Computer Vision- What’s the Big Deal?
Computer Vision is taking the world by storm. And why shouldn’t it? After all, it is proclaimed as being one of the few tools that truly help organizations that are ready to invest, get ahead of the curve and gain that coveted “competitive advantage”.
But before we get into that, let’s first address the simple question of what computer vision really is.
Once we’ve understood that, we can then move onto a breakdown of how you can start making use of it within your organization.
Computer Vision: What It Is
Computer Vision: What It Is
Humans are wonderful creatures. Especially in that our eyes can take in a lot of imagery while our brains can interpret it within a matter of milliseconds. If you look at it from the perspective of a data scientist. All this incoming stream of video/imagery isA LOT OF DATA.
And this is where computer vision comes in. As implied by the phrase itself, computer vision is what enables computers to “see” the way a human being would.
Parts of computer vision include Object Detection, and Object Tracking.
To define these terms as simply as possible, the computer treats different entities within a video stream as objects and these are then either kept track of or detected in different frames.
Computer Vision: Why Is It Important?
So, a computer can detect objects/ keep track of them.
What difference does that make?
Here’s what. Computer vision today is useful across a range of industries. From healthcare to retail, the insights it provides really help build a competitive advantage for companies.
Computer Vision: Some Important Products and Companies
A little example might that be of products like Adlytic.
Adlytic is a product that was launched by OMNO AI in 2019 and has since revolutionized the way many key market players today are reaching business decisions at the C-level
When it comes to companies that have benefited off of computer vision, one prominent example is that of the retail giant, Walmart. According to the CIO, Walmart has increased its pickup and delivery capacity by 20% last year and plans to increase it up to 35% in the coming year using technology like drones and other, autonomous vehicles which heavily incorporate computer vision tools.
Computer Vision: How Your Business Can Incorporate It
But the actual question remains.
How does computer vision help you. Or better yet, how can you start working with these tools today and gain a head start over key market players in your niche?
And do you even need to deploy any of these tools?
I won’t waste your time.
The truth is computer vision will only be useful for you if you have data available in the form of video/audio imagery.
The reasoning behind why that is true takes us back to our definition. Computer Vision is a domain that helps computers visualize insights from data. And this very data should either exist in a visual form, that is images or videos. Or conversely, it should at least be present in audio form to later be converted to interpretable data in some manner.
But with that said, if you do have this data on hand and are still choosing not to use it for extracting insights, then forget about competitive advantage, this might lead to a setback in your overall business performance. Because the truth of the matter is that in today’s day and age, analytics are at the heart of business performance.
And this is applicable regardless of whether you are an online, or brick-and-mortar business.
Computer Vision: Why Conventional Stores Should Care
Conventional, or brick-and-mortar stores should care just as much about gaining insights from data analytics as an online business should.
According to Forbes, traditional retail store grew up to 18.5% versus e-commerce growth of 14.2%. Which means that to become the best market player, traditional store outlets need to know what it is that goes on inside their stores. That is, they need to be able to track customer activity and extract the best insights from it.
Computer Vision: What Insights?
Having said that, you may wonder: what analytics could a store even need?
Well, there’s the usual.
Knowing the age and/or gender of all potential customers that enter the store.
But there’s more.
Imagine if you could track a customer’s entire buying journey as they purchase a product from your outlet?
Parts of this journey might include things like tracking their dwell time at different locations and points within the store. It could also include a bit of emotion recognition.
How does tracking where people are going/ recording their emotions going to help improve sales?
Kind of a dead give-away, isn’t it?
For one thing, tracking things like dwell times and footfall will help you determine which areas customers are most likely to interact with. Which means that you can adopt any one out of several strategies, such as placing the highest priced goods in this section of the store.
Alternatively, being able to detect the kind of emotions your customers exhibit as they interact with a particular item on shelf, might give you enough data to be able to understand which of your products might either be misplaced, or simply not good enough to have continued production.
An important case study that comes to mind right now is that of (entrepreneurship book video store case study). Now, this study was conducted in the year (). Which is why, ___ had to physically go to each store and identify people’s emotions and get some insight into their behavior. Now, with the advent of computer vision, however, the whole process can be carried out conveniently from behind a screen.
Let the algorithms do all the work for you. All you, as a decision maker now have to do is to look at these insights and curate a decision based off of them.
Computer Vision: Measuring Return on Investment
Okay. So, suppose you do invest in adapting a few Computer Vision tools. To what extent could you benefit from it?
One way to get an answer to this problem is by estimating the return on investment you may get if you were to dive into this area for your business.