Aduro Idea: Could Croatia Become First to Count People Using WiFi Signal?

Lauren Simmonds

December the 7th, 2020 – One Zagreb-based company, Aduro Idea, came up with a very interesting solution to a pressing pandemic-dominated issue back during the summer months, and it could put Croatia on the map in a very interesting way indeed.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, during the turbulent year of the coronavirus pandemic when distance is more the rule than the recommendation, one Croatian company called Aduro Idea introduced an IT system back in mid-August that will allow for the counting of people both indoors and outdoors by measuring signal oscillations in a WiFi electromagnetic field, according to Sinisa Nikolic.

The primary purpose is conceived for the security area, from mass security alarm systems that say whether or not there are people in a particular room or in a territory, to specialised applications in the form of state border protection in preventing illegal crossings.

”When measuring signal oscillation, we use only a simple WiFi transceiver that operates on a 2.4 GHz frequency that is public, and thus available to everyone. We use different techniques for signal analysis, from statistical analysis to machine learning,” Nikolic explains.

But the application can be varied; it can aid in the creation of smart buildings that optimise their energy consumption based on the number of people inside, retailers can better plan their business operations based on information about which parts of the stores are the most frequented; and smart cities can better plan their resources based on estimates of which parts of the city are more visited or populated.

”Counting individuals in a crowd is a key piece of technology for crowd control and public safety. Information such as the number, density or distribution of participants provides effective safety guidelines for public places such as stations, shopping malls and open squares, especially in these emerging circumstances,” he said.

Aduro Idea’s plans are currently in their development phase in which they will try to prove the possibility of counting people indoors and outdoors in such a manner. Then, they’ll start making a concrete product that will be able, says Nikolic, to “look through the walls”, and thanks to their product, Croatia would be the first in the world to be able to count people by watching WiFi signals and their oscillations.

“In the first phase, we need different methods to come up with a precise system for measuring the number of people in a place, and in the second phase, we’ll use the obtained research results as the final product in the form of software and hardware components.

Since the project started, the data we receive in weekly measurements shows some promising results, which is very motivating for the entire development team “, explains Nikolic, adding that the first part of measurement and modelling is planned to be completed by the end of January 2021. Aduro Idea is also being assisted in this venture by two scientists from the Department of Physics at the Faculty of Science.

Upon completion of the project, the plan is to invest approximately eight million kuna in it, in which the Call for development of new products and services arising from research and development activities – phase II of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development was important.

Aduro Idea was otherwise founded back in 2007 by Nenad Raca, and the initial focus was on software development for telecom operators. The field of activity has expanded to the media industry, catering, logistics and distribution.

Aduro Idea’s primary area of ​​expertise is the development of integration interfaces, extensive data processing and analysis, process automation, sales systems for telecommunications and the custom development of business software solutions, and their development is based on cloud technologies (Amazon and Google).

Last year, the European technology magazine CIO Applications Europe ranked this innovative Zagreb company among the ”Top 10 Telecom Solution Providers in Europe in 2019” that lead the next generation of technology leaders, having the greatest impact on the development of the telecommunications industry.

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