The Shocker Store in the Rhatigan Student Center Uses SafeSpace as Campus Re-opens

David Kidd, Director of Information Technology at the Rhatigan Student Center, is no stranger to SenSource people counting technologies. In 2012 the RSC underwent a major renovation, and part of that work included integrating a people counting system throughout the entire facility. That is how David came to know SenSource.

When meetings and discussions about re-opening started, the need for a real-time occupancy monitoring system emerged quickly. “With everchanging rules and regulations on how many people we could have in one space at a time we needed an easier way to keep track of how many customers were in the store at any given time. Being a college bookstore, back to school customer traffic had the potential to push our occupancy limits very quickly. We simply needed a quick way to know when we were at or near capacity.”

Due to his heavy involvement with SenSource products for nearly 10 years, David was prompted to reach out to SenSource to see what his options were. After reading about SafeSpace, SenSource’s real-time occupancy monitoring solution, he had his solution. “It was actually an easy decision since we already have SenSource people counting sensors installed in the Shocker Store as well as other locations in the RSC. Adding public occupancy displays using SafeSpace was a quick and easy solution we could put in place with minimal cost to get up and going.”

Once the decision was made, time was a factor in getting SafeSpace implemented. From the time I sent the email to SenSource saying let’s go, we were up and running in a matter of days. SenSource jumped on it right away. We were able to use existing displays already in the store paired with Amazon Fire Sticks to deploy SafeSpace very quickly. Because we had almost everything already in place, our implementation costs were less than $100 to get SafeSpace up and running.”

Capturing a real-time occupancy was only half the battle, as the RSC wanted to be proactive and share the counts with students, faculty, and other visitors. David decided in-store communication was good, but he wanted to go beyond that as well. “In the case of the Shocker Store, many of our students use the store’s website (shockerstore.com) to shop for their textbooks before they come into the store. The hope was that if we showed in store occupancy levels online that students & parents could decide when they could come into the store and still feel safe in the current COVID environment. We are now actively sharing store occupancy data on every webpage on our site via the SafeSpace API provided by SenSource.”

The in-store communications have been effective as well. “We have received quite a bit of feedback and questions from everyone coming in the building. It is an interesting phenomenon with the display we have at the main entrance. We’ve actually seen customers walk slowly through the door so they can see the occupancy number change. It is kind of funny to watch, but at least I know they are paying attention to it. The Shocker Store is the only location on campus doing something like this!”

While the SafeSpace solution is hopefully a temporary one for the RSC, it has been valuable. “Long-term I am not sure how SafeSpace applies for us. We are using it right now as a COVID solution to help follow guidelines. My guess is we’ll use it until we have safely moved passed the pandemic and after that who knows. But we are long-term SenSource customers and with the low implementation costs to add SafeSpace, it was a no brainer and we are so glad we are using it to keep everyone safe and informed!”


Customer Profile

The Shocker Store in the Rhatigan Student Center at Wichita State University

Application: To track how many customers were in the store at a given time, in real-time, due to COVID restrictions

Solution: SafeSpace Occupancy Monitoring Solution, leveraging SenSource VIDX Series sensors that were already in place

“We are the only location on campus doing anything like this and it gets people’s attention. Plus it was incredibly easy to implement at a low cost. Great job to the SenSource team!”
David Kidd, Rhatigan Student Center, Director of IT