FAQ

General

What is Placemeter?

Founded in 2013 and based in New York City, Placemeter uses computer vision algorithms to create a real time data layer about places, streets, and neighborhoods. Placemeter’s technology gives businesses, cities, and people the ability to take a place’s pulse.

How do I get Placemeter?

That’s coming soon! Sign up for the beta to be at the front of the line when we release our beta product.

What sort of data does Placemeter generate?

Placemeter generates data about how people use spaces within a city—how many people are walking on a sidewalk in front of a store, how many fast cars are streaming past a house, how many bicyclists use a bike lane—these are all questions Placemeter answers with its real time data.

How does Placemeter generate its data?

Placemeter uses computer vision technology to generate data from any video source available to you. You can either use your existing video streams our setup a new one.

Privacy

Do you track people with your technology?

No. We count them. It’s an important distinction! We’re simply interested in the number of people walking into a certain restaurant or the number of taxi cabs driving down the street. We will never identify a pedestrian through Placemeter’s camera network. We take our commitment to public privacy with the utmost seriousness and audit our policies regularly.

Do you record video?

No. We will never record any of the video we receive from our sensors. Here’s what happens: your phone records video from the street, is run through our algorithms and discarded immediately afterwards. Furthermore, our algorithms will never track or identify individuals.

Is this surveillance?

No. Counting the number of people that walk into a grocery store, out of a department store or down the sidewalk is an old a concept as retail itself. We’re just bringing the practice into the 21st century by making the data accurate and more importantly, giving it to you in real time.

Meter Program

Wait… Placemeter is going to pay me to attach an old cell phone on my window?

Yes!

Is it hard to set up?

Nope, it’s easy. Just keep the phone plugged in and attached to the window (with the suction cup we provide you) and get paid for showing us your view.

Why does Placemeter want this data?

We’ll use the data to help consumers (aka you) make smarter decisions. We’ll let you know how long the wait is at your favorite burger joint before you get there. We’ll also help you and your neighbors crack down on speeding cars on your block. Rather than paying large corporations to set up cameras, we want to give the power to the people who live in the cities we love. The result? A better, safer place to live.

How will my privacy be protected?

The Placemeter app will not capture any information from inside your home. The only thing your cell phone will send back to us is video from outside your apartment.

Meter Sensor

What type of cell phone can I use as a sensor?

Any Android, iPhone or iPod Touch with a camera will work. Your device must be able to run iOS 6 or higher. If you don’t have the right cell phone lying around, we’ll send you a Placemeter sensor and deduct one month’s pay from your account in return.

If I have more than one window that faces the street, can I use more than one Placemeter sensor and get paid for multiple windows?

Unfortunately we’re limiting our Meters to one sensor for the time being. (But we appreciate the enthusiasm!)

Will the Placemeter app affect my wifi speed?

Placemeter’s streaming app is designed to limit the amount of bandwidth used from your home network. It shouldn’t affect your wifi network’s speed.

Meter Payment

How will I receive payments?

We’ll send payments to your existing PayPal or Venmo account.

When do you pay out payments?

We’ll send out payments the first of every month. Just like paying rent… only you’re the one receiving money instead of sending it out. We’ll prorate your first month’s pay based on what day of the month you signed up.

What if my sensor goes down for a few days?

We’ll prorate your payment so that you’re only paid for the days that your sensor is up and running. We’ll also have automatic notification tools to inform you when your sensor is down. If you sensor goes down during the workday, don’t worry—we’ll give you a grace period of 4 hours to get it back up.