September 19, 2007 We’ve all seen the seemingly ubiquitous eye in the sky cameras watching us from store ceilings and most of us have probably wondered if anyone actually monitors those things. In an effort to improve the efficiency of such surveillance, Intellivid has developed a Computer Aided Tracking (CAT) tool that incorporates a newly patented adjacency algorithm. The technology uses sophisticated video analytics to streamline video surveillance, giving the ability to seamlessly track in-store movements and create complete end-to-end footage.
Being able to track customers - or suspects - throughout their entire in-store experience offers obvious benefits in combating shoplifters – or in assisting “retail loss prevention” as Intellivid likes to call it. The system allows the operator to follow a suspect throughout the store - as the person exits a single camera view, the CAT technology signals the operator the most likely camera where the person will appear next. While the operator tracks suspects or customers across cameras, IntelliVid’s Video Investigator software instantly creates an end-to-end movie of their travels. This allows fast access to door-to-door evidence movies, which improves law enforcement’s abilities to hold and convict serial shoplifters or members of organized retail crime rings. An added benefit is the reduction of “bad stops” of innocent customers saving the law abiding some embarrassment at the store exit.
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While obviously a priority, crime prevention isn’t the only application for the system. Marketers and merchandisers can take advantage of CAT to understand in-store customer traffic flows and to improve merchandise placement. The underlying data collected by the CAT algorithm also provides retail store designers with feedback about how to achieve localization and adapt layouts to the unique needs of customers in each community. Retailers, particularly large retail chains, can find it hard to localize product assortments across their store networks so tracking and understanding in-store customer behavior can be a key driver of retail profitability. The software can also assist with people counting, multiple conversion rates and linger analysis to optimize in-store advertising, displays and product layouts while store managers can take advantage of these same features to reduce lines at checkout counters and improve customer service.
The system is also highly adaptable as it requires no pre-configuration and can even automatically adapt to the changes in floor plans and store layouts that are common in retail. Operators can use CAT on live and recorded video and track people across cameras going forward or in reverse and the system can be used with retailers existing Closed Circuit TV systems. “Our loss prevention customers frequently tell us that CAT is so fast and easy to use, they are able to create and burn evidence CDs before police arrive on the scene”, said Patrick Sobalvarro, president and CEO of IntelliVid.
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