This is the first project made in collaboration with a company. At the end of the second year of NMCT, the university college makes a list with projects suggested by companies to be realised in four weeks time. Small groups of students were allowed to pick their favourites and we were lucky enough to be paired with Ordina. Ordina is the biggest IT consultancy company of the Benelux and known as one of the best places to work at. But what does this "crowd analytics" thing do? Well, the goal of this project was to make use of Microsoft Cognitive Services to get interesting statistics about an event (an expo, a wedding, an exhibition, ...) and display these in a comprehensible way. This way event organisers would get insights where the bottlenecks are and what kind of people visit their events. On the other side, visitors can view what stands they visited and how they felt there. How does this work? Discover this by reading on or watching a video!
When a visitor enters an event, he or she can sign up at a booth. This is actually a touchscreen with a webcam and a Raspberry Pi running a UWP app. The visitor makes an account and some pictures get taken. These pictures get send to Azure to train a model to recognise the people at the event. This way the people who don't register at the booth, won't be recognised and this makes the project GDPR compliant.
Once a registered visitors starts walking around the event, Raspberry Pis and off-the-shelf webcams take pictures at a set interval and save these to a Blob Storage whilst sending a signal to the IoT Hub. An Azure Function listens to the IoT Hub and retrieves the images from the Blob Storage to send them to the Microsoft Cognitive Services, more specifically the Face API. The function compares the retrieved results to the faces of people who registered at the booth. If a match is found, all data like location, emotion, sex and age get saved to a CosmosDb. This part was done by the two people who studied for Smart Technology Creator, including myself.
The final part was done by two other people specialised in Web & App Development. They retrieved the data stored on the CosmosDb and presented it on a beautiful website build in ASP.NET Core. Administrators and visitors can log in at the same website but depending on the role of their account, they get to see different dashboards.
Administrators get an overview of all events they organised. They can create a new event, edit existing events and delete old events. But more importantly they can see the details of an event. These details are not only the date, location and description but also the statistics of the event. Because everything gets stored on the CosmosDb these statistics can be anything you want. We chose to show the visitor count (only from registered visitors because untracked visitors don't get processed, keeping GDPR in mind), sex, age and average emotion.
The administrators can get even more details by viewing the statistics of one location or stand in particular. This way they can see which stands attracted the most visitors and see where the visitors were the happiest.
A visitor can log in with the account they created at the booth. They can see what events they visited and how they felt there. Moreover they can view how much time they spend at certain locations or stands, in case they forgot the name of a company they talked to for example. As you can see the possibilities are endless!