Counting visitors with video surveillance

Counting visitors with video surveillance

Development of technologies in the field of video surveillance can significantly expand the range of functions of video cameras. For example, the most popular option for the retail sector is counting visitors and keeping track of people in lines. And although this is not the only intelligent opportunity of modern video monitoring systems for business, I want to look into this topic in more detail, since it is very important. Let’s start doing it step by step.

Why do you need to count visitors and people in lines?

A visitor counting system is needed for two main purposes:

  1. Gathering information for marketing research. Depending on the equipment and set parameters, a surveillance camera can collect and analyze the following information:
  • total number of visitors;
  • number of unique, new and/or repeat customers;
  • amount of people in line, for example, at the checkout;
  • waiting time for service;
  • emotions that a visitor experienced in the queue and/or at the time of service;
  • classify visitors according to different criteria (gender, age);
  • maintaining lists of wanted and unwanted visitors.
  1. Improving the quality of customer service.

Based on the information received from video cameras and information analysis, a business person receives a powerful tool to improve the quality of service. As a result, the economic indicators of commercial activities are improved: efficiency, payback and profitability.

Classic counting methods

A digital camera can count visitors by using 2 methods:

  • statistical – the basis is the analysis of indirect causes and most often it is the size of the object. The system also uses a motion sensor that selects those areas in the surveillance area where there was movement (at a given time), but not anymore. In this case, the detector does not need a clear image of people, but only the exact number of pixels in moving objects. Then the algorithm separates the part of the frame that has changed from the background and counts the number of people in the frame. If there are foreign objects in the frame, the system may make a mistake;
  • classification – the method is based on the use of a classifier that can recognize objects of observation and separate them. Most often, a video camera is installed at high points (above the heads of visitors) and the detection of round objects (human heads) is taken as an identifier. This algorithm is more accurate than the statistical algorithm, but certain errors are possible.

IMPORTANT: Proper lighting is essential for both classic methods of counting visitors.

Innovative approach to counting people with video cameras

Experts have established that the average annual growth rate of the global video surveillance market in the period from 2017 to 2022 is 15.4%. At the same time, the main drivers of growth are the introduction of video cameras based on artificial intelligence and massive use of cloud storage.

Today, video cameras based on neurotechnologies are already widely used. We are talking about the development of artificial intelligence, in which algorithms are as similar as possible to the actions of the human brain. And they are already publicly available!

Consequently, technology for counting visitors, people in lines, and face recognition algorithms have stepped forward. In addition, modern video surveillance services such as Faceter are able to analyze and control empty shelves in stores. Read about it in the article “Video surveillance in stores: control of empty shelves.

If you are a store owner, then you can find a lot of useful information in our blog. Read the articles: “Organization of video surveillance in stores: advice from professionals“; “Cloud video surveillance for your store: 9 advantages.”

Intelligent Faceter analytics

A feature such as “visitor counter” is the simplest for the Faceter software. Faceter cloud video surveillance has vision, hearing and intelligence, which allows it to recognize faces with an accuracy of 98%, read people’s emotions and maintain white and black lists of visitors. Also, the Faceter smart system is able to quickly search for faces in video recordings, classify visitors by gender and age.

The system allows you to count the number of lost visitors who left the store due to the absence of a cashier/salesperson or administrator at their workplace. Do you want to know exactly how much money you are not getting on a monthly basis due to non-compliance with service standards? If yes, then you need the Faceter system for stores. All the details are on the website:

Instead of a conclusion

Modern video surveillance systems are versatile: they are capable of not only performing security functions, but also collecting and analyzing data for marketing research. On the basis of the information received, the owners and/or managers of stores can adjust the work of staff, improve the quality of service and manage the business remotely.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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