Occuspace CEO Nic Halverson talks to Libraries staff while standing with the digital display presenting updated wait times. October 22, 2020
The University Libraries have joined a handful of higher education institutions across North America in deploying Occuspace, a startup technology that uses sensors to detect occupancy levels in defined spaces throughout Moody and Jones Libraries. The technology allows visitors to quickly determine how much space is left for individual use in common areas such as the Allbritton Foyer (Moody), the Prichard Family Information Commons (Moody) and the first floor of Jones Library.
“Occuspace uses sensors installed around the Libraries to monitor for Bluetooth- and Wifi-connected devices within a specific area. No device data is gathered or logged, so users maintain anonymity at all times,” said David Burns, associate vice president of Library and Academic Technology Services.
According to the Occuspace developers, Occuspace works by plugging sensors into wall outlets that scan for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth activity from laptops, cell phones, wearables and other connected devices without storing any personally identifiable information or requiring large infrastructure changes. The data shows the crowd levels of spaces like dining halls, libraries, gyms and classrooms at any given time with over 90% accuracy.
Occupancy information is displayed via the company’s free mobile app, Waitz, as well as in school provided monitors placed in the entrances to buildings and/or dedicated university web pages. The University Libraries maintain a constantly-refreshed digital display in the Goodpasture Concourse in Moody Library with up-to-the-minute data on occupancy levels throughout Moody and Jones.
The Libraries encourage users to download the Waitz app for their mobile device so they can be aware of which areas of Moody and Jones are available for immediate use.