Company Profile

CrowdScan, a spin-off resulting from the collaboration between IMEC and the University of Antwerp (UAntwerp), specializes in crowd density measurement while prioritizing individual privacy. With the CrowdScan solution, one gains precise insights into the crowd density of a designated area during specific time intervals. Whether it’s enhancing retail dynamics in bustling shopping districts, improving safety measures at local events, or optimizing urban mobility, CrowdScan’s data emerges as a valuable asset for smart cities and their different departments.

What sets CrowdScan apart is its proprietary and patented technology. Remarkably, it circumvents the need for conventional surveillance methods such as cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or reliance on mobile devices to glean accurate, real-time, and reliable crowd data. Instead, CrowdScan’s pioneering solution leverages sensors or nodes, orchestrated by a central gateway that configures the wireless sensor network, harnesses low-energy radio waves, and employs cloud servers for comprehensive data processing and visualization.

Noteworthy attributes of this innovative solution include its cost-effectiveness, user-friendly installation, and, most importantly, its unwavering commitment to privacy, ensuring a 100% privacy-friendly approach.


How does it work?

CrowdScan’s technology is a unique method to measure crowd density. They don’t need cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or mobile devices to gather accurate, real-time and reliable data on crowds.

CrowdScan’s innovative solution only uses sensors or nodes, a central gateway to configure the wireless sensor network, low- energy radio waves and cloud servers where all the data is processed and visualized.

For instance: if you want to measure a crowd on a passenger platform
or in a shopping street. We will strategically position multiple battery- powered sensors throughout the designated area. We put the central gateway within reach of the sensors, in a radius of about 200 meters. This gateway not only configures the wireless sensor network, but also sends results to the servers.
Then, each sensor emits a low power electromagnetic signal. If passengers are present on the platform or shoppers are in the street, all the other sensors receive this signal in a weakened form.
Research has shown that this reduced signal due to the presence of people is linear with the number of people there.
Their basic service: counting the exact number of people in a certain area – the number of people present in a shopping street or at an event, the number of people waiting for a train or metro on a platform and so on. CrowdScan can measure crowds in areas of all sizes.
Taking it one step further:
CrowdScan analyses the gathered data to get more information about the movements of a crowd.
Based on previous insights and additional data sources they can predict new evolutions and movements.
The ultimate purpose is to create an integrated total solution in collaboration with the customer, tailored to specific needs or goals, enabling effective data-driven governance or improvement.

Examples of deployment



In smart cities, data is a valuable resource. Bruges, a world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage city, is no exception. Following a successful pilot project, the city is now turning to CrowdScan’s technology to measure crowd density in various areas. Main shopping streets and busy squares will be closely monitored for three consecutive years. One of the primary objectives is to provide local businesses with insights into the current crowd situation in their respective zones and to make forecasts for the (near) future. By granting law enforcement and policymakers valuable insights into the flow of people throughout the city, our data also contributes to maintaining the city’s manageability.


Lode Nulens, ICT Manager Bruges: “CrowdScan is best equipped to measure crowd density in specific zones. Each zone can be divided further into subzones, enabling us to perform even more detailed crowd analyses. Various departments, including Tourism, Economy, and Mobility, will utilize this data to support their policy making.”



TRAM Barcelona has chosen CrowdScan for a project on the real-time measurement of platform occupancy. CrowdScan equipped two passenger platforms within the Barcelona tram network. This makes TRAM the first railway operator to try out CrowdScan’s privacy-friendly measurement method in such an environment.


Enzo Castiglio Moreno, Head of Research at TRAM: “This innovative solution provided by CrowdScan gives us a unique method to measure crowd density using wireless sensor technology that utilizes low-energy radio waves. This method can be applied to any type of area without the need for cameras, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or mobile devices.”



Two digital info kiosks are placed near and on Meir which is the busiest shopping street in Antwerp. When it is too busy for cycling or driving on a scooter, they automatically turn on and drivers are asked to proceed on foot. Thanks to the privacy-friendly CrowdScan sensors, busier moments are detected. When a specific threshold is reached, a clear message appears on the digital panels of four square meters each. This way, the city authorities are able to improve safety in Antwerp’s busiest shopping street and guarantee a pleasant shopping experience.