Access points detected 21,000 mobile devices in just one day

More than 21,000 mobile devices were recorded on Barnstaple High Street on just one day, according to data released as part of a pilot free WiFi project in the town.

Special access points installed across the town centre in December detected thousands of wirelessly enabled devices - with December 21 being the busiest.

Speaking at yesterday's (Wednesday) Opportunity Barnstaple event, Mike Matthews, managing director of Lineal Software Solutions, said: "We got an enormous amount of anonymous technical data - we knew where people had been, where they were and where they were going.

"With more than 20,000 devices available, this was an opportunity to talk to 20,000 people."

Visitors who logged on to the 'Barnstaple Free' network - more than 400 at peak usage - were initially redirected to the Barnstaple Town Centre website, publicising information about local businesses and nearby events.

"There are opportunities here," added Mr Matthews.

"This is a modern way of communicating with various buys of products."

Councillor Pat Barker, North Devon Council's member for economic development member, said she hoped the scheme could become a permanent fixture in the town.