What Are Technologies to Track People?
To track people, the technologies quantify customers and staff activities in Physical Store. They measure STAY TIME in a LOCATION.
Common tracking technologies include Video, WiFi and Beacons. With People Tracking, we do Location Marketing, Location Analytics, Product Positioning, and In-Store Customer’s Journey.
Why Care About Tracking People
- Location Analytics: we measure customer engagement in zones and displays.
- People Counting: we detect the number of people entering and exiting the store.
- Queue Management: we predict how many cashiers should be active to prevent queues.
- Workforce Analytics: we optimize the schedule.
- InStore Analytics: we cover the Customer’s Journey in physical stores.
Tracking versus People Counting
Sensor vs. Device-Based Solutions
1. Vision Analytics
2. 3D Stereo Video Analytics
3. Monocular Video Analytics
4. Thermal Imaging
5. Infrared Beams
6. Time of Flight
Kinect is also a sensor that detects people in motion. The video camera, depth detector, and multi-array microphone generate a three-dimensional image of objects within the field of view. The camera also detects body-type and facial features. Kinect can distinguish objects’ depth within 1 centimeter and their height and width within 3 mm.
7. Structured Light
Structured Light projects a known pattern on a scene. The array of lights strike the surface allowing the tracker to calculate the depth and the surface of the object. People Tracking comes from 3D Scanners.
Apple, Amazon, and Orbbec are among the companies to deploy Structured Light.
8. Raspberry Pi Tracking
Open Source Raspberry Pi can be adapted as a motion tracker. This is a low cost solution, but one challenged with support and accuracy.
9. WiFi Location Analytics
10. Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons
Beacons are transmitters of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio waves signals. BLE functions in the range between NFC and GPS. The devices work indoors, which makes it ideal for communicating with customers.
The BLE Beacons allow the customer’s application to find if it is close (in proximity) to a specific location such as display or aisle. Beacons are the favorite tech for Location Marketing.
BLE technology faces three challenges: First, the layers of security require a series of opt-in. Second, due to privacy concerns many customers shy the retailer’s application. And third, WiFi/GPS technologies are improving fast to work indoors.
11. GPS Location Analytics
12. 3D Spatial Learning (Augmented Reality)
Augmented Reality will probably be the technology of Retail Future. Remember Pokemon Go. Then came Amazon Go. But first was Google’s Project Tango. You can see the future in Gap’s foray into AR Dressing Rooms.
Augmented Reality uses computer vision to enable mobile devices to detect their position relative to the world around them without using GPS, WiFi or other external signal. In essence, vision technology emulates our ability to manipulate three-dimensional objects.