O2 Business has launched Spatial Insights, a new technology that uses video analytics and Artificial Intelligence to provide a slick and efficient experience for customers in retail stores and other public spaces.

Initially piloting across 20 of O2’s high street stores, the ground-breaking tech will help deliver insights around customer movement and flow, enabling managers to make informed space and capacity management decisions. It can also help improve customer experience and efficiency by reducing service and transaction times, and monitoring queue lengths, dwell times and conversion rates on certain products

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O2 Business has partnered with Aura Vision to deliver Spatial Insights to organisations managing retail, leisure, transport and other public spaces. It uses AI to deliver real-time and historical anonymised, encrypted insights to aid store management, staffing levels, marketing, vendor management and the wider customer experience.

Spatial Insights captures privacy-protected analytics from existing CCTV cameras, without the use of facial recognition. All insights are delivered in an anonymised way with all personal identifiable information being stripped out of the analysis at source. All data is processed on premise and is then encrypted and anonymised, therefore ensuring it is completely GDPR compliant and that no personal identifiable information is ever stored.

Beyond Retail

As organisations look to build back after the pandemic, optimising public spaces safely and efficiently is key. Beyond retail, Spatial Insights can also benefit transport hubs, leisure venues, offices, outdoor areas and commercial property. It can be used for:

  • Occupancy monitoring and assessing efficient usage of space
  • Monitoring and analysing the flow and movement of people within an environment to optimise workflow
  • Understanding how customers interact with different services
  • Gaining anonymised AI-driven demographic insights to give organisations a better understanding of their customers and visitors, so they can offer a more tailored experience

The technology currently uses 4G, fixed or wifi network connectivity, however near-future use cases will be able to benefit from the speed and capacity of 5G to support the processing of video data at scale (enhancing the solution). Longer term this will improve both download and uplink speeds of video and reduce latency so that insights can be used in real time to drive automated decisions.

Sergio Budkin, Director of Market Development at Virgin Media O2, said: “As a retail business ourselves, our number one priority is delivering the best possible in-store experience – for customers and our staff. The Spatial Insights pilot is part of our ongoing effort to find cutting-edge solutions that deliver innovative experiences to enhance people’s interactions with us.

“We have a successful track record of collaborating with partners like Aura Vision to bring the benefits of new tech into everyday business scenarios, and we know Spatial Insights can deliver a return on investment of approximately 20 times in the first year of use. We’re now looking forward to seeing the results for our own O2 Business customers, using video and AI to help them deliver increased footfall, dwell time and conversion within their own venues and spaces.”

Daniel Martinho-Corbishley, CEO and Founder at Aura Vision, said: “Our partnership with O2 Business is a fantastic opportunity to show the clear benefits AI technology can provide for both organisations and their visitors – in retail and a host of other sectors. The tech is already delivering impressive results, and by adding 5G speeds into the mix, there’s even more potential for using automated decisions and insights to drive further improvements in space management and in-store experience.”