Recent reports from Tractica, a market intelligence firm, revealed that the market revenue from actual and predicted computer vision hardware and software will witness new heights in 2022. Computer vision refers to replicating human perception and associated brain functions to acquire, analyse, process and understand an image/video. This process of isolating an image/visual/video and then identifying or classifying it has taken years of intensive research and development in order to transform it into a usable technology. While the concept of computer vision has been around for several years now, combining it with emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and  Deep Learning (DL) algorithms has opened new frontiers for businesses across verticals. This amalgamation of vision and analytics (video analytics), is enabling companies to go beyond mere object identification. Visual data can now be classified, analysed and converted into actionable intelligence that can be used to enhance business outcomes. Advanced dashboard reports can help managers track business operations in real time, predict machine downtimes, minimize errors and enhance safety and security of critical assets.

Video Analytics for Business Intelligence

One of the biggest reasons for video analytics to become a technology of choice is its ability to seamlessly integrate with existing video infrastructure – be it conventional CCTV and IP cameras or machine vision systems. Thus it can be applied to a wide spectrum of industries ranging from manufacturing, security & surveillance, office setups, retail analytics, healthcare analytics and smart city initiatives. The significance of such a technology becomes even more critical when businesses across industries are facing an increasingly competitive environment and are struggling to maintain higher profit margins.

Despite their best efforts, even the biggest of corporations are battling sticky issues pertaining to poor customer service, product recalls, damages, thefts & losses and inefficient manual labour. For e.g. In 2017, Tyson Foods voluntarily recalled an astonishing 2.4 million pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken products. The products may have contained milk–a common food allergen–which was not declared on the product label. The breadcrumb supplier that was implicated- Newly Weds Foods Inc. said the presence of undeclared milk was due to a “cross-contact during the manufacturing process” problem. Likely, the problem was the result of one or more employees not following proper procedures. Product recalls in the automotive industry too is increasing widely. In the US alone, about 37mn vehicles from different manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford and Toyota, were recalled because of defective airbags made by the Japanese manufacturer Takata. In the retail segment issues like shoplifting, loss of products or product damages due to mishandling are some of the biggest pain-points. In 2017, loss of inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft or other errors collectively cost retailers almost $100 billion worldwide, or about 1.82% of global sales, according to the Sensormatic Global Shrink Index.

With every product recall, product damage, loss or theft costing a company millions of dollars, not to mention the loss of credibility, the stakes are high and a viable solution the greatest need.

Quest ThirdEye: A Multi-Featured AI-Driven Platform

Quest ThirdEye, an AI-driven intelligent vision analytics solution, is enabling companies to leverage the power of this vision analytics in a highly customised and targeted way. Quest ThirdEye addresses user needs in multiple ways and empowers them to make their premise smarter and safer. Quest ThirdEye offers key features that include object identification, facial recognition, product inspection and video analytics. Some of the key applications of this cross-industry solution include smart parking, smart lobby, retail heatmap, smart meeting rooms, customer counters, anomaly detection and facial recognition.

Quest ThirdEye: Making Production Plants More Efficient & Error-Free

Quest ThirdEye can be integrated with machine vision systems and other such data sources, especially in production plants. This allows manufacturers to get a clear 360-degree view of every product/package and check if every attribute of every package like seal, position, label and quantity is as per standard. Using predictive analytics, which is the process of using AI/Machine Learning and IoT devices to monitor data on machinery and components, manufacturers can take corrective actions or prevent failures. For e.g. If the system captures and detects any slip-up in the packaging/content/labelling, it would immediately send an alert to divert the faulty product item for further scrutiny.

Vision Analytics for Enhanced Intelligent Video Surveillance

Safety and security of key physical assets – be it products, people or premises, is critical for every organization. With Quest ThirdEye, companies can closely monitor their assets and are always in control. For e.g. In a factory or a manufacturing site, where workers are strictly required to use safety gear, if a worker does not abide by it, the camera can immediately track and send an alert to the supervisor, who in turn can bar the worker from entering the work area. This would ensure assured safety of every worker, which in turn would result in better worker productivity and higher production.

To counter challenges like shoplifting or product thefts, store owners can back their CCTV camera infrastructure with Quest ThirdEye. Whenever the camera tracks a product being stolen or any suspicious activity, it would immediately alert the security personnel.

Companies dealing with highly sensitive information/materials/systems can equip their video surveillance systems with Quest ThirdEye’s facial recognition feature. This would ensure that only the authorised personnel enter the premises. Any unknown/unauthorised person detected would be immediately flagged and an alert would be sent to the security personnel deployed.

Retail Heatmap for Better Customer Service

Supermarkets, hypermarkets and large retail stores face great challenge in maintaining superior customer service owing to shortage of staff, festive sale crowds or non-performing sales personnel. With Quest ThirdEye, retail stores can leverage intelligent video analytics for greater revenues. Stores can not only ensure that their products are under complete surveillance but even track the performance of their sales and service staff. Managers and owners can track if every aisle is manned, every customer is looked after and every query is answered by the staff on duty. If an aisle is more crowded than usual, managers can quickly deploy additional resources to manage the crowd. Advanced heatmaps show which products/aisles are best/worst performing. Based on this data, store owners can find ways to boost low performing products by re-arranging, cross-selling or discount coupons. This data intelligence and retail surveillance can transform a regular store into an intelligent retail venture.

Driving Smart City Initiatives

One of the core features of global smart cities is to resolve the mammoth task of reducing vehicular traffic and de-congesting city roads. It is estimated that drivers spend 17 hours a year searching for parking spots. Solutions like Quest ThirdEye can enable smart parking in commercial establishments and reduce the time spent by drivers to search parking spots. The solution enables drivers to get advanced updates of the parking status in the office premises and adjoining blocks. Drivers can get empty parking slots with precise location details ensuring no loss of time, fuel and money and of course better roads and cleaner cities.

The future belongs to businesses that can quickly adapt and integrate digital technologies like AI/DL into mainstream processes. Video analytics, which is a highly flexible arm of AI/DL, could be the answer to plugging gaps across domains ranging from commercial, industrial, residential and enterprise.

Quest Global is a trusted engineering services and solutions partner to many of the world’s most recognized Fortune 500 brands in aero engines, aerospace & defense, automotive, medical devices, oil & gas, power, hi-tech, industrial and rail with more than 11,000 associates. For more than 20 years, Quest has been a trusted partner providing comprehensive support across the complete product engineering lifecycle to help our customers improve efficiency, increase quality, create new products and open new markets.

Quest offers digital capabilities across the product lifecycle. We empower enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journeys with our expertise in digital technologies like IoT, AI, DL, AR/VR, Vision analytics, and security and our digital solutions for Vision+AI, energy management, multi -channel communications platform and asset tracking.

Written by Quest Global

on 04 Jan 2019