“Smartmat” (Smartmat Area Activity Monitor and Personnel Identification System) monitors and identifies people, animals and other objects that pass through a control volume. Among other attributes, the exemplary system implementation can count, classify and identify objects, such as pedestrians, animals, bicycles, wheelchairs, vehicles, rollerbladers and other objects, either singly or in groups. Exemplary Smartmat implementations differentiate objects based on weight, footprint and floor/wall pressure patterns such as footfall patterns of pedestrians and other patterns. The system may be applied to security monitoring, physical activity monitoring, market traffic surveys and other traffic surveys, security checkpoint/gate monitoring, traffic light activation and other device activation such as security cameras, and other monitoring applications. Smartmat may be portable or permanently installed.