Google Analytics for the Real World: Use Security Cameras To Figure Out How Many People Are In a Location

October 29th, 2011

This is useful, but scary.

 Instead, Prism Skylabs has built a technology that recycles security camera footage with the goal of delivering real-time analytics about a store or location.

“We bring spaces online so that businesses and consumers can understand and engage each other,” said Ron Palmeri, president and co-founder of Prism Skylabs, in a recent interview. “It’s like Google Analytics for physical spaces where you can see how many people are in a store, and how long they stay for.”

Mr. Palmeri said this type of physical data can be used to better manage staffing levels, security and the location of  products in a store. The footage can also be used to help customers too. For example, instead of calling a restaurant to check if there is seating for a party of four, Prism Skylabs software could automatically answer that question online, showing how busy the establishment is.

They address privacy concerns, much like Google did by blurring faces:

Of course privacy is a concern for many when it comes to security camera footage. Prism Skylabs says on its Web site that it has developed a technology that eliminates people’s faces and bodies from an image, forming a ghost-like shape that completely protects the privacy of customers.

Can you say omniveillance?

“Cameras are everywhere, with a little bit of software in the cloud, we’re trying to create uses that are beneficial to business owners and customers,” Mr. Palmeri said.

Wait till Google taps into these numbers.

Businesses will automatically syndicate Prism Skylabs’ real-time views across company websites that customers are already using, including Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, among other websites. When consumers visit their favorite venues and spaces online, they will see the Prism Skylabs view option to gain real-time insight, reviews and information. As consumers get used to having this view option, those businesses that don’t offer it will begin to feel like darkened storefronts.