Waitz at the Library

Waitz sensors installed in the McLennan-Redpath Complex and Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering, provide users with real-time data on relative busy-ness of library study areas.

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Feedback & questions

  • info.library [at] mcgill.ca (Email us)

Study area in McLennan

Know Before You Go. Waitz shows you how busy places are in real-time so you don't have to worry about wasting time.Project description

During the busiest times of the year we regularly hear from students regarding how challenging it can be to find a place to study in library spaces. In order to help address this concern, McGill Library is working with Waitz to display space use information online that shows how busy the McLennan-Redpath Complex and Schulich Library is in real-time, by floor, so that students can save time.

Visit the Waitz visualization page or download the free Waitz mobile app (available for both Android and iOS devices) to know how busy a McLennan-Redpath or Schulich workspace is beforehand.

The McGill Library will use the anonymous data collected to improve space efficiency and sustainability practices (e.g. space layout, facilities systems modifications, allocation of resources towards space maintenance, etc.) over time.

Waitz sensor in electrical outletHow does it work? Is my data protected?

Waitz uses custom IoT sensors that scan for radio signals (Bluetooth & WiFi) in an area. Scans pick up laptops, cell phones, wearables, and other connected devices. Total signal activity is analyzed to estimate the number of people. Scans see the MAC address of all devices in the area, which are immediately hashed (cannot be decrypted) on the device. This means that no one, ourselves included, can view specific MAC address information, protecting the privacy of individuals. For more information on Waitz's privacy policy click here.

The McGill Library and Waitz are committed to protecting your privacy. The Waitz service does not collect or keep data on individual people. MAC address information is immediately hashed (cannot be decrypted) and no personally identifiable information is ever processed or stored on Waitz or McGill Library servers.



How accurate is the data?

Accuracy ranges from 80% - 95% depending on the size of the location (bigger locations are more accurate).

What if I have multiple devices?

The algorithm developed ensures that Waitz can account for a variable number of devices per person.

Does Waitz track individuals?

Waitz only accounts for the total number of people and do not keep data on an individual people. While Waitz sensors do see MAC Address information, this is immediately hashed on device and no personally identifiable information is ever processed or stored in Waitz or McGill Library servers.

Does Waitz do anything else with the data?

Waitz will work with McGill Library to use the data to improve sustainability and space efficiency.

What is Waitz?

Waitz was started by 4 college students who were tired of looking around for a seat at their library, so they decided to make an app showing how busy every floor was in real-time! This was a big hit with their fellow students so the Waitz founders decided to continue spreading this service to additional college campuses. Waitz now gives real-time busyness information to hundreds of thousands of college students a day.


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