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People Insights ‘Virtual Door’ for Retail Capacity Monitoring

In Retail, it is critical to always know what’s going on. Malls, stores, or supermarkets need highly accurate insights in capacity statuses and visitor numbers to measure performance and optimise operations. Having the latest data always at your fingertips in real-time also helps to improve decision making. The pandemic has made capacity monitoring and maintaining limits an even more crucial topic. Of course, while retailers have to ensure that spaces don’t get overcrowded, maintaining the privacy of people is most important. This is why our solution is 100% GDPR compliant.

Why a new capacity monitoring solution is needed? 

Typically, infrared sensors or mobile signals were used to gain capacity insights. However, there are some issues with both methods. For instance, infrared sensors become more and more unreliable in peak times, when multiple people pass the sensor simultaneously. Since it’s impossible to check the accuracy of infrared sensors they deliver black-box results the user has to trust. There are also accuracy issues with using mobile signals since phone locations can vary widely from the actual location of a person. Also, using data from mobile phones can create GDPR compliance issues. Swarm Analytics solves these issues reliably with a 100 % GDPR compliant solution since only anonymous data, but no videos are sent while ensuring high accuracy.

How to get reliable people counting insights with the new Virtual Door? 

Swarm Analytics now offers the virtual door as part of the people insights solution, bringing capacity monitoring to the next level. It’s called the Virtual Door and designed to deliver accurate capacity numbers. People entering and leaving a specific retail space are reliably counted with a smart sensor, based on Swarm Analytics revolutionary AI technology. Since this technology is designed for a three-dimensional environment, it delivers improved people counting results and capacity insights. The technology visually tracks people and recognizes the walked directions like people entering, exiting, or simply passing by. Next to that, the people insights solution offers the possibility to reliably count people in specified zones. Since the data is directly extracted from the video stream, no pictures are sent at any time, which guarantees 100% GDPR compliance.

Benefits of the new Virtual Door solution

  • Trustworthy people counting
  • Reliable capacity insights
  • Accurate counting for doors that are closer or further away
  • Smart data collection with improved deep-learning models
  • Free of charge for everyone with an active Swarm Analytics device license
  • >99% capacity accuracy
  • Still tracks people accurately if they are not visible for a short time
  • Ready to use solution
  • Fast and easy configuration

How to start using the Virtual Door?

First, you need an active Swarm Perception Box license. The device is super-fast to deploy and works with almost any IP Camera via plug & play deployment. Furthermore, it’s easily and centrally manageable in the Swarm Contor Center. In the Contol Center, the Virtual Door can be configured within 5 minutes and a few simple steps. Here is how it works:

  • Click on “Configure Solution”
  • Select the people insights solution
  • Create and adjust the Virtual Door with drag and top (yellow area)
  • Name your new Virtual Door
  • Save, and start receiving data

For a more detailed description, please read the Documentation.

Shopping Center uses the Virtual Door Solution

Our preferred solution partner Systems offers a traffic light system to manage capacity levels based on Swarm Analytics Virtual Door technology. This traffic light system is already in use at a major shopping center, which operates the access control product at all entrances to gain crowd and performance insights and comply with COVID 19 regulations.

An example picture of the access control product of our partner Systems

How to get started

As a partner of Swarm Analytics, you can get started right away and try using the Virtual Door in your Swarm Control Center now. Please contact us if you need any support. If you are not a partner yet, contact sales@swarm-analytics.com.

Innsbruck, AustriaPeople Insights ‘Virtual Door’ for Retail Capacity Monitoring
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How Can You Use Your Existing Cameras and IT Infrastructure to Gain Smart Data?

You want to gain smart insights into your business but don’t want to exchange your entire camera system for smart cameras? Investing in expensive counting systems is not an option for you? Now you have the chance to gain smart insights cost-efficiently using your existing cameras. How does this work? With a device for your camera, called the Swarm Perception Box. It’s a small device that enables you to gather smart real-time data with the latest AI technology, right at the camera location. The installation only needs power, internet connectivity, and a connection to the camera.

Easily control what data you get

After the plug and play installation, you can configure your device in the Swarm central management platform, using our detailed documentation. The great advantage of this self-service setup in the Swarm Control Center is that you can define the data collection according to your needs and requirements, making it fast and smart. As the picture below shows, you can draw counting areas or entry-exit-zones on the camera’s view to gather location-specific information. It only takes you a few clicks to set up and requires no special computer skills or programming knowledge. You can adjust the setup for every intersection or road. When you think about it, every street or intersection is different, so you should be able to adapt your data gathering accordingly.

What smart real-time data can you get?

As well as traffic data, as briefly described before, you can also gather smart parking, retail, and public transport data. Here is a short list of just some of the possibilities:

Retail

  • Identify the number of people entering and leaving your retail space
  • Coming soon: Estimate customers’ age range and presented gender

Traffic

  • Identify the flow of road users across intersections, sidewalks, and bike paths with entry and exit zones.

  • Identify cars, buses, trucks, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians with smart object classification

Parking

  • Recognize the occupancy rate of parking spots

  • Identify parking vehicle classes including cars, vans, motorcycles, and trucks

Public Transport

  • Identify the number of people in public transport vehicles and stops or stations
  • Coming soon: Estimate passengers’ age range and presented gender

What are the benefits?

  • It’s fast to deploy as it works with your exiting cameras
  • Make better decisions faster. You get real-time data fast, as we analyse video streams in real-time 24/7 at up to 30+ Frames per Second (FPS).
  • It’s easy to integrate into your infrastructure as we use standard Cloud, IoT and Edge Technologies
  • It’s massively scalable. 1000s of Swarm Perception Boxes could be easily managed via our central management
  • It’s much more affordable than counting systems or smart-cameras. We offer transparent and fair pricing, via a predictable all-inclusive annual fee.
  • You save time and money by purchasing only the smart component you need
  • Our smart box is a software defined sensor, meaning that new features and improvements are automatically delivered at no extra cost
Innsbruck, AustriaHow Can You Use Your Existing Cameras and IT Infrastructure to Gain Smart Data?
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How Can Stores Comply With COVID-19 Safety Rules?

Supermarkets and their employees are working extremely hard to provide fresh food, hygiene products, and essential items to all of us. Even when we stay home as much as possible, supermarkets remain open so we can get our essential supplies. However, preventing over-crowding can be difficult when there are too many people in the supermarket. Making sure that there are not too many people in the store at the same time is one of the major challenges supermarkets are facing. Getting it wrong can result in expensive fines, but controlling capacity manually is expensive.

Everyone, including customers and employees, is concerned about the spreading of the coronavirus. The question is, how can stores easily and cost-effectively comply with the safety rules while keeping their stores open? The employees have more than enough to do at the checkout or in the store, refilling shelves. So, there must be a better way!

The People Counting Solution for Supermarkets and Retailers

Our approach for solving this issue is real-time counting of people, going in and out of the store. This makes it possible to know, in real-time, how many people are inside the supermarket at any time. Our business partners use these counts in their newly developed traffic light system, which shows customers if they have to wait or can enter, using a red and green light.

We want to make it easy for store managers to monitor and manage the capacity statuses of their stores, so customers can be served as well as possible, while employees can focus on their daily tasks. If you are interested in this solution, please contact us directly to discuss your options and to get the system installed at your site.

Outlook

Dashboards and reports for showing these customer insights (from the in/out counting) are available, too. They could support you, in the long run, to identify changes in visitor numbers, recognize trends, and compare branches.

Innsbruck, AustriaHow Can Stores Comply With COVID-19 Safety Rules?