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Artificial intelligence secures Munich's newest shopping attraction

Artificial intelligence secures Munich's newest shopping attraction
Modern shopping centers place high demands on operators and security personnel. On the one hand, security must be guaranteed in spacious areas on several floors.
Modern shopping centers place high demands on operators and security personnel. On the one hand, security must be guaranteed in spacious areas on several floors. On the other hand, those responsible want to improve the shopping experience, avoid queues and direct streams of visitors. A security solution based on artificial intelligence from Bosch partner G2K at the new Forum Schwanthalerhöhe (FSH) shopping center in Munich meets both requirements.

Shopping experience near the world-famous "Oktoberfest-Wiesn"

On a sales area of over 40,000 square metres, the Forum Schwanthalerhöhe (FSH) shopping centre has been offering an exclusive shopping experience in Munich's West End since June 2019. Located in the immediate vicinity of Theresienwiese, the venue of the Oktoberfest, the project, which has a total value of 240 million euros, includes over 90 shops and restaurants.

For the new shopping attraction on three floors, the builder, the Hamburg real estate company HBB, was looking for an intelligent security solution that would both quickly detect dangerous situations and facilitate visitor management. The video security solution was intended to relieve the security staff and minimize personnel costs, among other things by means of automated alarm messages in the event of theft or vandalism. At the same time, the cameras were to provide the basis for customer management by providing meaningful data on visitor traffic, for example, to avoid queues in front of checkouts at peak times and to recognize typical walking routes within the shopping center.

Intelligent cameras and server-based AI

Thanks to many years of experience in securing critical infrastructures, Munich-based company G2K, a member of the German Council of Shopping Centers and official Bosch Integration Program Partner (IPP), was awarded the contract for the design and installation of an intelligent security solution at the FSH. To meet all customer requirements, G2K relied on a combination of Bosch digital video cameras and its own IoT software platform, the Situational Awareness Builder (SAB), which uses artificial intelligence to evaluate security-relevant data. In a first step, the experts installed around 40 security cameras from the DINION 7000 series, which provide security in airports, shopping malls, and government buildings worldwide. Strategically distributed throughout the premises, the high-resolution IP cameras not only deliver video images, but also act as sensors and data sources for the algorithms of G2K's software platform.

Relief for the security staff

By evaluating the video data in real time using G2K's AI-based analysis tools, the security staff at the FSH is supported on three levels: Firstly, the image analysis algorithms, which are specially configured to protect people and buildings, automatically detect dangerous situations. Secondly, the Situational Awareness Builder (SAB) independently notifies the security staff via alarm messages on their headphones and simultaneously sends the relevant images to their smartphones. And thirdly, the platform not only gives the guards predefined instructions for action appropriate to the respective hazardous situation, it also detects suspicious situations in advance. The result is a new level of all-round security through preventive intervention and rapid reaction in an emergency. Furthermore, the solution significantly reduces the workload of the security personnel, who do not have to permanently watch the video stream on the screens in the control room.

Real-time data improves shopping experience

As desired, the AI-supported video analysis in the Forum Schwanthalerhöhe provides more than just security at the highest level: By intelligently linking data, the Situational Awareness Builder (SAB) also provides operators with comprehensive information on customer traffic in the shopping center, such as the course of visitor numbers over day, week and year, the density of people in certain areas (e.g. in front of escalators), as well as the walking routes and the length of time customers spend in the center. The analysis platform's evaluations provide insights into the success of special promotions or visitor flows for specific events. The center operators and shops at FSH can react to this information in a targeted manner by deploying additional staff on specific days to optimize the workflow and avoid queues.

Since the opening of the Schwanthalerhöhe Forum, the G2K analysis platform based on artificial intelligence has been ensuring preventive intervention as soon as dangerous situations arise and fast reactions in the event of incidents. In addition, the findings from data analysis help to continuously optimize processes, always with the goal of providing the customer with the best possible shopping experience.

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