Low-cost infrared tracker provides a discreet way to monitor waiting times.
Standing around in lines is the perfect way to waste a good chunk of your free time, but Matthew Pegula, a software engineer for Pittsburgh-based innovation studio Deeplocal, has come up with a low-cost solution. His device is like a human traffic report, which uses Infrared Sensors to detect how many people are coming in and out of a particular location – so you can decide whether it’s worth your time.
Pegula admits that “free time is a precious thing so wasting it waiting in lines kills me,” which is why the idea came to him when he was stuck in line at a local grocery store. “I started thinking about traffic reports and wished that I could get something similar for places that I frequent.”
With nothing that met his need, Pegula created his own solution. The low-tech infrared tracker is easy to deploy, and reports back to a central server every minute or so. Unlike Foursquare and other check-in services and software, it doesn’t require anything from users or business, just set up one of the sensors and let it work.
So far, “Is It Bumpin?” has one live location, Voluto Coffee in Pittsburgh, with plans to create more in the immediate future. “Ultimately I’d love to get these to a point where they’re cheap enough to deploy anywhere by anyone. So, even if your local bar doesn’t want to install one, you could buy one on your own and put it there,” said Pegula.