The rise of online shopping has been a major disruptive force within the retail industry. Retailers with physical locations have struggled to provide the same type of convenience that consumers can find online. In the midst of this struggle, physical retailers have found success by cutting operational costs and delivering great experiences for customers who visit their stores.
New technologies have emerged as essential to retailers’ efforts to create these experiences and find new efficiencies in their operations. Embedded vision has proven to be a foundational technology in the new tech-savvy retail industry.
How is Embedded Vision Being Used in the Retail Industry?
There are many potential applications of embedded vision in retail, but so far six general applications have been the most impactful.
- Customer service: mobile robots used for customer service rely on embedded vision systems to identify customers and navigate through a store. These robots have a wide range of capabilities. Most are able to guide customers to the products they’re searching for, while some can even recognize facial expressions.
- Warehouse automation: autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are used to automate the process of moving goods within a warehouse. They use embedded vision systems, along with other types of sensing systems, to autonomously navigate.
- Touchless checkout: one of the latest uses of embedded vision is to automate the checkout process. Customers can grab the items they desire and simply walk out of the store. Advanced vision systems identify the products and charge the customer accordingly.
- Inventory monitoring: some retailers now use mobile robots that automatically roam stores to scan shelves and monitor inventory levels. This automated monitoring keeps all relevant personnel updated as to what needs replenished, as well as what products are selling and when.
- Store monitoring: embedded vision systems can be used to monitor a store for security purposes, but also to monitor consumer behavior and gain crucial insights into shopping patterns. These vision systems can also inform when to send targeted promotions and surveys to improve response rates and drive purchases.
- Augmented reality: embedded vision is a fundamental aspect of augmented reality technology in retail stores. The most common application includes the use of “smart mirrors” that let shoppers virtually try on clothes without actually having to change.
Embedded vision is an essential part of much of the newest technologies transforming the retail industry. As retailers with physical locations continue to invest in the customer experience and ways to cut costs, embedded vision will continue to integrate into more platforms in the retail sector.
To learn more about embedded vision, visit our educational section on embedded vision technology and read free resources from vision industry experts.