LBASense proves tradition’s endurance: the Seomun Market

seomun market

June 15th 2015 – Daegu, South Korea

Crowd analytics are above all a matter of understanding human behaviours in their environment. In Asian cities, one would expect the modern and high-tech shopping malls to have forced traditional markets to shut down. A new case study from South Korea, after the first results from the Gwangyo Techno-Valley complex, seems to disprove this idea though: the LBASense case in Seomun street market.

The Seomun market we have visited is located in the city of Daegu, South Korea’s fourth largest city, more than 200km southeast from Seoul. Its history brings us back to the 17th century and the end of the Joseon Dynasty. Today appearing in the form of its reconstruction in 1920, it remains one of the most popular places to shop in Daegu. Famous for its fabric resellers and sewing services working together with South Korea’s world-renowned fashion industry, Seomun market is also a great place to go to enjoy traditional Korean food-stalls, buy fresh fish, vegetables or kitchen utensils.

To conduct this experiment in this very busy market, the DFRC team, accompanied by our local partner Sejoong IS, was equipped with a LBASense sensor, in its portable version with batteries, placed in carry-on bags.

LBASense is a location-based technology supported by mobile phone detectors, for such case equipped with GPS receiver, capable to passively count the signals transmitted by smartphones: sensors measure the number of devices in their proximity and collect data in real time with high accuracy. By aggregating data and so anonymizing it, our software creates analytical maps, enabling the visualisation of population flows and patterns.

seomun market crowd analytics

Korea has many shopping malls and department stores, however, the traditional markets are still very popular attractions. In fact, at the Seonum market, we detected over 5800 persons per hour around lunchtime. Similar results, outcome of our brief experiment in Daegu, are an example of the popularity of typical traditional markets and of citizen’s consumption habits.

Seomun is a very lively market where more than 2500 shoppers at any given time during the day are ready to serve locals and tourists, whose estimation is approximately 10 million shoppers per year. This colourful market is one of the most successful shopping areas in South Korea.

So what is the secret behind successful shopping areas? The South Korea experience suggests the key to success is probably the mix between excellent location, huge variety of products, affordable pricing and the upholding of tradition bringing all generations together. LBASense helps you to prove your premises’ attractiveness too.


An International Partnership

Since 2014, Sejoong IS and DFRC are collaborating on an integrated analysis and engagement platform, called LBV Analytics, based on video analytics technology provided by the Korean company and on mobile phone monitoring and engagement technologies, implemented by DFRC.

Credits: All original images © by Erel Rosenberg, May 2015