System for automating and supporting stores in limiting the number of visitors

Subject: Service Science and Innovations, second year of masters degree

Authors: Ivona Čolaković, Blagica Janeva, Andrej Kostić

In these COVID times, we are all aware that going to the store is not such a pleasant experience as it was before the pandemic. Stores face the need to hire additional staff to comply with the measures for a limited number of visitors. This results in long queues and non-optimized staff arrangement.

Our solution to this problem is an intelligent information system powered by IoT devices to automate limiting customers’ entrances and monitoring the entire journey and customer behavior.

With the help of existing entrance cameras, we can monitor people’s entry and exit, collect and send the data in real-time, and display it on dashboards. When the maximum number of customers is reached smart door automatically closes until someone leaves the store. The dashboards are fully adjustable and easy to use, even for people with average technical skills. Thus, chain stores can have a unified overview of all branch stores and can group, filter, and sort data according to their own needs.

The solution is based on collecting camera footage, which is then processed by a face recognition algorithm. The output messages are transmitted using the MQTT protocol to the ELK stack. The data is aggregated and processed and then displayed on an interactive dashboard for data visualization and analysis.

Our solution’s main advantage is a smart door that automatically closes at a certain number of entrances, i.e., the difference between the entrances and exits. With the data obtained from the videos, advanced analyzes can be performed, and customers’ habits can be followed. Another advantage is easy installation as pre-existing hardware is used.

Infonova’s digital business platform helps market the solution and develop different business models for many customers. It efficiently enables customer and order management. We have implemented a business model that allows billing for the use of our intelligent monitoring system monthly. There is a possibility to extend the business model with an event triggered calculation of charges, such as locking the door.

The solution offers many upgrade options such as detailed tracking of customer habits and advanced analysis of their behavior, optimization of queues and staffing, and adaptation for different retail stores.

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