Subscriber Discussion

Can These Retail Analytic Requests Be Fulfilled?

I've had two requests for specific types of analytics this week, neither of which I have heard of previously.

Here's a brief description of each:

Analytic #1

Analytic that would analyze the amount of people coming into a store and provide a REAL TIME alert if ___ entered within ___ period of time. The idea behind this is if 25 people came into a store within 5 minutes, a store manager would be alerted and he could call additional cashiers to the front who may be stocking product. The variable in this analytic would need to be compiled over several months of counting customers, then looking at line que and establishing the metric to alert the manager

Analytic #2

This analytic would count the number of items on a counter, checkstand or conveyor and then compare the number of items to the number of items actually scanned / rung up for that specific transaction. For this to work an integration providing data from the POS would need to be provided to the Analytic server (with corresponding time sync to the POS server). The objective would be to identify sliding / sweethearting by a cashier via a forensic report. I don't see any way this could be accomplished in real time unless the register system had a streaming API

Thanks in advance if any of you can steer me to either of these as Google search is coming up empty

We have worked with Agentvi, Prism Skylabs and Shoppertrack and I think they would all handle the first request rather well. We had some major issues setting up Agentvi, but that is because we were doing it on our own as a trial and not working with a licensed installer/vendor.

Agentvi (IMHO) had the most functions so they might be a good place to go on the second request too.

This may be spot on for the first request.

This is actually something we (VideoIQ) are moving towards, but it's not released yet.

You could do something similar with any of the other "counting" analytics (from simple Mobotix, to more complex offerings from analytics companies) and a little bit of custom coding. I don't know of a 100% off-the-shelf solution targeting this application, but it is well within the boundaries of current technologies out there.

"I don't think it's rocket science to do sobut it seems most analytic providers do not include that, they just report for a single camera individually"

Agreed - and that's the problem, I can't find a provider that I can contact or refer them to. There may not be one that exists today that can provide this solution.

In Grocery most of them usually just look at the transaction totals and build the cashier staffing models off that

In this case since they also want the cashiers doing something else if there are no lines, they need that real time alert. I've told them a simple que analytic would be the easiest to achieve but they want to be proactive and get the lanes open before the lines develop

"need to count incoming traffic first, then compare to line queue to establish the metrics for the incoming alarm. Telling them to do their own count & compare of both won't fly"

I am not suggesting they do their own count / compare. My point is that the analytic solution will need to include that business logic to aggregate and compare input across those cameras. I don't think it's rocket science to do so but it seems most analytic providers do not include that, they just report for a single camera individually.

I'd think #1 would be achieved a lot cheaper and more accurately with something like simple beam sensors across the entry doors, no?

#2 is fairly standard for POS integration, although adding in the analytics to monitor the actual items in realtime is a new twist that may prove challenging...

John I'm familiar with line que products, however this will be a soulution that will need to count incoming traffic first, then compare to line que to establish the metrics for the incoming alarm. Telling them to do their own count & compare of both won't fly

I am familiar with Stoplift. Their analytic was predicated on motion / movements of the cashier away from the POS in a grocery only enviorment. I'll check if they've added the item count to their list.

That is quite the business model they've built there. I would never have guessed outsourcing video review to have done as well as they have done

Rajesh, you cannot solicit business on IPVM. If you have a product or service that meets the request, explain it here in the group with a link to appropriate resources.

The first request is definitely possible using a combination of camera and IR sensors, with analytics software. I will be happy to understand more on email and offer a solution.

As Karas said, #1 - queue line analysis / alerting appears to be commonplace. The one wrinkle I see is if you want to do the count across multiple cameras (i.e., if it's a big store with multiple entrances, the count will have to be aggregated and tracked across them).

As for #2, I have heard stories of this being real time but when one checks into it, it seems they are all off shore / overnight forensic search that uses analytics to help enhance the remote analyst's work. I assume you are already familiar with them, but for others, Stoplift is a company in that space.

what product for # 1 Brian?

#1 is very realistic and possible, and can be done today with decent accuracy, within certain constraints.

#2 is a pipe dream in the current state of the industry, unless the customer is happy to accept completey sporadic and unpredictable performance.