Why is Artificial Intelligence (AI) such a hype topic in nearly all industries, including retail?
The answer is in the degree to which AI algorithms open up new dimensions of data analysis and understanding. Smart software and algorithms are already very widespread. They have found their way into almost any corner of our lives. They are in our smartphones helping us to conveniently manage our day. They are in our management tools, financial products etc. One of these fields happens to be the retail sector.
However, data intelligence based on traditional algorithms reaches limits which can only be overcome with AI algorithms. They change the way information from the real world is processed. Current software makes decisions based on a limited set of rules about what output to derive from a certain input.
... and how does AI work?
AI based systems work in a similar fashion as our human brains do. We were once taught how to dissect any given situation into simple, manageable patterns. This enables us to make decisions based on our perception of the situation. An AI algorithm does just that. It derives an output based on its perception of the problem pattern. This enlarges the possibilities of any system, independent of the application at hand.
What does an AI-powered 3D sensor do differently?
As I said, AI algorithms disrupt the way software driven systems work: From fixed, predefined sets of rules to the ability to dynamically distinguish, which rules to apply. This further enhances the accuracy of our people flow measurement sensors. It minimizes the last hurdles to perfect person detection and tracking of entire customer journeys through a store.
How does that help with people flow measurement?
Intelligent algorithms allow us to extend the close to perfect accuracy of our current solution to the analysis of the whole people flow. That is where AI-powered 3D sensors excel, providing complete tracks throughout the customer journey – even in the absence of continuous visibility. Both system integrators and end customers will benefit from the new dimensions of in-store analytics and a more robust, simplified set-up.
Why should the retail industry in particular dive into AI-based analytics now?
Well, to put it simple, it is because it takes in-store analytics to a whole new level. The trends of how we will look at customer behavior in a couple of years all point towards AI-assisted methods. In the future, AI-powered 3D sensors detect, when a person grabs an article from a shelf, puts it back or makes a buying decision. They pave the way for cashier-free, unstaffed stores to become a global standard.