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Density Sees Health-Care Applications for its Foot-Traffic Sensors

The San Francisco startup says that the data it provides could be used, for example, to determine which nearby hospital is the least busy before deciding where to bring a patient.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

According to Farah, a homeless shelter has also evaluated Density's technology. The shelter is interested in using the traffic data to attract more grant funding, since some grant-making organizations like to see proof of how many people a shelter serves before awarding it funds.

Public-transit systems and hospitals are among the other types of organizations that Density thinks could benefit from accurate people-counting technology. A transit authority could use Density to understand when trains are very full, or when they're practically empty. An ambulance service could use the data, for example, to determine which nearby hospital is the least busy before deciding where to bring a patient.

Anonymity and not relying on cellphones are two of Density's main selling points, especially for businesses whose customers have responded negatively to technologies that leverage cellphones to monitor traffic. For example, Nordstrom took heat from its customers in 2013 after it began testing technology from Euclid Analytics, which collects MAC addresses transmitted by cell phones' Wi-Fi signals to estimate traffic size and patterns. The retailer subsequently dropped the technology.

Density does not charge for the sensor module, which is powered via Power-over-Ethernet or through a wall outlet, though it does charge for access to the data. Annual plans cost $45 per month, while a month-to-month plan costs $95.

The company has also just announced that it has raised $4 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Upfront Ventures' managing partner, Mark Suster, who is also joining Density's board of advisors.

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