AUT City Campus

Auckland University of Technology – People Counting Gold

In October Corrie Cook, Director of Space Planning and Timetabling and Blair Daly, Associate Director of Space Planning and Timetabling, presented an on-line case study, to the Tertiary Education Management Online 2021 Conference, covering their experience of identifying and resolving the problem of efficient usage of the 300 teaching spaces in multiple venues at their University.  Click here to watch the presentation.


The Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Facilities Team identified the need to effectively manage and optimise the range of university facilities across all locations and campuses. To achieve this, they needed a practical real time system to monitor changes in student attendance and analytics that would facilitate results comparisons against current and historical data.

Cohera-Tech’s experience in this field is extensive, with similar installations and data analytics programs having been installed in many major universities in Australia, which made them a natural first choice for the program.


AUT has been a university for 20 years , but a place of learning for 120 years. It is New Zealand’s second largest university in terms of student enrolment with approximately 29,000 students enrolled across five faculties and is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide by Times Higher Education. The university has three campuses in Auckland and an additional two specialist locations - AUT Millennium, Warkworth Radio Astronomical Observatory.

Presentation Summary

In their presentation Corrie and Blair have covered the difficulties encountered with other faculty members and academics, holding different views and varied solutions and their commitment to the status quo.

Corrie and Blair detail the process they used to overcome objections to “people counting”, how they tested the concept and obtained budgets for the equipment and software system and expenditure justifications used in their proposals.

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AUT Nga Wai Hono Building, Auckland     Source: Jason Mann photography

They cover their experience in installing the sensors and the development of the reporting / analytics software for their particular data requirements. They also reveal why they chose the Cohera-Tech system rather than other options.

AUT Mana Hauora Building

AUT Mana Hauora Building, Auckland     Source: Jason Mann Photography

They address the benefits that have emerged from accurate people counting in terms of both, return on investment and on real cost / efficiency gains experience from the better management of the assets under their control. Summed up by the statement “We told you so!”

They summarise with a look to the future, through the installation of other people counting systems in other areas of the university and the likely gains, now that the system has proved effective and cost saving.
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People Counting in Shopping Center

Customer Counting in Shopping Centres

The performance of any shopping centre is highly dependent on visitor traffic. Measuring the traffic is therefore an essential key performance indicator for shopping mall operators wanting to increase operational effectiveness and improve leasing strategies.

While most centres have been using some level of visitor counting, the analysis of the results has often been time consuming and accuracy sometimes doubtful.

In the past sensors have been of either the break-beam variety or thermal / heat sensing type, both of which have limitations and lack the sophistication and accuracy of the latest video based sensor systems.
Break-beam sensors can be easily blocked by displays can only count a limited flow of visitors and can often double-count loaded shopping trolleys as visitors.

Thermal sensors provide reasonably accurate thermal image counting but cannot recognise children / adult / group differences or report on them separately.

The value of shopping centre visitor counting is only as good as the reporting and analysis systems used, which convert the raw sensor counting data into useable reports that provide management information quickly and clearly.

In the past this involved the transfer of the data to excel spreadsheets and then to bar charts, graphs etc. Often this meant that data was typically ancient history by the time it was reviewed by senior managers.


Progressive Shopping Centres, Retailers and even City Councils are now using people counting systems that use high quality video sensors linked with cloud based reporting and analysis systems. 

These provide real time count reporting direct to Manager’s smart phones, tablets and PC’s. 

Analysis systems and reports are generated automatically to provide daily, weekly, monthly results and historical comparisons. 

They can even link into a retailer’s point of sale system to provide average sales per store visit indicating the effectiveness of sale staff in converting store visits to customers.


Video based counters can be set up to give separate counts for adults and children as well as counting the number of couples and family groups if required.

Managers can literally have hands-on control and real time results and graphs shown on their smartphone or tablet, no matter where they are in Australia or the World.


It is important to note that the video counting sensors are not security cameras and do not record images, they simply use a sophisticated level of video based technology that tracks and counts peoples movement patterns and translates these into accurate counts and reports. It is not possible to count people using security cameras.


Retailers based within the shopping centre are able to link into the centre’s counting system. With their own shop based counting sensors they are able to compare their customer traffic flows with those of the shopping centre to measure the pulling power of their advertising and window displays.

HOT-SPOT tracking is also available to enable centre managers to track visitor movement around the centre and isolate hot and cold activity spots for potential management action.


Leading national people, visitor and member counting organisation Cohera-Tech based in Brisbane have a range of leading edge counting sensors from the most sophisticated 3D video units to specialist counting systems for counting cars and bicycles. 

Cohera-Tech also install and support the latest reporting software used in major shopping centres and international airports throughout Europe which can be integrated with shop / tenant systems for an unrivaled performance measuring system.


  • Understand the captive & conversion rate i.e. what is the spend per visitor
  • Rank stores with each other based on visitors and sales data performance
  • Motivate stores, by sharing ranking and sales rapports with them
  • Improving sales performance at store level by receiving valuable reports based
    on key performance indicators
  • Analyse hot and cold spots in the centre based on customer flow
  • Measure occupancy of your centre in real time and its constituent floors/zones
  • Understand visitor traffic patterns across different time periods from a single or
    multiple centres
  • Determine which sections are most popular and which are mostly avoided
  • Understand how major anchor stores impact shopper traffic
  • Optimise staffing, maintenance and security based on traffic predictions