Facial recognition combats load-shedding shoplifting
By Ivan Booth - Mar 26th, 08:39
South Africa’s load-shedding woes are not limited to the inconvenience suffered by consumers. The country’s retailers are set for a dramatic spike in shoplifting, warns one facial recognition for business specialist.
According to Camatica co-founder Laurence Seberini, “It’s no coincidence we see many shuttered stores when the lights go out. Shops dimly-lit with back-up power are a shoplifter’s dream. Accepting cash payments when the power goes out is also very risky.”
Mr Seberini’s Johannesburg-based firm has developed a range of AI-powered (Artificial Intelligence) facial recognition solutions specifically-designed for the local retail sector.
“We’re forecasting a marked increase in retail outlet shrinkage this year on the back of Eskom’s poor planning abilities and the fact GDP growth remains in the doldrums. It’s going to get hectic out there on the shop floor in 2019,” says Mr Seberini.
Fortunately, he says state-of-the-art optics in the form of AI-powered camera technology will help save the day for the hard-pressed retail sector.
With the locally-developed Camatica real-time facial recognition system, retailers are able to use the local start-up’s mobile app and web interface to easily add potential shoplifters or troublemakers worthy of attention to a ‘hotlist’ that can be instantaneously shared.
“Identifying confirmed or potential shoplifters using the hotlist and taking them out of circulation when the power is on means there are far fewer troublemakers to guard against when the power goes out,” explains Mr Seberini.
“The beauty of Camatica’s hotlist is that it can be shared with other storeowners creating a ring of AI-powered awareness across large geographical areas,” Mr Seberini says.
To get the best out of facial recognition technology, Mr Seberini advises retailers to ensure hotlists of problematic patrons are instantly updated and shared with staff, competitors, local business associations and the authorities.
“We specialise in facial recognition with a purpose. There is no Homeland Security creepiness here. Camera-centred AI is making a massive positive difference in the retail environment where organised shoplifting rings are starting to feel the heat and customers are therefore safer,” concludes Mr Seberini.
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