WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — People walking around downtown Wake Forest may notice new, strange cameras hanging overhead.

Town of Wake Forest

The Town of Wake Forest says the devices are Internet of Things sensors, or IoT sensors. Seven have been installed along South White Street and Owen Avenue.

According to town officials, each location has three to four IoT sensors in the form of Internet Protocol, IP, cameras.

So what are they used for? Wake Forest officials say they’ll be used to gather a variety of data from key points downtown. The sensors would “collect data on crowd density during downtown events, help public safety keep track of traffic and pedestrian flow, monitor temperature and air quality, and more,” according to the city’s website.

Even with all this information, the town says cameras will not be accessible to the public. They say no personally identifiable information will be detected, sent, or stored either.

Wake Forest is paying for the project using federal COVID dollars. The town received a total of $14.5 million through the American Rescue Plan Act.

As part of a related initative, Wake Forest says they are also upgrading their fiber-optic infrastructure downtown to support greater access to public Wi-Fi.