Computer Vision Technology for Real-Time Face Analysis Hosted at the Edge
Like it or not, modern life involves a great deal of staring at screens.
According to a recent Nielsen audience report, Americans spend more than 10 hours each day doing so — and that’s just to consume media. Even when we’re out and about, we’re using self-service kiosks at banks, ordering and paying via touch-screen panels at restaurants, and viewing digital signage at supermarkets and shopping centers.
From an online retailer’s point of view, ever-increasing screen time provides the opportunity to track, collect, and analyze user data to benchmark performance and drive conversions. Now, taking advantage of the fact that screens are increasingly prevalent in brick-and-mortar environments, one company is working to bring that same opportunity to physical stores.
“We’re essentially bringing Google Analytics to the offline world,” said Joyce Caradonna, CEO of Sightcorp. “If you don’t know how many people go into your store a day or what their demographic profiles are, how can you make sure that the products at your shop are the right ones? How can you ensure the staff that works in the shop represent the demographic profile of your shopping audience?”
Considerations like these are vital for retailers looking to optimize the customer experience and drive sales. Sightcorp’s technology, hosted at the edge in retail stores and other settings, helps brands with a physical presence keep up with the ecommerce world in this respect.
“In the online domain, there are jobs where people focus on nothing other than optimizing the locations of buttons on a page to make sure that as many people as possible convert,” Joyce said. “The same thing hasn’t been happening at all in the offline domain, but with our type of technology, it can.”
Leverage Robust Analytics to Make Data-Driven Decisions
With Sightcorp’s crowd analysis solution, DeepSight, users can anonymously aggregate real-time information on the number of faces from any angle and distance, as well as demographics such as age group, gender, behavior patterns, and even mood.
“We’re giving users valuable information in regard to the effectiveness of campaigns, as well as using the information that we aggregate to optimize messaging for the audiences that stand in front of screens,” Joyce said. “Let’s say you’re in a supermarket, you pass the screen, and we see that you’re a female in the 30 to 40 age group. We can use that information to trigger, in real time, a campaign that is more suited or targeted at your persona group.”
This highly accurate demographic analysis is hosted locally on the edge, on-premises, and Sightcorp is careful not to violate data privacy rights. All data is translated in real-time into binary code, and video or picture footage is never stored or shared.
Figure 1. DeepSight Toolkit demonstration
“The only information that does get shared to any cloud point location is the binary code strings — the zeros and the ones that make up data on demographic profiles,” Joyce said. As part of its commitment to protect the privacy of customers and audiences, Sightcorp also includes a face-blurring feature designed for compliance with data regulations.
Between fostering better engagement and boosting conversion rates, the technology provides a clear return on investment for retailers. “We help improve customer experiences and conversion rates by pushing certain products that otherwise might have been more difficult to sell.”
“We are by far the most accurate and affordable solution out there, and we built everything ourselves, in-house,” Joyce said.