on the the opposite side of the doorway. As someone passes through the beam breaks and a person is counted. These were in demand some years ago - now managers generally demand a higher accuracy and more comprehensive information to be collected. Additionally, accuracy tends to decrease with wide or busy entrances. If two people cross a beam together, for instance, only one count will be recorded. Direct sunlight onto the beam will also affect the system. Difficult conditions can bring accuracy down to 80%. Hand-held tally counters are the least sophisticated of solutions. A person stands clicking the tally counter whenever anyone passes through the entrance. This may be acceptable for a one-off people counting excercise, but is obviously unsuited to continuous monitoring. Accuracy depends on the people holding the tally counters. Tally counters were once used in nightclubs and bars to monitor occupancy, but are now being replaced by automatic counting systems. 2. Flexibility ============== For businesses with many entrances, check that your chosen solution is configurable for all the different situations in which you want to count, not only now but also in the future. The most versatile systems are video and thermal counters. 3. Directional or Non-Directional ================================= Do you need to count people going in and out? The video and thermal counters do this automatically. Some infra-red beam systems rely on you dividing the count by two, although the more expensive beam counters are directional. 4. Reporting ============ Do you need access to your data? How often? Some companies keep hold of your data and just send you reports. Others give you full access to all data so you can analyse it as you wish. Consider also how often you need the counts. Do you require the count per week, per day, per hour, per half-hour, in real-time? If you want to see your own data - in what format do you it? MySQL, xml, text...? How is the data distributed: centrally at a head office PC, locally, or both? Can authorised users grab it at any time from anywhere in the world? 5. Cost ======= Last but not least, how much is a system going to cost? Consider initial cost, future expansion, installation, technical support, any on-going charges. The cheapest option is the hand-held tally counter but this is not suitable for detailed analysis. Also, you need to take into account the cost of employing someone to stand there clicking the counting all day. Next cheapest is in the non-directional infra-red beam system, followed by the directional beam counters. Installation costs are saved with this type of system as most infra-red beam counters can be installed by businesses themselves. The most expensive systems tend to be the thermal imaging. Like the video counters, they have installation costs. However, the thermal counter has a lower field view than video counters and you may need more thermal units to cover the same width of entrance or counting zone. More Information ================ More details on counting people are in the new blog from Video Turnstile: http://retailsensing.com/people-counting/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Finding What Happened When ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel lets you enter a date, or a time, and see what the data reading was at that instant. You do this with the VLOOKUP function. For example, continuing with our people counting theme, you have a table of how many people entered a building each day. In the first column is the date. In the second column is the number of people. To find how many people entered on a specific date, you would tell vlookup the date, the extent of the data table and how many columns across to look. To find how many people entered on 8th September you could use =vlookup("8/09/2012",$A$5:$B35,2) First comes the date, second the range of the data table, third how many columns across to look up - in our case 2. To use this with our date example, you need to make sure that the first column is formatted as text and not as dates. When you import saved data into Excel from Windmill Logger, in Excel's Text Import Wizard just select text as the format of the date column. Of course, you can do this with any kind of data: temperature, pressure, strain... For more Excel tips see http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ ________________________________________________________ Data Acquisition Exhibitions ________________________________________________________ Our quarterly update of data acquisition and control exhibitions around the world. Engineering Design Show 10-11 October 2012 Coventry UK Focuses on the needs of design engineers in the mechanical and electronic fields, with a conference and workshop programme. http://www.engineering-design-show.co.uk/ Building Controls 24-25 October Sandown Park UK Building control technologies and seminars. http://www.buildingcontrolsshow.co.uk/ Perth Process & Instrumentation Technical Trade Show 31 October Perth Australia Exhibition of products and service related to automation technology. From Institute of Instrumentation, Control and Automation. http://www.iica.org.au/ Automotive Engineering 2012 7-8 November 2012 Birmingham UK See the latest engineering services, design and production technology supporting vehicle design. http://ukautoengineering.com/ Automation 2013 21-24 January 2013 Chicago USA Showcases the full spectrum of automation technologies and solutions. From traditional industrial applications to new technologies. http://www.automate2013.com/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Round-up ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our round-up of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/DataAcquisition IEEE data breach demonstrates need for increased server-level security The usernames and passwords of 100,000 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have been found unencrypted on a FTP server by a Romanian researcher, Radu Dragusin. Source: Help Net Security http://www.net-security.org/ Nestle Embeds GPS Trackers In Kit Kats Customers buying Kit-Kat bars in the UK could be unwrapping a 21st-century version of Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket - a GPS unit the confectioner will use to find them, apprehend them and give them a prize. Source: POPSCI http://www.popsci.com/ Strong Growth for Wireless Sensor Networks The wireless sensor network market, led by ZigBee, grew ten-fold from 2007 to 2010 and exceeded 45 million annual shipments in 2011. According to ABI Research, strong growth is expected for 2012 and beyond as ZigBee pervades the home automation and home entertainment markets, whilst Smart Meters continue to be rolled out across the globe. Source: ABI Research http://www.abiresearch.com/ Ethernet for cars consortium launched Alliance aims to drive wide-scale adoption of Ethernet- based automotive connectivity. Source: Industrial Ethernet Book http://tinyurl.com/8z5fkz5 Thermoelectric efficiency boost is good news for solar A way of bumping up the efficiency of thermoelectric materials has tantalising implications for the efficiency of solar panels. Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see http://www.windmill.co.uk We are happy for you to copy and distribute this newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site or publication, providing the above notice is included and a link back to our website is in place. An archive of previous issues is at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitorindex.html Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office, Manchester, M8 8QR, UK Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782 Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190 E-mail: [email protected] http://www.windmill.co.uk/ http://www.windmillsoft.com/
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