data enablers

Data Enablers: Motionloft, For Retail Traffic And More

People are always moving. They’re going in and coming out of buildings every day. But how does a retailer know how many people are coming in and out of its space?

Motionloft has those numbers.

Motionloft’s mission is to be a “pioneer in the physical world analytics industry,” said Chris Garrison, COO and cofounder of Motionloft. “We strive to help our customers measure and understand their business opportunity potential by providing them with highly accurate traffic count data, thereby becoming partners in their growth and success.”

San Francisco-founded Motionloft launched in 2010 with the intent to solve the problem of inaccurate and unavailable pedestrian and vehicular traffic numbers. Backed by Mark Cuban, the company developed a computer vision-enabled sensor that provides real-time, hyperlocal data and insights on how customers move through cities and commercial spaces. The business focuses on three main industries: retail, commercial real estate and smart city development.

“Our current generation of sensors have counted over 1 billion people and are installed in over 55 markets across the United States, as well as in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico,” said Garrison.

The hardware sensor designed and manufactured by Motionloft is equipped with an HD camera. The sensor uses a computer vision-enabled software to recognize distinct shapes. Then, the data transmits in real time and is aggregated to an online dashboard. (Check out the video of how it works.)

In the commercial real estate industry, Motionloft’s technology has been able to gather data to help lease vacant spaces quicker and at a higher dollar amount.

Motionloft’s work with smart cities has lent itself to jumping into the Internet of Things by using sensor data as it relates to urban planning, development, traffic management, public space insights, as well as data around bike and bus lanes.

But Motionloft’s work in the retail space, as Garrison said, “adds another layer of granularity to business analytics. To help retailers know and measure how many customers walk past versus into their store can effect marketing and attempts to change certain numbers.”

“By understanding the amount of pass-by traffic outside a given location, businesses can optimize their store hours in order to maximize sales potential or make adjustments to their operational and staffing needs,” said Garrison. “Motionloft’s technology boasts some of the highest accuracy standards in the industry, with ongoing monitoring of our client data streams and proactive account management.”

The business also offers an API that can integrate into retailers’ existing business intelligence tools.

Sure, having Mark Cuban attach his name to a business can be more than a badge of honor, but it doesn’t mean the business is cruising right off the bat. Adoption is a significant part of the battle.

“As with many disruptive technologies, organizations and individuals can be slow to adopt newer tools — even if those tools improve how the business is conducted,” said Garrison. “It has been critical to partner with industry experts and media outlets in order to increase exposure and to educate individuals on how our services can assist in their day-to-day jobs through improved business insights and streamlined operations.”

But as those customers keep moving around cities, real estate and retail spaces and as those numbers keep counting up, Motionloft will continue to also move forward with its technology.

“We are driving forward the capabilities of computer vision-based detection and other sensor technologies that deliver behavioral data and advanced classifiers to provide an entirely new level of insight into the consumer experience,” said Garrison.

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