Overview – Our more crowded, more urban world: an opportunity for technology OEMs


Our world is changing fast: populations are growing, and more of these increasing populations are living in cities. Mobility is cheaper and easier than it has ever been.

All of this means that people are moving more, and faster, and the world is becoming more crowded. Whether in airports, train stations, stadiums, shopping centres or city streets, the need to manage flows of people quickly, efficiently and safely has never been more pressing.

This is a problem to which technology can provide solutions – and that means that it presents an opportunity to the technology OEMs that Future Electronics serves. While the exact nature of the products and technologies that will succeed in solving the people movement problem is far from clear today, it is easy to see that certain basic technologies are bound to play a part in many effective people movement products.

NFC is an extremely secure, contactless interface for smart cards, tickets and authentication. It also has in its favour the fact that it is supported by billions of handheld devices being carried today, including most smartphones and tablets. NFC is a standard technology, and NFC readers, tags and modules are readily available today from manufacturers such as NXP Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics.

Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are becoming more interactive and easier for untrained users to operate, through touch- sensing control and speech recognition for instance. The latest generation of bright, robust displays may be installed indoors or outdoors, and they provide an always-on interface to information to help people to route themselves through public spaces, answer queries or find directions.

Infrared sensing provides a non-intrusive technology for observation and people- counting that respects people’s privacy. IR sensors and cameras may be used for people counting, to track the movement of people, and to sense occupancy, all without identifying any individual person.

This special section of FTM, dedicated to people movement, highlights the best components and systems available today for implementing these technologies. For more information about their application to people movement, or for help in implementing them, you can contact the specialists at Future Electronics via info@my-ftm.com.