A powerful new tool for both Architects and City Planners is now available. MassMotion is crowd control software with the ability to predict the movements of tens of thousands of unique individuals in a fully 3-D environment.

It's been used on projects like the San Francisco Transbay Terminal and the Toronto Union Station to simulate crowd movement, identify bottlenecks and replicate potential emergency scenarios. The system first imports a 3D model of the building and then simulates how people would move through it using "thoroughly tested academic research." It can then analyze how quickly it took everybody to move through and identify problem areas. This allows building designers to run numerous event simulations and tweak the design of the building as needed.

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A copy of MassMotion does cost $20,000 but it runs on a desktop computer and certainly beats yelling "fire" in a crowded theater to see what happens. [via FastCompany]