The software company dimedis has implemented a new digital admission control system for Cologne Zoo in order to fulfill the coronavirus-related regulations. ViCo (Visitor Control), which was developed in Cologne, controls access to the zoo and counts the number of visitor to the Hippodom, the Rainforest House and the Jungle House as well as at the exit. Thanks to ViCo, the zoo controls admission fully automatically and intelligently. ViCo sensors count the number of visitors at the entrances and exits of the animal houses. Depending on how many people are already in the building, a traffic light system informs the visitors whether they can enter or whether they have to wait. When the maximum number of visitors has been reached, the traffic light changes from green to red. The zoo’s staff can set the maximum permissible number of visitors via the ViCo service app and are able to manually intervene in the access control system at any time. In addition, the zoo has access at all times to the current counter reading, the traffic light status, the configured measuring zones as well as to the parameters for the maximum number of visitors. A further expansion is planned with the installation of ViCo in the Aquarium. Furthermore, all traffic lights will be equipped with loudspeakers in order to warn the visitors acoustically.
ViCo clearly communicates when visitors are allowed to enter via a traffic light. In addition, acoustic warnings will be given (source: dimedis) Michael Wiese, Head of IT and Ticketing at Cologne Zoo comments: “After the lockdown we had to fulfil the regulatory requirements regarding the maximum number of visitors allowed in at any point of time in order to protect the health of our customers and staff. ViCo solves precisely this problem and enables us to exactly count the number of visitors thanks to the sensors and to smartly control the flow of visitors. We are able to access the system at any time via the ViCo service app. ViCo is very flexible and absolutely weatherproof. A particular advantage is the statistics that we receive by counting the number of visitors: By evaluating the measured values, we can easily deduce when and how many customers are present at which location. This enables us to take targeted measures to control the visitor flows. We also learn which attractions are particularly popular and when the visitors go to them. All these factors convinced us of the advantages of ViCo!”
ViCo records admissions via sensors and turns red when the maximum number of visitors has been reached. Shown here at the Hippodom. Wilhelm Halling, founder and managing director of dimedis GmbH: “Thanks to our expertise in visitor management at trade fairs and events, we were able to react very quickly to the requirements resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and with ViCo, developed a flexible and smart admission control system. Cologne Zoo was convinced above all else by our ability to very flexibly integrate any type of hardware for the visualisation and by the system’s suitability for outdoor use. In addition, ViCo delivers valuable information about the visitors, an aspect that will remain relevant in future over and above the coronavirus-related regulations: our ViCo customers are able to access data in a targeted manner, analyse visitor flows and in future also recognise whether visitors are wearing masks or not. In the coronavirus era, for example, batches of tickets can be activated when one always knows how many people are presently in the zoo.”