Monday, July 23, 2012

Just How Smart Is Today’s Technology?


Most people agree that our technology is getting smarter, but most don’t realize just how smart. Sure, they know their smart phones have GPS capability and their smart appliances are capable of improving efficiency, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, smart technology is around us every day. From surveillance cameras to clothing, today’s smart technology is watching us, helping us, and getting smarter because of us.


For example, let’s look at in-store surveillance cameras. In the past, the video quality of those cameras was poor. Most of us can remember watching the nightly news and seeing blurry footage of a robbery and not being able to make anything out.

Today we have two things taking place that alleviate that scenario: One, we have software that can clean up the video footage so we can see the detail, and two, we have inexpensive cameras that can replace those old, bigger cameras, and that can give us full 1080P HD video resolution at a low cost.  

Now you might be thinking: “So, what? That just means the police will be able to better identify who was robbing a store.” Actually it’s a much bigger deal than that. With today’s smart technology, companies are tapping into these video streams and, using high-speed computer analytics, are doing shopping analyses within the store, based on the security camera footage. In other words, security cameras are able to expose a wealth of sales and marketing data.   

We can see customer movements, what products they stop in front of, and how often they stop in front of them. We can see if that display at the end of the counter is working or not. At the end of each evening, we can get a report on all the traffic patterns in the store without having to watch all the video because it’s all automated. The report can show where delays are taking place in the store, where the lines are building up, where people are spending most of the time in the store, where people are not going in the store, what products are the hottest, and which aisles are being browsed and for how long.  

And that’s just information from inside the store! When you take the camera outside the store, its uses are even more amazing. 

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