I don’t get out much lately, so maybe the retail world is overrun with COVID-19 access control technologies and I’d see them if I traveled.
But I don’t think so. I get carpet-bombed daily with emails about digital deployments of some kind or another, and I just have not seen much material that suggests widespread adoption.
Cost is an issue. Probably awareness. But I am guessing more than anything, that technologies like body temperature sensing and line-up management sensors and analytics are seen as something that was always going to be temporary.
All that stated, here’s a working example of that kind of pandemic-era retail technology in action – at a Samsung retail store at Yorkdale in Toronto, Canada’s ritziest shopping mall.
Melitron Corporation, in partnership with Axis Communications and ICON Media, introduced today a People Count Kiosk Solution that provides retailers with a simple and highly reliable way to automate the process of safely and accurately managing occupancy levels in compliance with regulatory requirements such as COVID-19 and fire safety measures.
The digital occupancy management solution creates a seamless entryway experience for retailers, with automated stop/go messages based on user-defined occupancy thresholds, and digital content and advertising during periods of lower occupancy to highlight a retailer’s health and safety measures, or in-store promotions, for example.
It is currently in use at its flagship location at The Samsung Experience Store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.
“We are providing a People Count Kiosk Solution that brings together the best in the industry, with the proven AXIS People Counter technology from Axis Communications, ICON’s retail expertise in digital communications and advertising, and Melitron’s durable digital signage and kiosk systems,” says Mike Turner, President and CEO at Melitron. “Retailers can rely on this all-in-one solution to create a welcoming digital experience for shoppers that ensures safe and accurate occupancy levels in-store.”
Melitron is perhaps best known as the specialty outdoor manufacturer that is supplying a Tim Horton’s drive-thru rollout across 1,000s of Canadian stores. The company designed and manufactured an indoor/semi-outdoor kiosk that has a Samsung 32-inch HD display, and can be wheeled around as needed.
The solution comes complete with software and services, including Axis Communications’ highly reliable technology – AXIS People Counter including software, analytics and video-based IP camera; Samsung MagicINFO content management system (CMS) with Datalink; and ICON’s media management services, including entryway kiosk and camera installation and setup, content design, customer support, and 24/7 network monitoring.
This would probably get more of a workout managing the lines and store capacity for the Apple store in the same mall. But this has the whiff of being a reference/working showroom thing in a high profile location.
I have a big affection for queue management and analytics technologies, and anything that makes the shopping experience better by communicating and managing line-ups and waits for service. For a store having to assign an associate to count and meter access inside, this would be more cost-efficient and put the staffer to better use.
The problem is, I’m not sure beyond Apple and a relatively small number of other retailers that there will be demand for this post-COVID.