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Pedestrian path measurement technology


Posted At: 26 June 2008 09:57 AM
Related Categories: Retail Suppliers


A noted Liberal Democrat MP has been jumping on the bandwagon voicing his concerns over the tracking of customers via their mobile phones in a popular UK shopping centre this week. Everyone is entitled to air their views but it always helps if they do a bit of homework first to ensure what they do or say adds value and is factually correct!

The technology in question has been implemented by Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and is the brainchild of Path Intellegence, also based in Portsmouth.

The ‘pedestrian path measurement’ system, FootPath™, consists of a small number of discreet monitoring units which calculate the movement of customers by detecting signals from their mobile phones. Even though it doesn’t capture any personal information (and therefore has no idea who you actually are) the words ‘Big Brother’ (not the Channel 4 reality TV show) and ‘Orwellian’ have been banded around by privacy campaigners yet again, so we here at SnapShop decided it was time to let the technology developers and owners, Path Intellegence, have their say. 

Sharon Biggar a co-founder of the company says “Our system is basically the modern day version of having a market researcher installed within a shopping centre asking shoppers if they had a satisfactory visit.  But the system takes the tedium of surveying away and gathers the statistics anonymously and automatically. It’s much better for consumers than being bothered when shopping.”

And I [the author] personally don’t see it as an invasion of any of my privacy rights; as long as no one has my telephone number (and as such I don’t get any pesky marketing texts or calls) then I’m quite happy for my whereabouts to be tracked. In the end, it will make all our shopping experiences much more timesaving and, consequently, more enjoyable.

Footpath is useful for Shopping Centre managers, property owners, asset managers and managing agents. Path Intellegence can be contacted at Unit 27 The Slipway, Marina Keep, Port Solent, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 4TR or visit their website

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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