‘1985’ it is not. You, as a pedestrian, are not being monitored, but your movements may be collected for improvements in your daily life.
The start-up Placemeter installed sensors and video feeds from around New York City that they use to obtain data with a little help from some handy algorithms. Their previous go around with similar technology allowed them to track pedestrian traffic hours after it had already happened. Now the Placemeter team has a map they created to enable real-time tracking, giving them data as it happens. This data may not mean a lot for most people, but for business owners or cab drivers, it could mean more revenue, if used properly. Retail stores could be better staffed during busy pedestrian periods, hours when intersections are the most crowded could have more crossing guards, or public transit could better arrange their bus schedules to better optimize their routes.
At the moment, Placemeter’s map is only able to track the intersection of Broadway and East 17th Street, but more are in the making. Check out their website for more updates (www.placemeter.com).
Give us a wave next time you’re out!