Telefonica Tech Uses Computer Vision and Edge Computing to Improve Customer Experiences

Summary Bullets:

bhattacharyya-100143
R. Bhattacharyya

• Telefonica Tech is partnering with C2RO to offer an AI-based customer analytics solution that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics.

• The solution uses edge computing, which enables analysis of data near the point at which it was generated, ensuring that sensitive information remains on site.

Applications of computer vision are vast, ranging from quality control in the manufacturing process to monitoring of grape health in vineyards. Computer vision can also be used to analyze people, with applications ranging from determining building occupancy and traffic patterns, to ascertaining whether individuals are wearing face masks and adhering to safety protocols.

Telefonica Tech is helping its customers realize the benefits of computer vision. It is partnering with Canada-based C2RO to offer enterprises AI-based customer analytics that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is designed to help organizations better understand customer behavior by providing insights into customer and visitor traffic patterns, dwell times, demographics (gender and age), and points of interest, as well as queue measurements. Telefonica’s Smart Steps platform provides the socio-economic information. The solution targets venues, retail organizations, and governments, and is positioned as a solution that can help organizations improve the customer experience and optimize store and venue layouts.

The offer uses surveillance cameras that are strategically positioned throughout a venue (there is no need to upgrade to AI-enabled devices). The AI-powered C2RO PERCEIVE solution is installed on a local edge server so that data is analyzed on-site. Images are not extracted from the venue and therefore adhere to GDPR guidelines. Telefonica Tech assists from start to finish with professional services that include the definition of technical requirements, assistance with hardware identification and procurement (although the C2RO solution is based only on cameras, Telefonica Tech can help assist with obtaining sensors and other devices for other in-store analytics solutions), server configuration, and solution maintenance and support. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is complemented and enriched with information and analytics from Telefonica Tech’s Smart Steps platform, which uses anonymized and aggregated mobile customer data to provide insights into population mobility and behavior.

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables organizations to mine unstructured data for insights that can help enterprises improve the customer experience by enhancing efficiency and delivering more targeted content and communication. However, applications using computer vision are often more latency and privacy sensitive than other AI-based applications, such as predictive maintenance. They are therefore prime candidates for edge computing. Edge computing for AI processing offers lower latency than cloud computing, and therefore yields insights in near real time; it also enables analysis of data near the point at which it was generated or collected.

However, many people are wary of the use of computer vision on individuals, especially when the technology is used to determine their whereabouts. Applications that identify a subject’s age or preferences using computer vision, or track individuals through a venue, may feel a bit invasive. However, if insights are used to reposition store layouts or reduce wait times, customers will reap the benefits. Still, organizations will need to be discreet in their use of computer vision to analyze people and ensure that a multidisciplinary team has reviewed the ethical implications of new applications of the technology.

Summary Bullets:

• Telefonica Tech is partnering with C2RO to offer an AI-based customer analytics solution that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics.

• The solution uses edge computing, which enables analysis of data near the point at which it was generated, ensuring that sensitive information remains on site.

Applications of computer vision are vast, ranging from quality control in the manufacturing process to monitoring of grape health in vineyards. Computer vision can also be used to analyze people, with applications ranging from determining building occupancy and traffic patterns, to ascertaining whether individuals are wearing face masks and adhering to safety protocols.

Telefonica Tech is helping its customers realize the benefits of computer vision. It is partnering with Canada-based C2RO to offer enterprises AI-based customer analytics that uses computer vision to understand the movement of people through spaces, with information segmented by demographics. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is designed to help organizations better understand customer behavior by providing insights into customer and visitor traffic patterns, dwell times, demographics (gender and age), and points of interest, as well as queue measurements. Telefonica’s Smart Steps platform provides the socio-economic information. The solution targets venues, retail organizations, and governments, and is positioned as a solution that can help organizations improve the customer experience and optimize store and venue layouts.

The offer uses surveillance cameras that are strategically positioned throughout a venue (there is no need to upgrade to AI-enabled devices). The AI-powered C2RO PERCEIVE solution is installed on a local edge server so that data is analyzed on-site. Images are not extracted from the venue and therefore adhere to GDPR guidelines. Telefonica Tech assists from start to finish with professional services that include the definition of technical requirements, assistance with hardware identification and procurement (although the C2RO solution is based only on cameras, Telefonica Tech can help assist with obtaining sensors and other devices for other in-store analytics solutions), server configuration, and solution maintenance and support. The C2RO PERCEIVE solution is complemented and enriched with information and analytics from Telefonica Tech’s Smart Steps platform, which uses anonymized and aggregated mobile customer data to provide insights into population mobility and behavior.

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables organizations to mine unstructured data for insights that can help enterprises improve the customer experience by enhancing efficiency and delivering more targeted content and communication. However, applications using computer vision are often more latency and privacy sensitive than other AI-based applications, such as predictive maintenance. They are therefore prime candidates for edge computing. Edge computing for AI processing offers lower latency than cloud computing, and therefore yields insights in near real time; it also enables analysis of data near the point at which it was generated or collected.

However, many people are wary of the use of computer vision on individuals, especially when the technology is used to determine their whereabouts. Applications that identify a subject’s age or preferences using computer vision, or track individuals through a venue, may feel a bit invasive. However, if insights are used to reposition store layouts or reduce wait times, customers will reap the benefits. Still, organizations will need to be discreet in their use of computer vision to analyze people and ensure that a multidisciplinary team has reviewed the ethical implications of new applications of the technology.


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