March 26, 2003
Cell Phones Will Track Traffic Flow And Crowd Density

Here's another sign of how many ways location identification technology will be used to track groups of people.

Finnish mobile operator Radiolinja Oy has developed technology to monitor traffic by tracking cell phones in cars without identifying the owner. The technology, developed as an alternative to video-monitoring systems, could also be used to monitor the flow of crowds at public events or the number of cars passing roadside billboards as a tool for advertisers.

If the resolution of the locations is sufficiently fine then this technology could also be used by stores to track the flow of people in a store and get an idea what patterns of movement people use. Since a person could be tracked to the check-out stand it may even become possible to associate movement patterns with purchase patterns.

I predict that parents who are afraid of child abduction will have location detectors embedded in their children. Then the parents will move on from using it for emergencies to using it for routine tracking of their children. The same will be done with pets that have a tendency to run away.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 March 26 01:21 PM  Surveillance Society

Jayanth said at January 2, 2004 9:18 PM:

I perfectly agree with this methodology, probably using GIS methods, traffic density/people desity on an average can be tracked and made available as an online warning for traffic jams. Specific callphone users heading towards traffic jam zones can be forewarned, by a simple sms to their phones.

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