Can estimote beacons count nearby devices?

I need a device to be able to keep an up to date and refreshable count of people inside a certain location region. Are the estimote beacons capable of returning the current number of people within that region?

Beacons themselves can’t do that at this time. You could however write an app which would detect when the user is in range of the beacon, and it would increment some counter, e.g., stored in your backend. (And when the user leaves, decrement it.) This will only count people with the app installed though.

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Okay thank you very much!

Please, could you indicate what ibeacon should buy to count people and what device could connect it and with what connectivity (raspberry?)

Beacons don’t count people. They could theoretically count Bluetooth devices in range, but in practice that doesn’t really work out too well. You would mostly want to count smartphones, as you can assume that 1 smartphone = 1 person, but:

  • smartphones generally don’t advertise themselves over Bluetooth, and if they don’t, you cannot detect them and count them

    • for example, iPhones only generally advertise themselves when you actively enter the Bluetooth Settings screen
  • smartphones generally rotate/randomize their Bluetooth addresses (for example, on day it’s X, the next day it’s Y), so you can never be sure if you’re counting a new device or a returning device

  • battery-powered beacons are optimized for advertising, not scanning, and if you wanted them to scan 24h a day, the battery would run out in a few days/weeks; so if anything, you’d need some wall-powered BLE scanner, not a battery-powered beacon

If you want to simply count foot traffic in a particular place, Bluetooth beacons generally won’t help you with that. I’d rather recommend looking into image processing, or maybe infrared sensors.

(The above-mentioned solution with building an app is still valid, just not very practical, as it only works for people with the app installed.)