Video analytics refers to the use of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically analyze and interpret video footage captured by surveillance cameras. This technology has transformed the way businesses operate, empowering them to detect and respond to any security threats in real time.
For instance, organizations can use video analytics for object detection and tracking– such as vehicles, people, or animals. Facial recognition, behavior analysis, and crowd monitoring are other ways video analytics allows companies to identify individuals, analyze any suspicious movement patterns– like loitering or trespassing– and manage large crowds.
But, the benefits of video analytics also transcend security and allow for various other upsides– including optimized operations, cost reductions, improved customer experience, and data insights.
Organizations can use video analytics to optimize their operations by monitoring processes and identifying areas for improvement. For instance, a retail business could use video analytics to monitor foot traffic in stores and identify peak shopping periods. This insight could then allow the management team to adjust staffing levels and boost customer service.
Similarly, a manufacturer could use video analytics to study production processes in order to identify any bottlenecks in manufacturing. Then, depending on the cause, these bottlenecks could be fixed by boosting staff count, adding additional machinery, or more effectively scheduling machine maintenance at less disruptive times.
One major corporation that has used video analytics to optimize its operations is McDonald’s. Back in 2015, the company announced that it would be using video analytics to monitor customers’ experience at the drive-thru in order to improve service efficiency.
The system that the global fast-food chain subsequently deployed used license plate recognition and object detection to decrease drive-thru wait times and improve customer satisfaction.
Reducing the need for manual labor and increasing efficiency are some of the major ways that organizations can cut costs. And with the help of video analytics, businesses can achieve these end goals.
For instance, a task like license plate recognition– which was previously completed manually– can be automated to reduce the need for physical license plate checks while actually increasing accuracy. Video analytics can also be used to monitor energy usage– identifying areas where energy consumption can be reduced to save money– or for monitoring warehouse inventory levels.
In 2016, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented video analytics in airports in hopes of reaping similar cost-effective benefits. The analytics were used to monitor wait times and improve the efficiency of security screening processes.
The system, which specifically used facial recognition technology and object detection, reportedly cut down on wait times and saved the TSA some manual labor expenses.
Improved Customer Experience
If your business works in retail, then you know how important a positive customer experience is. A bad experience can send customers running for the hills; meanwhile, a good experience will keep them coming back indefinitely.
That’s why retailers are increasingly using video analytics to both monitor customer behavior and identify areas where sales processes can be improved.
For instance, business owners can use video analytics to track the movement of customers within a store to assess customer preferences and behavior. Afterward, the success of marketing campaigns can be assessed, and product displays can be optimized to both cater to customers’ interests and boost sales.
Finally, data insights are one of the key benefits of video analytics for businesses in various industries. The valuable data extracted from video footage can be used to analyze customer demographics, optimize staffing, or even track the movement of assets– like equipment or vehicles– throughout a facility or warehouse to ensure security.
In 2020, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) demonstrated just how valuable video analytics can be for the healthcare sector– especially in the wake of COVID-19. That year, UCSF announced they would be using object detection and machine learning to monitor hand hygiene compliance among workers. The system enabled UCSF to identify areas with low hand hygiene compliance in order to improve training programs and ultimately reduce the spread of illness in their hospitals.
And in all sectors, video analytics can be used to monitor patterns and trends over time. The hospitality industry, for instance, can analyze trends in past guest behavior and preferences during certain times of the year. This vital information can then empower business owners to make more informed decisions about future investments in new amenities and service offerings.
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