As part of a competition called the Extreme Sensing Competition we designed a novel system for sensing and counting people which has since been patented in collaboration with MIT. The goal of the competition was to count the number of people moving across a 12′ x 12′ platform. People could move across the platform in any way, including in large huddled groups, jumping, running, crawling, single file and side by side. Sensing was limited to 5 single channels of information (so cameras were not allowed, but IR sensors were). We devised a novel application for an existing technology which allowed us to win the competition and achieve over 99% accuracy.
This project was an interesting lesson in perception and belief. We were told by many of our mentors that our proposed sensing solution could never work. At times we even received what bordered on passive geek style ridicule. We persevered and succeeded in developing an interesting and potentially useful technology.
In collaboration with Nadav Aharony, MIT Media Lab.