Blog : Use Case

Exhibition Design: a practical application of people monitoring technology

Exhibition Design: a practical application of people monitoring technology

In the competitive, crowded and often ruthless world of exhibitions, impact is what makes the difference. Unfortunately, today everybody seeks to achieve impact mostly with beautifully crafted visuals, Scandinavian-inspired simplicity, richness of colors, interaction and open free flow spaces. Not to mention free gadgets, lots of them. The only and truly underused element that can help further differentiating a stand form another is analyzing in real time the behavior of visitors and adapt the exhibition itself accordingly


In this way, it is possible to find a way of engaging to the visitors that can reinforce and intensify the initial response to the visuals of the booth, which are often short term. This is especially true in the afternoon when fatigue is a stronger driver than curiosity. At Xetal we made an experiment, where we have started with a rather standard stand composed of banners, chairs and a table placed as indicated by the guidelines of the exhibition we were participating to.
We, then, have placed our sensors to record the density of people standing in and about the stand space to understand how they would interact with the stand itself. Our goal was to measure the effectiveness of the standard design enforced by the exhibition organizers and see how little changes could bring us an advantage on attracting visitors.


After the first day, we plotted the measurements and we could identify three classes of visitors.Interested visitors would cluster around the two persons at the stand (zone A and B) with preference for being very close and interact with them. The density of passive listeners (i.e. visitors listening to a discussion without participation) was also low as illustrated by the limited spread in areas A and B. This was a result of a relative strong presence of visitors standing at a distance (zone C) and not approaching.

From a simplistic analysis, we realized that we needed to attract people from zone C to zone A and B, even if only as passive listeners, to have a greater impact. To do that we needed to understand what was the reason for Zone C existence. It turned out that we, like all other stands, had a poster placed on the side wall as well as on the desk with the description of the exhibition itself. It was because of these posters that passing visitors could stand, read and move on instead of engaging.

For the second day of the exhibition, we removed the posters. We could already feel a change ourselves at the beginning of the day. Something the final measurements proved to be real. We were on the right track for a more impactful stand design even with such a small change. Zona A and B were no longer shallow but included a larger percentage of listeners while zone C density was decreased and, we feel, reduced to people barely curious about us.

This is just an example of how the information provided by a Xetal system could be used to determine not only presence and number of people, but also their interaction level without invading their privacy.  Subscribe to the mailing list to know more.

Night time monitoring for child care

Night time monitoring for child care

We parents all fear the same. A sleepwalking child who wanders in the house and eventually injure him/herself. This is especially true with toddlers since installing a smaller locked door is no longer effective.

Different sensors for multiple events

There are a multitude of sensor and solutions in the market that can be used to detect when a child is sleeping, standing, moving in the room, leaving the room and so on. However, each product focuses on one specific area be it the bed, the room or the door. Furthermore, even when it is possible to combine such diversity of products together, they still are limited to the events they were made for. Therefore, it is hard to detect events that could be more specific to a given child and not foreseen by the products themselves.

Real time accurate localisation is enough

A solution is to focus not on detecting events, but child position and correlating it with the location of key room elements like the bed, the door and alike. When it could be possible to distinguish if the position is close to the bed, on the bed, at what distance from the door and so on, it would be possible to detect events like sleeping, sitting, walking, standing, exiting the room and alike.
Furthermore, by combining sequences of such events of positions, it would be possible to determine more complex event detection such as sleep walking, wandering, child going to the bathroom.
We at Xetal have developed such tracking technology and are applying it with partners to the detection of these types of events and patterns. The technology has already proved effective in field such as senior care and is showing already promising results for child care.

This is just an example of how the information provided by a Xetal system could be used to determine not only presence and number of people, but also their interaction level without invading their privacy.  Subscribe to the mailing list to know more.

Making a Smart TV smart about us

Making a Smart TV smart about us

A Smart TV should be able to understand what happens around them to provide more personalised show schedules, avoid irrelevant advertisement, block channels the current viewers should not watch, and so on. Such a Smart TV would also be able to provide better parental control features, children activity monitoring, and adaptive sound and lighting.

A Smart TV must be able to understand if one or more persons are present, what they do and the type of interaction with the TV, which can be classified into focused (TV is the primary activity), monitoring(TV is secondary activity) or idling  (TV is simply background).

We need to know what people do

To get further insight on what is truly happening in front of the television, we need to be able to monitor the entire area in front of it. This can be done to a very limited extent with technologies such as cameras. However, these are considered intruding personal privacy as demonstrated by the recent backslash against smart TV equipped with them. Using information coming from personal devices nearby, like smartphones or smart watches, has also shown to be ineffective. Unfortunately, when at home they are often not in the proximity of the viewer and activity on them cannot be captured.

Simple temperature sensors can be enough

At Xetal we have developed a technology able to detect presence and position people in real time. The detection accuracy is high enough for understanding person activities such as walking, standing, sit on a sofa and so on. The technology uses only simple temperature sensors that can be embedded in existing devices such a TV set, a decoder or a TV Sound Bar. The technology is non-intrusive and allows to extract data without privacy concerns.

As an illustration of its use, a recent study was conducted using the new Xetal Development kit on a family of four (two adults and two kids). Activity was monitored when the TV was active. The figure above shows one of the several data set obtained. It illustrates the probability of viewers to be present when the TV is active. We can easily recognize two position where two viewers are most likely sitting and two most likely laying down. By combining such positional data with data on the displayed content, we have been able to determine that the sitting viewers are the children and the laying ones are the adults. Furthermore, the study has shown how children tend to watch TV more attentively that the adults, who prefer to lay down and use portable devices like tablets. Trajectory data has also been used to evaluate the TV set was active but nobody was watching, something happening mostly with adults.

This is just an example of how the information provided by a Xetal system could be used to determine not only presence and number of people, but also their interaction level without invading their privacy.