At the 2021 China International Import Expo (CIIE), Hanshow has announced a commercial AI camera-driven retail solution, developed through a collaboration with Microsoft and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (Sony). This solution monitors out-of-stock occurrences along with product volume status, customer traffic flows, sales levels, and other store information.
Hanshow’s AI retail solution is developed through a collaboration with Microsoft and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (Sony). This solution combines Sony’s intelligent vision sensor IMX500, the world’s first image sensor equipped with AI functionality, with Microsoft Azure and its AI capabilities to achieve AI processing on edge. As part of the Partner Enablement Program through Microsoft AI & IoT Insider Labs, Microsoft Global ISV Hanshow continues to upgrade its intelligent solution to better serve its global customers especially in the retail industry.
In a busy retail setting, staff are often unable to complete timely and accurate monitoring of product shelf status. This results in products being out-of-stock, improperly arranged, lost sales, unsatisfied customers, and unattractive store appearance. Meanwhile, customer flow analysis is crucial for retailers to better understand customer behavior in their stores including traffic, visited areas, customer paths, dwell time and loyalty.
Hanshow’s AI retail solution monitors out-of-stock occurrences along with product volume status, customer traffic flows, sales levels, and other store information. This not only allows for real time out-of-stock notifications, but also stores and analyzes data over time to help managers optimize operations and displays.
This upgraded AI retail solution involves Hanshow’s AI calculations (product recognition), digital advertising technology with media content at the shelf based on the Azure AI and IoT platform with data collection and analysis from Sony’s IMX 500 intelligent vision sensor. This also opens new sales opportunities for retailers and creates more customer behavior data to help drive targeted advertising.
The sensor outputs metadata (semantic information belonging to image data) instead of image information, that helps in reducing data traffic and addressing privacy concerns by not collecting personal information. A similar Hanshow solution is already in use at supermarket settings. One major supermarket chain saw a near 50% reduction in out-of-stock time by using similar AI technology.
This solution and three-party collaboration was born out of Microsoft’s Partner Enablement Program which enriches existing tech ecosystems by recruiting qualified partners with experiences, sales and marketing resources to accelerate their time to market through the Microsoft AI & IoT Insider Labs.
Hanshow’s experience in global retail markets, combined with the technological support from Microsoft and Sony “can accelerate co-innovation initiatives to better serve the rapidly changing and diversified retail industry, helping retailers to be more agile and profitable. We are also exploring application of this solution in manufacturing and other industries together with Microsoft and Sony.” said Shiguo Hou, the CEO of Hanshow.