Antwerp will study how tourists travel thanks to the signals given off by their mobile phones, the Gazet van Antwerpen reported on Monday. According to the Flemish paper, it is part of a large scale project that will start next year. Called “City of Things”, it is the fruit of collaboration between the Flemish Centre for Digital Studies, iMinds, Antwerp, and the provider Mobile Vikings. Sensors will be placed in the areas most visited by tourists, like the historic centre and high street, for example. These sensors will pick up the signal from their mobile phones. The aim is to study how people travel around the town.
The Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever (New Flemish Alliance) wants to start the project during the end of year sales. This technology will also allow the study of the capacity and the exact turnout at large events. According to Bart De Wever, their privacy will remain protected. “We only analyse the signal emitted, tourists will remain anonymous”, he says.