New Technology at Gordon & Dejope

As we look for ways to create a better experience for our residents, we wanted to tell you about new technology we are piloting in the Gordon Dining and Event Center and Dejope. We know that with the larger than expected freshman class and food supply chains, the impact in our dining halls and seating areas has been one you have navigated all year. We continue to be thankful for your flexibility and patience.

To help manage seating in our dining locations, we are currently testing capacity-monitoring technology that will soon allow students to see how busy Gordon Avenue Market and Four Lakes Market are during business hours. After a short pilot, we hope it will be fully functional by May. Occuspace is the creator of privacy-friendly occupancy monitoring sensors that determine how busy spaces are in real time. These sensors detect WiFi and Bluetooth signals from electronic devices (phones, laptops, or smart watches, for example) to estimate the number of occupants in the building. The sensors do not collect any personally identifiable information from your devices. The data is then shown on the company’s free mobile app, Waitz, that students can use to see how busy these locations are without needing to enter the building. Waitz is available for download in the Apple App Store for iOS or the Google Play store for Android. UW-Madison joins other universities that are using the technology to make the student experience on campus more convenient.

Those using the Waitz app will be able to get live updates on capacity at Gordon and Dejope so they can plan when and where to eat before leaving their room or coming from class. The technology also provides forecasts for when spaces will be busiest each week by day and hour. Occuspace algorithms take into account that people may have several devices and maintains 90% accuracy. At Dejope, the sensors will initially only be monitoring the overflow seating area in the Lake Mendota Room. As we evaluate this technology, we understand that you only have a limited time left in the semester to use Occuspace, but this pilot will help improve the dining experience for students in future years, and we appreciate your part in this exciting new program.