US firm Placemeter has released a sensor to help store owners monitor pedestrian traffic moving past – and into – their stores.

The sensor itself consists of an adjustable camera, optic sensor and a CPU. The sensor uses computer vision algorithms to create a real-time data layer about the activity occurring in its field of view.

The sensor uses the local wi-fi or GSM network to push the data it collects into the cloud.

From there, accompanying dashboard software which can be installed on a PC is used to download the store’s data.

The software also allows the store owner to configure "virtual turnstiles".

When a pedestrian crosses one of these turnstiles, the sensor will record that activity. Pedestrian numbers are then presented to the store owner in real-time.

Placemeter also released an API, allowing business to take the data from the sensors and cameras to build their own dashboards or integrate the data with information from other sources.

This will allow users to correlate sensor data with sales figures; or enable data layering on top of maps; or use the data within geographic information systems.