With the number of e-commerce platforms surfacing, one would think that stores would shift their energies towards having a stronger presence online than in real. To our surprise, you can find physical stores that still use the support of data and technology within their brick-and-mortar companies. One startup, in particular, has decided to play it smart and take part in helping those companies.
A Lebanon-based startup, Vision in Motion is helping brick-and-mortar companies by serving as much value from data as their e-commerce counterparts. “Instead of having security cameras [in-store] sitting there and doing nothing, [we] use them to collect data on your customers, and change the layout and style of your store and nature of your services to really fit their needs, and provide them with a tailored experience that will maybe push them to buy and spend more than they would have originally,” explained Samy El Khoury, co-founder of Vision in Motion.
The startup helps retail stores monitor customers within their premises (which can include showrooms, malls or any space) using image processing and computer vision technology. “We can know how many people enter the place, where they spend time, how they interact in a certain area- do they shop and dwell, or do they just pass by,” El Khoury said. It also monitors the time customers stay in the store and what department or product did they linger around the most.
This all sounds great and interesting, but the issue of privacy always remains. How would you feel if a robot is tracking your every single movement, and monitors and analyzes your behavior? Isn’t that a little bit too creepy? But then again, according to El Khoury, these cameras already existed before to ensure no thievery happened: “First, the customers are already being recorded by the security cameras. Next, the information we store doesn’t contain any facial information at all, just movement.”
Nonetheless, it is still inspiring to learn more and more each day about young entrepreneurs making it into the scene. El Khoury is already a student that juggles his priorities between his studies and his startups. He recently had the opportunity to attend the Blackbox Connect program in Silicon Valley, and his startup made it to the top at ArabNet Beirut 2017 Startup Battle. With determination and passion, there are not limits. What’s stopping you?