Examining Retail Video Analytic Success

By John Honovich, Published Jul 31, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

An interesting video of a Cisco account manager demoing retail video analytics [link no longer available] has been posted. In it, the Cisco manager claims that the system can tell the difference between store employees and customers and can tell if an employee has been standing around too long or on a 'smoke break'.

While I am sure there is some way to do this, the big 2 questions one needs to consider is (1) what type of customer specific optimization this requires and (2) how often is the system wrong.  It's likely that this rarely is tried in production simply because of the difficulty of solving those two questions.

The other element that strikes me about retail video analytics companies is that there are so many of them. I know of at least 10 of them and I can hardly keep track of who they are. None of them seem to demonstrate market leadership or strong traction.

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