Video: How AI-Based Computer Vision Generates Actionable Insights In QSR Drive-Thrus
November 2, 2023 by Dave Haynes
Computer vision solutions have been around for many years now, but the vendors haven’t always done the best job of marketing them or even explaining how they really work.
The biggest issues have been mis-identifying their systems as facial recognition, which inflames privacy advocates (most of these systems don’t recognize individual faces, just patterns of faces), and the main use-case has often centered around one-to-one marketing based on the characteristics (or even perceived emotions) of the one person in front of the screen at any given moment.
The latter has never seemed to get brands excited … perhaps because they want to be in spaces with a lot of eyeballs.
So I was intrigued by a Linkedin post and supporting video from the Australian software firm MeldCX, which nicely shows and explains how its Viana AI software and low-cost cameras linked to the cloud can deliver all kinds of insights on how a retail operation is performing, and the dynamics in play. The key words there is insights, particularly if they are actionable.
The video focuses on QSR drive-thru and show how computer vision can provide insights on operational metrics like:
- Service Time Heatmaps
- Service Ratings,
- Vehicle Distribution
- Queue Abandonment Rates
Real-time insights when linked to CMS systems can do everything from trigger menu changes like pricing and promotions, or show metrics and developing issues on staff-facing operational signage in back of house areas.
These guys are by no means the only ones doing computer vision. Quividi, for example, has been at it for a couple of decades, there’s VSBLTY and companies like Navori and Spectrio have their own built in-house or acquired audience measurement platforms. QSR giants like McDonald’s have their own in-house drive thru computer vision system, and I suspect Stratacache does work like this, as well.
But MeldCX does a nice job here showing the possibilities and benefits, and how they tie into business systems. Digital signage vet Raffi Vartian joined the company about three years ago and I had a hell of a time trying to wrap my head around what MeldCX did.
My simpleton explanation when I first wrote about them was that the company offers a platform as a service that makes it much easier and faster for software vendors, integrators and solutions providers to stick to what they’re good at. The customer worries about the user experience and key functions of an application, which can sit on top of a meldCX technology stack that has already got things like OS compatibility and scalability worked out.
So, when a client asks a vendor for a solution that could be very complicated, a lot of that complication has already been handled via the meldCX platform. So the job can be accelerated and the costs controlled.
This video does a nice job of explaining the what and how of this sort of solution, and why retailers and brands might care.