Cortexica is a London based, global provider of B2B AI solutions for Digital Transformation. Providing clarity and insight from within the noise around AI, Cortexica works with the worlds leading brands providing Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Video Analytics Software Systems, supported by industry specific professional services.
Essential Retail takes a look at the serious challenges facing UK Shopping Centres and their need to adopt digital technologies to future proof their stores.
They use retail property group Hammerson, and their work with Cortexica as an example of shopping centres embracing digital to improve their centres offering.
“Hammerson has also been experimenting with video analytics and artificial intelligence – some of it with Cortexica – that has enabled it to better understand the movement of customers around its malls. Part of this involves a project with the Government that links into the company’s CCTV system and uses AI to model shopper behaviour.
We’re looking for normal behaviour, which then enables us to recognise extraordinary behaviour. Staring at screens is a manual task so we’re using technology to do it more quickly and predict what will happen next. Using this [capability] in areas like service, discovery and security will be exciting for us,”
The future proofing and digital transformation of shopping centres is a key area of importance for Cortexica, we strongly believe that online shopping doesn’t have to eclipse the in-store experience, and instead the synergy of both digital and in-store actually works to create the ultimate shopping centre experience for their customers.
Technical focussed white paper
Real-time PPE monitoring; powered by the latest ultra-low-power high-performance Intel Myriad X VPU
Author: Martin Peniak, PhD — Head of Innovation at Cortexica
Abstract — Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the equipment that protects the user against health or safety risks. Not wearing PPE dramatically increases the chances of injuries and in many situations also of financial losses due to fines for injuries and death of workers as well as contamination caused by not wearing gloves, hairnets, shoe covers, etc. Recent advancements in edge computing hardware coupled with ever more efficient software have enabled novel solutions with the potential to prevent injuries, save lives as well as money and time. This paper describes the world’s first edge compute solution for PPE ingress and real-time PPE compliance monitoring.
The safety of employees in the workplace is integral to any business, and with tighter government legislation, workers are better protected by the law than ever before. However, despite this, or perhaps because of it, workplace accidents still pose a serious threat tobusinesses’ financial viability.
This threat is extremely prevalent in industries that operate in potentially hazardous environments, such as construction, manufacturing, engineering or biomedical, hence why the extra precaution of wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees is enforced in these industries. Unfortunately, this does not simply solve the problem of accidents in the workplace as, no matter how many times you run through safety drills or training talks, some workers will always forget basic precautions, including their PPE.
To better understand how these systems benefit businesses working in high-riskenvironments, we surveyed 100 board-level and C-suite professionals who are directly responsible for the health & safety of workers within industries such as construction, engineering, manufacturing and biomedical.
Health & Safety Matters reports on the startling effects of PPE-non compliance, explained by Cortexica published white paper
“In a new white paper titled “Overcoming the barriers of PPE compliance with the use of artificial intelligence”, Cortexica identifies injury claims, inefficiencies caused from injured and absent workers, and the purchase of new equipment as the most significant costs to businesses caused by PPE non-compliance. On an individual level, 5% of businesses in high-risk environments lost over £1 million from PPE non-compliance in the last year, with 30% losing over £250k.”
“Personal Protection Equipment compliance is something that businesses operating in high-risk environments have to get right, and the report highlights why” said Iain McCready, Cortexica’s CEO. “Not only do they have a duty of care to their employees, but they need to protect themselves from the financial consequences of injuries in the workplace. To our surprise, the report highlights many businesses are still manually monitoring PPE compliance, even with a number of industry-ready AI applications on the market that can reduce these risks.”
Hammerson are transforming the shopping centre experience – with Cortexica’s AI based visual search
With a portfolio of 22 shopping centres and 15 retail parks in 14 countries (not forgetting a grand total of 4,900 tenants), it is extremely important to retail property group Hammerson to make shopping in their centres a positive and immersive experience for retailers and their customers. This why they are taking the lead in digital innovation for in-store experience with their PLUS app, and its latest tool, Style Seeker, powered by Cortexica’s visual search and image recognition technology – FindSimilar.
In-store Vs Online Shopping
While physical retail has a long list of benefits for its customers, including offering a large range of retailers, the ability to try on items before purchase, accessible locations and of course catering, customers are not always unitising these benefits and opting for online. Furthermore, when taking a closer look at their shoppers’ journey throughout their centres, Hammerson found that customers weren’t utilising all of the advantages shopping centres have to offer, as shoppers were typically visiting the same 4-5 stores and were doing the same route around the centre each visit.
These findings encouraged the shopping centre group to improve their shoppers’ journey by incorporating the visual search tool Style Seeker to their PLUS app. Style Seeker enables shoppers to take an image of an item – be it one in a magazine, website or social media image, upload it to the app and search an entire shopping centers’ inventory for similar items.
How does it work?
Take a picture of your desired item
Upload to Style Seeker
Find products from multiple retailers
Add to your favourites and shop your look (maybe with a retailer you’ve never tried before)
Check out the tutorial here:
The Results“90% of those that tried the app said they found it useful and 92% said they would use it again."
"In terms of brand engagement, 94% said that the app would encourage them to visit different or more stores.”
The initial trial of our FindSimilar visual search technology, and the above findings in the London Brent Cross store, were so successful that it led to the roll out of ‘Style Seeker’ into all of the UK Hammerson shopping centres and is also rolling out to other countries such as France and Ireland
Shoppers across Hammerson’s UK (as well as across the channel), can now instantly search products from the inventories of stores at that location. The shopping centre group are streamlining the shopping process, allowing consumers to search almost 360,000 items from brands like John Lewis and River Island in one click, and still be able to enjoy a leisurely shopping centre experience.