Fashion: Wig
Live business busyness remote indicator   (+1, -1)  [vote for, against]
remotely indicate busyness of business, live

There are three supermarkets within equal distance from my house, and any one of them would suffice for today's wants (hibiscus nose ointment, anti-badger netting, and pickled beetroot flavoured yoghurt, if you are interested)

However they are a bit busy since this infernal lockdown means they only allow a certain number of people in at any one time.

3 weeks ago when this whole thing kicked off one of them posted an update to social media, indicating the busy and quiet times of day at the shop. I went at an advertised quiet time and indeed it was quiet.

However this was manually generated, and has not been updated since, and all the other shoppers have obviously been reading the same diagram, because today at the advertised quiet time, the shoppers were queued around the block to be let in.

No, the chart needs to be updated live.

This would help smooth demand in normal times, too. A lot of people would happily go shopping at a quiet time, to the quietest shop, allowing things to run more smoothly, increase shop throughput, smooth demand, and generally make the world a happier and nicer place.

Proposed is a device, manufactured, supplied, distributed, installed and networked by a single monolithic data-hoarding entity, which would count people in and out of the premises and would generate online real-time indicators of the busyness or lack thereof of all premises. The online interface would allow recent charts and forecasts to be consulted and compared between different locations. The entire cost would be funded by advertisement sales and data-mining / scraping, so that it appeared to be free of charge both to the participating premises and to the public users.
-- pocmloc, Apr 30 2020

A feed from the checkouts (how many open & active) would probably be sufficient to indicate the "load" on the establishment, but admittedly wouldn't be so useful from the data gouging aspect. [+] for cynical commercial exploitation concealed behind an urbane, smiling mask of helpfulness and concern.

// anti-badger netting//

Oh, the mustelidae...

Was that a lucky guess, or were you cognizant of the fact that mustelids are one of the major biological reservoirs for coronaviruses ?
-- 8th of 7, Apr 30 2020

Without a booking system, there will still be a pulse of groups of people looking at the empty feed and deciding to step out, resulting in a queue.Although, albeit a smaller queue.

Door opening sensor waveform stats?
-- wjt, May 02 2020

random, halfbakery