Ettiene Van Der Watt, Regional Director, Axis Communications Middle East & Africa

The Coronavirus pandemic has, to a large extent, forced companies to find new ways of doing things. For instance, regulations on the number of customers allowed in a store, the enforcement of social distancing measures, and even the way in which retailers manage access and movement of their staff has become a massive challenge for the industry.

In many cases, retailers and other businesses have had to invest in new technological solutions – in some cases involving cumbersome and largely ineffective solutions, at a huge expense in order to ensure their compliance with new regulations and the safety protocols made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

According to Axis Communications Middle East and Africa Regional Director, Ettiene van der Watt, technology, and especially security-based technologies have led the way in adapting and creating safer ways to re-open and manage the key criterion for pandemic management.

The company, already a pioneer in smart security technologies, was able to help retailers and other businesses repurpose their existing Axis security systems to help with the effective implementation and management of new safety protocols and regulations.

“We saw a huge demand for occupancy management, touchless access control, audio for announcements such as reminders of social distancing, as well as network cameras for every day operational management,” he says.

“For example, one of the in-demand solutions is the AXIS Occupancy Estimator,” says Van der Watt. “The analytic was designed to estimate occupancy levels on a premise and understand visitor patterns. Today, we are supporting retailers and institutions utilising the same analytic to regulate the number of people in an area and adhere to safety guidelines.

“Combined with network camera and audio, owners can adhere to guidelines and provide a safe experience today and use it for understanding visitor patterns to improve in-store experience in the post-covid era.”

Thus, the impact of having to invest in technology in order to adapt to new regulations as well as safety protocols is lessened, as Axis systems are completely scalable to the needs of their clients, and can be repurposed once the threat of Covid is over, to once again act as a superior technological security solution, as well as to provide retailers and other businesses with valuable insights into customer behaviour and trends in order to better manage their businesses.

Network Audio

A retail store is an ambient environment. Music makes the store more attractive and enjoyable to customers. With a network IP audio system, the video, audio and analytic can talk to each other, make necessary announcements to remind people to wear masks, sanitise or keep social distance, play pre-recorded announcements or alerts, and in large stores, create zones. In the future, the same system can be used for pushing in-store offers, alerting staff to growing queues and more.

Occupancy and Heat Mapping Analytic

As mentioned, the occupancy estimator was developed to measure the number of customers in a store at a given time, to capture performance. The same tool is now being used to manage the regulated number of people within a space and can easily be flipped back to a business intelligence tool. Additionally, with heat mapping, retailers can learn which parts of their store have the highest interest from customers

AXIS Live Privacy Shield

When you want video surveillance but still need to protect people’s privacy, AXIS Live Privacy Shield makes it easy. It lets you monitor activities without collecting personal data, and its reliable and cost-effective. The analytics software runs directly on Axis cameras – no expensive servers are needed – and it is the only edge-based solution that dependably masks moving people and objects in real time at up to full frame rate. Privacy is a great value add and highly appreciated by patrons.

Edge-based Analytics

As the name suggest, edge-based analytics puts more data processing at the ‘edge’ of the network, close to where the data is collected by the sensor and before transfer to the data centre. One particular benefit in some sectors relates to speed of processing and ability to act upon the data captured. Edge computing means processing data within the camera itself. 

Access Control

Supporting and maintaining a clean environment is a key priority for retailers. – However, with staff touching several surfaces during a shift, controlling the spread of germs can be a challenge. Retailers can help minimise contact with certain surfaces – such as door handles – by implementing touchless access control. While hygiene will always be a priority, touchless entry into private areas of the store brings additional benefits in protecting staff members.  

About Axis Communications

Axis enables a smarter and safer world by creating network solutions that provide insights for improving security and new ways of doing business. As the industry leader in network video, Axis offers products and services for video surveillance and analytics, access control, and audio systems. 

Axis has more than 3,5​00 dedicated employees in over 50 countries and collaborates with partners worldwide to deliver customer solutions. Axis was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in Lund, Sweden. For more information about Axis, please visit our website www.axis.com