Extreme weather conditions prevail 1,500 metres above sea level. This is a life at the limit for technical equipment. However, photoelectric sensors in Appenzell, Switzerland, count the visitors of the Wildkirchli – for almost 30 years!
If you visit the exhibition at the hermitage, you will not only find bear bones or stone tools, but also something else that is no less historical: If you climb the Ebenalp, you will also discover approximately 30 years old ifm sensors in the cave counting the number visitors of Wildkirchli.
It is uncertain since when they have been doing this job. All we know is that they were already featured in the catalogues from 1992. “It is remarkable that this quite old and robust sensor type is still counting visitors despite the adverse weather conditions at an altitude of 1,500 metres,” says Jürgen Gundermann, General Global Key Account Manager. In the entrance and exit area, five OS sensors from ifm are installed with electronic components.
Wildkirchli has been a popular destination for tourists since the 18th century. It gives historical insights into the life of cave men during the Old Stone Age. Between 45,000 and 30,000 BC, foragers and gatherers could have used the caves as hunting stations. Prehistoric finds like stone tools and everyday objects indicate that the Wildkirchli caves were used by humans.