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Social distancing in convenience stores – technology-driven approach

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• Compliance with Covid-19 guidance in retail

• Smart IP Video Solution by Hikvision


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Today, because of the social-distancing rules, it is not uncommon to see people queuing in front of a store waiting to be let in by a security guard or a member of staff to get their grocery shopping done. While this may not be a big deal for large retail brands to have a person specifically tasked with this one job, it may present a significant challenge to smaller grocery stores, especially those that had to furlough some of their employees. It is that sort of situation that one of our clients, an owner of a small family-run convenience store in Nottingham, found themselves a few weeks ago and approached us for help.


After some head-scratching, we came up with this solution. At the entrance to the store we set up a Hikvision IP camera powered by Deep Learning algorithms - ‘people counting’, ‘line-crossing’ and ‘queue-detection’ technologies. This easy-to-use technology is highly accurate at counting people and can be integrated with other systems.


The camera was connected through the NVR’s alarm I/O to a miniature ‘traffic light’ (a simple device you can easily buy online) also positioned at the entrance. Following the store-owner instructions, we then set thresholds for the maximum number of people in the store, bearing in minds its size and time of the day (with slightly higher number allowed at peak times). Once the threshold is exceeded, the system will immediately send a signal to the ‘traffic light’ to stop further people from coming in.


The system has now been working for over two weeks and has proved its reliability and cost-effectiveness!


#smartcamera #ipcamera #coronavirus #socialdistancing #deeplearning

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