How video contributes to smart retail

How video contributes to smart retail

AGNI Technology, a secutech exhibitor based in Taiwan, was a participant at the show’s smart retail pavilion, exhibiting its smart retail solution enabling retailers to better understand their customers.

According to Jacky Chou, GM of AGNI, the company did video surveillance for many years. Over time, the company was approached by customers asking for value-added solutions that help them do more than surveillance. The company then developed solutions for traffic monitoring and other government projects, and now it has entered retail as well.

At the base of the solution are IP cameras, including dome, box, and fisheye cameras, in which AGNI has accumulated years of expertise. The cameras then send video and other data to the cloud, where computation and analysis of this data are done. Reports and trending charts are then generated for the end user, who can then make related sales and marketing decisions or adjustments accordingly.

According to Chou, the solution is already deployed overseas, for example Korea. “Our partner has installed it at 7-Eleven stores there. Before, storeowners didn’t know which aisles were the busiest or most frequented. With our solution, they get report saying, for example, the middle aisle is mostly empty. The storeowner can then, for example, replenish the section with more attractive goods,” he said.

AGNI has done department stores as well. “They often have part-timers distribute pamphlets to customers, but they don’t know which areas have the most visitors, so oftentimes they just stand in front of the elevators blindly. With our solution, they’d know where the hotspots are, and dispatch the part-timers to those areas,” he added.

Locally, AGNI is in talks with Watson’s who has expressed its interest in the solution. It has also been approached by Secom, which makes point-of-sales (POS) devices. “Specifically, Secom’s retail customers want a solution that helps them determine the percentage of visitors who actually shopped at the store, and Secom was willing to allow us to integrate our solution into their POS system,” Chou said.

According to Chou, offering solutions is the inevitable direction that Asian security manufacturers must take, in the midst of the intense competition in the market.

“We’ve observed this trend. When you do pure manufacturing, you engage in price competition that makes it harder and harder for manufacturers to survive,” Chou said. “We don’t want to move in that direction. We work with solutions and offer value. That’s one way how we differentiate ourselves from others.”

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