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A rendition of Density's people-counting product in use at an office. Image courtesy of Density

A startup that provides anonymous people-counting software for companies has seen business boom during the pandemic.

Why it matters: As everything from offices to restaurants begin to reopen, employers will need to closely monitor capacity to prevent dangerous crowding. Smart apps can help manage the numbers and keep outbreaks to a minimum.

What's happening: Density says it has recorded more revenue over the past 75 days than over all of 2019.

  • The company says it can provide with 99% accuracy a running count of the number of people entering or exiting a physical space — without using cameras, which helps shield employee and customer privacy.

Background: Density was "born out of laziness," says Aleks Strub, the company's chief marketing officer.

  • A group of entrepreneurs in Syracuse wanted a way to easily tell whether their favorite coffee shop was crowded or not. They eventually developed proprietary depth sensors, roughly the size and shape of a showerhead, that could keep count of people.
  • The initial use case was building optimization, says Strub. With as much as 40% of workplace real estate going unused in normal times, Density could help owners get the most out of their physical space by tracking who was using what and when.

When COVID-19 hit, however, Density "pivoted to become a safety company," says Strub.

  • A couple of months ago the company introduced a feature called Safe , which provides visual feedback that lets employees and customers know it is safe to enter a space when the number of people occupying it is below a set limit per square foot.
  • The service can also send out alerts for when a conference room or other indoor space needs to be cleaned by tracking how many people have occupied it for a certain amount of time.

The bottom line: With bars, restaurants and offices only being allowed to reopen with reduced capacity, businesses will need scalable technological solutions to ensure they're following the rules.

  • "There's no world where businesses won't have to get smarter about how they use their buildings," says Strub.

Go deeper: The demand for coronavirus tests is about to increase more

Go deeper

Trump suggests he may fire Fauci if re-elected president

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and President Trump during a March briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump responded early Monday to chants from the crowd at his Florida campaign rally to fire NIAID director Anthony Fauci by saying, "Don't tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election."

Why it matters: Trump's remarks at the Opa-locka rally come less than 48 hours before polls close and a day after the White House slammed Fauci for telling the Washington Post the U.S. "could not possibly be positioned more poorly" in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump adviser Scott Atlas apologizes for appearing on RT

Scott Atlas, member of the White House's coronavirus task force. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

President Trump's favorite coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas apologized on Twitter for appearing Saturday on Russia’s state-controlled RT network, where he insisted that the U.S. is turning the corner on the pandemic and that lockdowns are actually “killing people.”

Why it matters: RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a Russian state-owned media outlet registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. This means that all of its content is labeled as propaganda attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy and laws.

Nov 1, 2020 - Health

Police break up two New York Halloween parties that drew nearly 1,000 people

Revelers in the East Village on Oct. 31. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

New York City authorities broke up two warehouse Halloween parties over the weekend and charged 28 people over the events — including for violating health codes, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Although New York coronavirus cases are still vastly below their summer and spring levels, infections are rising across the country. Earlier in October, the state reported the most coronavirus cases since May.