It’s no doubt that security technologies are getting more advanced than ever. When applied properly, these technologies can work wonders for end users whose security and non-security needs can be addressed. Indeed, in the North American market, vendors are rolling out solutions that help solve real user problems in various verticals.
While it goes without saying security is the main application of security devices, more and more users are turning to them for non-security purposes in various verticals. One of them is retail, where video analytics are used extensively to make stores and shops smart.
“We can count people in the store, and we can do male/female recognition. We can look at different regions and create hotspots, seeing how many people stand in this particular area. All this information can be used to study your marketing and your accounting budget,” said Chris Day, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Ambarella.
“If you think about it, when you shop online, you have a digital fingerprint, keeping the organizations know what you’re clicking on, what you are not clicking on or what your demographic is. In a brick and mortar kind of environment, you don't have that same digital fingerprint,” said Stephanie Weagle, Chief Marketing Officer at BriefCam. “Now, by accessing the video footage, you can find out what is the traffic, where did the women go first, where did the children go, where did the men go, that kind of things. This way you can help retail organizations make better business decisions.”
From a ROI perspective, using security equipment for business intelligence makes sense because the user can do more with their investment.
“They wanted to know are they placing the tool chest in the surface bay at the right spot to minimize the trips that the technician have to get back to get the tools, because walking takes time which makes them less efficient. So we were able to go in and look at the scenario to see how often they are walking, what is the frequency, how long they spend working versus how long they spend doing something else. And we run that analysis most likely using cameras they already have so there wasn't an additional investment for them,” he said. “It helped them solve a problem. This is not a security problem, but it is a big problem for them because it cost them a lot of money. And they wanted to improve efficiency. These are the kind of things people are coming to us with, because we have gone to a level with analytics that are trusted.”
In fact, smart retail was what drove China-basedco the North American market. The company offers various smart retail solutions. “We analyze the trajectories of individual customers and recognize their behaviors. You know a lot of shoppers take a look at the product but they don't buy it. We want to know why. If we have this kind of analytical result then probably we can conclude that this thing is nice looking but probably too expensive,” said Yu Kai, Founder of Horizon Robotics. “We can study all kinds of behavior through their facial orientation, their action, their body gestures and their trajectories.”
Analytics can also enhance customer service, which is a priority not just for retail but for other sectors, too, including healthcare.