Computer vision gives machines view of real world

November 26, 2020  |  Aliaksandra Hancharova

Aliaksandra Hancharova
Expert
IBA Group

Digitalization has disrupted almost every industry. Amid the 4th industrial revolution, businesses are shifting their customer touchpoints online to compete with disruptive digital-first and digital-only start-ups.

But technology is also transforming the physical space. For example, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are also adopting innovative tech solutions. One such innovation is computer vision (also known as machine vision). These solutions are revolutionizing the shopping experience and elevating customer service levels.  

Computer vision solutions combine video and camera hardware with artificial intelligence (AI). The system is able to recognize objects in digital images. The system then applies deep learning models to accurately identify and classify objects. These processing capabilities empower businesses to analyze different situations in various surroundings. This happens in real-time, which allows organizations to respond appropriately.

Transforming physical retail

Applications in the retail environment include experience optimization. Examples include frictionless automated checkouts and in-store personalization. Computer vision also aids data collection. Retailers in the physical space can then compete with digital retailers. Building purchase histories based on data collected from in-store facial recognition unlocks sales and marketing opportunities.

Based on this data, retailers can identify regular customers. They can then offer them personalized discounts or offers, or up-sell relevant products and services. These initiatives help to increase brand loyalty in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

There are also other operational benefits in the retail space. These include shelf and inventory management, and store layout planning. For example, the Goods Checker solution helps merchandisers and marketers create in-store product and equipment layouts. These applications help attract customers, increase product exposure, and amplify marketing and merchandizing efforts.

Enhance workplace safety

Computer vision technology can also utilize connected cameras to monitor in-store activity. This boosts security by spotting suspicious behavior. It can also identify instances of theft as they happen.

Other applications exist in driving, health monitoring and more. For instance, self-driving cars use computer vision to safely guide the vehicle through real-world situations.

Companies can also integrate facial recognition apps that monitor access and attendance with add-ons. Integrating thermal imaging cameras with facial recognition unlocks capabilities such as temperature monitoring. These capabilities comply with new workplace health and safety guidelines. This technology is also a cost effective and scalable solution to monitor compliance with safety regulations, including social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements in the workplace.

Eyes on agriculture

Applying computer vision and AI in industrial settings is also driving industry innovation. Manufacturers already utilize these technologies for automated quality control in defect detection and packaging inspection. Additional applications include compliance and enforcing product and component assembly standards on automated production lines.

The burgeoning precision agriculture sector has also embraced computer vision-based solutions. For example, the AgronomX solution collects and analyzes numerous agricultural parameters for farmers. 

Applying computer vision technology in the agricultural process can help farmers. Benefits include increased yields by suggesting more efficient growth methods. The insights that computer vision solutions provide can also reduce input costs by minimizing the need for widespread spraying, which can increase profits.

Farmers also use computer vision-enabled drones and agricultural equipment. These automated devices and machines can accurately plow fields and sow seeds. Computer vision technology is also applied to automate machines that harvest, sort and grade produce.

Ultimately, computer vision provides the interface machines require to integrate with the real world. These solutions will play an increasingly pivotal role in humankind’s progress through the 4th industrial revolution.

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