US: BlueZoo Inc, maker of Party Squasher, which claims to be “the first occupancy people-counter designed expressly for short-term rental properties”, has received its sixth patent approval by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Patent application 2019 / 0172096 A1, Mobile Device Detection and Tracking, was approved on 23 June 2021. The patent describes techniques for passively monitoring the number of guests in a rental property while definitively protecting guest privacy.
The patent approval is the sixth so far, reflecting innovations supporting the understanding of people in spaces.
BlueZoo CTO Jan-Willem Korver said: “Large gatherings and parties at short-term rentals have become a real problem, both for owners and for communities. Communities are eager to find ways to avoid the problems that result from parties.
“Our engineering team is thrilled to deliver technology to measure, predict, and prevent parties – in a privacy-protected manner.”
Airbnb has banned thousands of party properties before and during the pandemic, citing concerns from communities about parking, traffic, noise, vandalism, fights, and overcrowding. Backlash from neighbours and communities has put the short-term rental business under the microscope, risking the livelihood of millions of property owners, operators and managers.
Jan Jens, founder of Florida-based luxury rental business Jatina Group, said: “Party Squasher technology lets me sleep better at night, knowing my property won’t become the next party-house headline. Innovations such as the ability to detect wifi signals while filtering out those devices that are expected enables an operator to have a good estimate of the number of guests within the property, without actually being at the property – so guests are able to enjoy themselves with complete privacy.”
According to Party Squasher, privacy protecting wifi technology protects communities better than noise monitoring devices that “fail to capture capacity, are easily tampered with, notoriously report false alarms, and only report party nuisances after the problems [e.g. the party] have begun”. It adds that wifi protects privacy better than camera surveillance [which also needs to be constantly monitored], and wifi technology is far more efficient than attempting to monitor properties in person.
Party Squasher products are designed to protect properties, hosts and guests in the short-term rental ecosystem. It is a product family from wifi innovator BlueZoo Inc, a Silicon Valley-based technology company that delivers foot traffic analytics products, including occupancy measurement.
BlueZoo’s BlueFox product family delivers solutions to the retail, hospitality, advertising and real estate industries.
Last year, Party Squasher launched Party Squasher Pro, a multi-property occupancy monitoring solution for short-term rental property management companies, to introduce capabilities that are ideal for professional property managers.
Bill Evans, CEO of Party Squasher by BlueZoo, also joined the STRz Trendsetters webinar session in December 2020 to discuss how Airbnb’s IPO would increase regulation of the short-term rental industry in 2021, and more.