Deutsche Telekom’s ‘traffic light’ system, placed at store entrances, counts customers entering and leaving shops and restaurants.
It aims to support businesses to meet social distancing rules as they begin to gradually re-open following COVID-19 shut-downs.
When the maximum number of visitors is reached, the light turns red indicating that no further visitors can enter. If customers ignore the signal, the system sounds an alarm and an employee is notified via smartphone.
"What businesses now need is reliable solutions for the 'new normal' in times of coronavirus," said Rami Avidan, Senior Vice President for IoT at Deutsche Telekom. "The access control lighting system helps them keep their customers as safe as they can be."
The system consists of two pillars placed a maximum of five metres apart on either side of the entrance door, connected via a photoelectric barrier. Sensors detect each time a customer enters or leaves the shop, allowing the tool to calculate the number of people who are currently inside.
Austria’s A1 launched a similar product recently.
Even beyond the COVID-19 crisis, Deutsche Telekom says the IoT solution could help businesses transparently track the flow of visitors in their stores. As it visualises the footfall according to the time of day and day of the week, the system could be used, for example, to plan the numbers of staff needed more accurately, or to better schedule activities such as shelf-stacking or cleaning.
“The solution can be used in many different ways and adapted to different types of business,” a statement from Deutsche Telekom said.