A Software-First Approach To Counting People

people in between an office presentation

Smart space management has elbowed its way to the top of priority lists at corporate office buildings and higher education campuses – any location where space is at a premium – in 2022. 

From space realignment following COVID-19 shutdowns to long-range visions for flexible, sustainable spaces, space planning teams are looking at ways to modernize and improve their current strategies to counting people.

A recent report on the top 8 CIO priorities named shaping the new workforce or Coping with Covid, as a continuing theme. And smart space planning – harnessing time and space data – is grabbing a lot of headlines as geospatial insights and analytics show their value across departments. 

The pressure is on, and as experienced FCP (Facilities and Capital Planning) professionals can tell you – that’s when mistakes are made. 

When competing stakeholders are frantic, and time is running out for annual commitments, or it feels like the budget set aside for smart space planning could disappear, that’s when poor decisions are made. 

“We encourage people to consider an AI software strategy they can get up and running quickly – without having to lean on H&H (hardware and hires) habits.”


“We hear again and again that a request came down for improved data – specifically around occupancy for space planning – and oftentimes we hear customers say they felt rushed,” says Madelaine Moeke, Director of Insight and Analytics at Lambent.

“They rush to add to their list of hardware purchases, or to hire external analysts for space studies – before exploring a strategy that could be more scalable. We encourage people to consider an AI software strategy they can get up and running quickly – without having to lean on old H&H (hardware and hires) habits.”


Leveraging existing technologies such as badging systems, Wi-Fi, sensors, or cameras, the Lambent space analytics platform can usually provide occupancy numbers in about one-third the time it takes with an approach limited to a strategy that includes only hardware. That’s about 6 weeks compared to 18 weeks.

That number surprises people. The advantage of smart space occupancy analytics is that you can start assessing strategies to counting people much more quickly than you could with a hardware-first approach.

A 2021 McKinsey survey showed that companies had responded remarkably fast to adopt digital transformation plans that would have sat undone for years if they hadn’t been forced to see them as critical to their survival during a global pandemic. The good news is many of those decision-makers told McKinsey they believed those purchases would stick—if they continued to show business value. 

CIO.com reported on the 7 hottest areas of digital investment for 2022 and cited machine learning, data science, and IoT Analytics as among the largest areas of interest. (New hardware landed and private clouds landed on the ‘cold’ list.) 


There’s a push to understand occupancy analytics in new ways, although seasoned professionals are likely already familiar with the chief benefits, including operational expenses. Lambent Chief Technology Officer Chris Lord hears customers asking questions about how existing data can be used to improve the overall experience in addition to utilization.

“They want to know how to reduce wasted space, save costs on new leases, and choose carefully when expanding physical footprints,” explains Lord.  “Space planning teams also want to see a strong visual representation of occupancy data over time. They are making big decisions, and they need actionable analytics to avoid presenting point-in-time data without historical perspectives or predictive capabilities.”


Experienced facility directors and strategic space planners will tell you that, while some of the demands on them are new–many of their problems have remained the same despite years of ‘hot ‘technology’ cycles:

  • Budgeting decisions are made without reliable data to influence them.

Easy-to-understand analytics can help quiet political battles over space and dollars.

  • Underutilization rates remain high.

Historical overlays and predictive analytics are critical to increasing utilization rates.

  • Siloed reports that pull from different departments.

Scalable software that pulls data and creates visual representations and reports from across a campus provides a single source of information.

Those problems don’t exist and persist because there’s a lack of data, but because organizational data isn’t put to work. It’s allowed to sit and increase exponentially, without increasing in value as it grows.

Those problems don’t exist and persist because there’s a lack of data, but because organizational data isn’t put to work. It’s allowed to sit and increase exponentially, without increasing in value as it grows.

Although most space planning teams are under pressure to reimagine and reshape their spaces, many of their chief challenges aren’t new. This can lead to an organizational reliance on the old way of doing things, rather than exploring a new topic like machine learning or AI software.

By using software to visualize space and occupancy data across an entire organization, strategic space planners are able to address underutilization and make more informed decisions about where to increase or expand space.

“The patterns of life in our workplaces have been disrupted, and will continue to change,” says Lord. “Space planning the now space dynamics – and you will need analytics that is both smart and nimble–in real-time and predictively.”

David Smentek is the Director of Partnerships at Lambent, where he has championed deployments at premier venues around the globe. For more information on Lambent partnerships, you can reach David at david.smentek@lambentspaces.com.

To learn more about Lambent space analytics solution, you can visit our website.

Lambent Raises $12 Million in Series A Funding

Armored Things Announces Product Expansion and Name Change to Lambent

BOSTON, August 24, 2021 — Lambent, a crowd analysis and intelligence software company, today announced that it has raised $12 million in Series A financing led by Nimble Ventures, with additional new investment from Gutbrain VenturesPBJ Capital, and Micromanagement Ventures.

Existing investors Glasswing VenturesWill Ventures, and iNovia Capital also participated in the round.

The Lambent AI-powered platform provides facilities and security teams with an accurate, real-time understanding of how many, and how often people are utilizing different spaces in arenas, buildings, and on campuses. The software enables smarter decisions related to crowd density, space utilization, security, maintenance, and guest experience while also providing easy access to valuable data trends for ROI related to space management.

The company will use the new funding to continue to build out its product platform, add to its team, and accelerate its go-to-market efforts in sports and entertainment venues, and on college and corporate campuses.

“The market for crowd intelligence and analytics in sporting/entertainment venues and college and corporate campuses are poised for exceptional growth over the next few years.”


Lead investor Nimble Ventures is the early-stage focused venture arm of the family office of John Burbank, a renowned hedge fund investor who is also an investor in US and international sporting teams. 

Nimble Ventures’ Nathan Mee will join the Lambent Board of Directors. 

“Lambent has positioned itself as an early innovator in what we believe will be a huge and fast-growing market as venue owners and facilities managers respond to these changes and look for new ways to optimize their space and the guest experience.”


Earlier this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced their deployment of Lambent solution to help ensure safety and security for fans and staff at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), part of Major League Soccer (MLS), also utilizes the software at Banc of California Stadium. The University of Tennessee Knoxville has made Lambent part of its smart campus strategy.

Along with the new funding, Lambent also announced the addition of Jonathan Tice as Chief Revenue Officer. In his role, Tice leads Lambent’ market expansion with responsibility for sales and marketing, business development, and strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Lambent, Tice was Chief Customer Officer at FocusVision, a global provider of the survey, research, and analytics software for large enterprises. His background also includes successful sales leadership positions at Decipher, Critical Mix, and Authentic Response.


Lambent provides an AI-powered Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for crowd analysis and intelligence. By combining data from existing security and IT systems with predictive analytics, the software provides facilities management teams with a real-time visual representation of people and flow within any campus or venue space. Easy-to-use dashboards equip users to anticipate changes and inform decisions to improve guest services, space utilization, operations, staffing, and security. Since its founding in 2016, Lambent has built a team of security and technology experts to deliver world-class solutions to stadiums, corporations, and campuses around the country.

Learn more about how Lambent helps campuses and venues make the most of their spaces.