North American market: Solving real user problems is key

North American market: Solving real user problems is key
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.
In the area of security, law enforcement officials in US cities can do a better job thanks to IoT and the data they generate. Chicago has been cited as an example by Genetec which offers solutions in this regard. “I think Chicago stands at the forefront of data-driven policing to really bring some measurable benefits to their citizen. We are seeing a community connect initiative which leverages cameras at businesses, gas stations, corner stores and police stations so that should something go wrong, they have very fast response time from the police,” said Andrew Elvish, VP of Marketing at Genetec. “Crime rate has reduced since they introduced our product. Violent crimes and murders reduced by 25 percent and overall crime rate was reduced by 40% in the regions where it was deployed.”

Smart retail

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.
“When you shop online, you have a digital fingerprint, and the retailers know what you’re clicking on, what you have left in your shopping cart, and what your general demographic is. In a brick-and-mortar environment, you don't have that same digital fingerprint,” said Stephanie Weagle, Chief Marketing Officer at BriefCam. “Now, by transforming your video surveillance footage into actionable intelligence, you can make data-driven decisions for increasing shopper satisfaction, optimizing store layout and traffic patterns, and enhancing product placements to drive buyer behavior."
From a ROI perspective, using security equipment for business intelligence makes sense because the user can do more with their investment. Sean Murphy, Regional Marketing Manager for Video System at Bosch Security Systems, cited a case study involving its US car dealership client.
“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-based Horizon Robotics to the North American market. The company offers various smart retail solutions such as AI-embedded security cameras. “The cameras can identify and 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 Kai Yu, Founder of Horizon Robotics. “We can study all kinds of behavior through their facial orientation, their action, their body gestures and their trajectories.”

Customer service enhancement

Analytics can also enhance customer service, which is a priority not just for retail but for other sectors, too, including healthcare. Johnson Control, for example, cited how their dwell analytics is used to improve service at US hospitals. “Hospitals now are becoming more aware of customer service so they want to make sure that if someone is coming into the front desk and needs directions, they have someone come to them,” said Jammy DeSousa, Senior Product Manager for American Dynamics at Johnson Controls. “If a patient comes to a nurse station and there’s no one there, it's okay for the patient to be there and wait for a couple of minutes but after some threshold it is considered not proper to have a patient just waiting there. So we can apply our dwell analytics to notify that someone is waiting for service.”

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