9 ways machine vision is transforming retail

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In recent years, more and more retailers are using real-time video analytics and facial recognition to improve security, customer experience, service level, and traffic analysis. According to Corsight AI, which provides Facial Intelligence technology to leading retail chains and malls around the world, these are some of the common uses:

1. Protection of employees and customers from violence and theft. Identifying people who pose a threat because of a criminal history has been a common technology among law enforcement agencies for about a decade now. The technology that began its journey as an effective tool for identifying criminals and terrorists from a watchlist in real-time or for retrospective forensic investigations is now spreading in the private sector, especially among retail chains that suffer from shoplifting on a large scale.

2. Protection of restricted areas. While the sales floor of stores is open to everyone, areas such as the warehouse, the back office, or the control room contain expensive goods and sensitive information. They must be secured in the clerk's office against access by unauthorized parties. These areas are protected using facial recognition-based access control, which is more convenient and secure than keys or fobs. Another common method is whitelist alerting - when a person who is not on the access-authorized list is identified, an alert is triggered.

3. Identifying scenarios that indicate the potential for shoplifting. Using a new technology called Facial Intelligence, retailers can identify specific predefined scenarios typical of shoplifters, even if the individual involved is not known beforehand. These scenarios include returning to the same store with high frequency in a short time, two suspects cooperating, the interaction of one of the suspects with the staff, and other appearance patterns that indicate a high probability of a crime about to occur, allowing the security teams to react quickly and limit losses.

4. Security of facilities during closing hours and protection against burglary. When the same person is identified outside the store or warehouse with suspicious frequency or beyond the pre-defined period, the security teams trigger an alert that allows them to examine the security cameras in real time. This technology is effective thanks to the ability of advanced facial recognition algorithms to identify a specific person even in conditions of poor visibility such as darkness, fading image quality, and rain, and even when the intruder's face is partially covered.

5. Vendor policy management. Allows enforcement of the network policy regarding the place and time when suppliers are allowed to enter the site and deliver goods.

6. Queue management. While early queue management algorithms measured the length of the queue, Facial Intelligence technology measures the speed of the queue - the rate of progress and the length of the wait based on identifying specific people waiting. Another ability is monitoring the ratio between the number of customers and the number of staff members, which allows maintaining a service level policy.

7. Identifying repeat customers, even if they are not customer club members. This makes it possible to offer fast or preferred service to high-value customers and increase sales volume.

8. Analysis of buyer behavior. Provides accurate statistics based on age and gender, analysis of the ratio between the number of visitors and buyers, and many other insights that offer valuable information to management.

9. Time and attendance management. Allows management to effectively monitor the presence of employees and their presence in designated locations.

These and many other uses allow Corsight AI’s retailer clients to use their existing security cameras and harness the advanced capabilities of Facial Intelligence technology to improve security, the level of service, the customer experience, and the supervision of employees and provide a significant return on investment in a short time. The regulation on AI that previously limited the use of facial recognition in certain places becomes more supportive and allows private organizations to enjoy the benefits of the technology within a framework of proper practice.

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