Retailers and malls embrace facial recognition and video analytics for enhanced security and footfall analysis

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Retailers and malls embrace facial recognition and video analytics for enhanced security and footfall analysis.

In the recent 2-3 years, an increasing number of malls and retail chains have adopted real-time video analytics and facial recognition to enhance security, customer experience and footfall analysis.
 
Some of these technologies are showcased this week at the NRF Protect Conference in Long Beach, California.


ISEG, a leading security provider for major retailers across Latin America, offers a range of solutions, including security personnel, CCTV cameras and innovative proprietary technology. Gabriel Lerner, CEO of ISEG Corp, explains:
 
"The most common reason why malls and retail chains use facial recognition capabilities is watchlist alerting. When an individual on the watchlist is detected by the facial intelligence platform connected to the security cameras, the security team receives a real-time alert.
 
Individuals are added to the watchlist for three reasons: they were captured committing acts of violence or vandalism around the mall, they were documented shoplifting inside a store and the footage was shared from the retailer to the mall's security, or they are deemed dangerous to the public based on information provided by law enforcement agencies. Quick and accurate identification of these individuals enables security teams to respond swiftly, apprehend the suspects, or prevent them from entering."
 
Protection of restricted areas is another crucial application. While the sales floor of stores is open to everyone, areas such as the warehouse, the back office, or the control room contain expensive goods and sensitive information. They must be secured against access by unauthorized parties.
 
These areas are protected using facial recognition-based access control, which is more convenient and secure than keys or fobs. In addition, when a person who is not on the access-authorized list is identified, an alert is triggered.
 
Using Facial Intelligence, retailers identify specific predefined scenarios typical of shoplifters, even if the individual involved is not known beforehand. These scenarios include returning to the same store with high frequency in a short time, two suspects cooperating, the interaction of one of the suspects with the staff, and other appearance patterns that indicate a high probability of a crime about to occur.
 
Security of facilities during closing hours and protection against burglary is another common use case. When the same person is identified outside the store or warehouse with suspicious frequency or beyond the predefined period, the security teams trigger an alert that allows them to examine the security cameras in real time.
 
Gabriel Lerner adds, “This technology is effective thanks to the ability of advanced facial recognition algorithms to identify a specific person in a crowded retail environment in conditions of low visibility, poor video quality, limited camera angles, distance, motion, facial coverage, and outdoor darkness. We've tested several technology vendors and chose to go with Corsight AI for its military-grade reliability in real-world conditions."
 
Gal Biton, Corsight VP of Sales: "In the US and EU, the regulation on AI that previously limited the use of facial recognition in comercial spaces - has recenty become more supportive.
It now allows private organisations to gain from the benefits of this technologies, within a framework of proper practice. And all major American mall groups are now moving there quickly."
 
Biton adds: "Facial Intelligence is used to enforce vendor policy, allowing enforcement of the network policy regarding the place and time when suppliers are allowed to enter the site and deliver goods. In Asia, our clients use our technology to ensure the maximum capacity allowed in the mall by authorities is not exceeded by monitoring the number of people entering and exiting the facility in real time."
 
Inside the stores, Facial Intelligence is used for queue management. While early queue management algorithms measured the length of the lines, Facial Intelligence technology measures the speed progress of the lines - the actual time of the wait based on identifying specific people waiting.
 
Detailed analysis of footfall and buyer behavior is another advantage. This techn provides accurate statistics based on age and gender and an deeper insights into visitor-to-buyer conversion rates. It also delivers many other insights that provide valuable information to management.
 
These and many other use cases allow Corsight AI and ISEG’s retailer clients to use their existing security cameras and harness the advanced capabilities of Facial Intelligence technology to improve security, the level of service and the customer experience, providing an easy-to-prove ROI.

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