OCKO: Use mobile devices popularity to measure human flow

OCKO: Use mobile devices popularity to measure human flow

How often do you leave your home without a mobile phone? If you’re a busy professional it is very likely you keep it by your side almost 24 hours a day. The same, not surprisingly, applies to many of your clients… and can help you to gain valuable knowledge about them.

A smartphone in (almost) every pocket

Using mobile devices became a part of a daily routine for people almost all around the world. Even though they are so common nowadays, their popularity is ever-increasing. In 2019 the number of smartphone users is expected to reach around 2.5 billion worldwide1 and nearly 280 millions just in western Europe.2 More than one third of the world population is likely to use a smartphone by 2018.3

We became so used to our mobile devices that many of us carry them around all day. We use them both for work and for plain fun – updating our social media profiles, checking e-mails, writing messages, talking to friends, listening to music… The list of activities is almost endless. A lot of them involve connecting to the internet, so many smartphone users keep the WiFi connection enabled on their devices all the time.

OCKO's terminals observe the movement of mobile devices

Using the potential

Realising those tendencies, we came up with the concept of using the popularity of mobile devices to measure human flow and to investigate human behaviour, such as customer visits. The main idea is simple: our system detects smartphones that are searching for available WiFi networks. When such a device appears within the range of one or more OCKO terminals, it gets unique ID. Then we can collect statistical data on the behaviour of the visitors by tracking the movement of detected devices. OCKO provides information on – just for example – the duration of a visit or movement between specified zones.

The system also identifies the returning visitors – people owning devices that were already at least once detected by an OCKO terminal and were given their ID’s.

From unique visitors, to human flow measurements

Of course, tracing the behaviour of a single visitor (which is always affected by many, often unobservable factors) is not the point. The key to gaining meaningful information and conclusions is to identify specific patterns in the behaviour of a representative group of people.

This is exactly what OCKO provides. The system does not only register human behaviour but it also filters, normalises and processes the gathered data. This takes place constantly and the system’s user can access the information that he or she needs at any time through an analytical panel. Periodically, the user also receives a report which provides answers to earlier defined questions or topics.

Some valuable information can be gathered and processed by OCKO in a relatively short time. However, the longer OCKO functions in a certain area, the more accurate information it provides. This dependency can be compared to research by polls. There is always some level of uncertainty in their results, often expressed as a margin of error. It can be reduced by using a larger sample – that is by conducting the poll on a larger group of people. It is similar with OCKO – the longer it functions, the more visitors it detects, the more data it gathers and as a result – it provides more accurate conclusions about the human flow in a defined area.

However, there is a significant difference between the information that can be provided by polls and the data that is being gathered by OCKO. Answers given by people to a questionnaire reflect their opinions but not necessarily their true behaviour. We usually perceive our own actions in at least a bit biased way and we often tend to give answers that resemble how we want to be perceived by other people, not our true thoughts. Contrary to that, OCKO records true behaviours and makes objective measurements of human flow. The analytical data and the conclusions that the system provides are based only on facts.

This is a powerful tool in a decision making process. By using it intentionally a company can, for example, improve marketing decisions and increase the return on marketing investment or adjust its offer to take full advantage of its assets.

If you are interested in our product and if you would like to learn more about OCKO, please let us know: hej@ocko.pl