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Experian FootFall selects Sony’s IP-based cameras to expand its shopper counting solutions

Published on 8 February, 2008

Experian FootFall selects Sony’s IP-based cameras to expand its shopper counting solutionsSony has announced a groundbreaking application of its leading IP Network Video products with Experian FootFall's counting solutions.

Using IP cameras for the first time, Experian FootFall, the market-leading pedestrian counting services provider, has chosen a range of Sony's mini-dome, fixed and pan-tilt intelligent network cameras, supported by Sony's Distributed Enhanced Processing Architecture (DEPA) technology, to strengthen its current sensor-device line-up which includes traditional thermal and laser imaging.  This will enable remote monitoring of in-store activity through integration of a counting system and video image reporting.

With a client base spanning the retail, property, financial and transport industries, Experian FootFall counts and validates the equivalent of the world's population every year.  Its counting devices provide the critical conversion rate of people purchasing goods or utilising services in relation to the number of visitors to the venue, and accuracy and consistency are key.  Unlike the other technologies currently used to count, Sony's IP cameras, which are DEPA enabled, have proved to provide a more cost effective, accurate, efficient, and operator-friendly reporting solution.

Through their capability to distribute images over a network, Sony's IP cameras offer a remote video-verification facility, and a far more accurate representation of activity in a given venue.  With near real-time analysis reports, the cameras can explain via video footage any count anomalies in the data captured from stores across the network without identifying any individuals.

As Richard Gallois, Research and Development Manager at Experian FootFall, explains: "Sony's sophisticated image processing within the camera is unique within our industry.  A combination of Sony's camera technology and image processing coupled with Experian FootFall's tracking algorithms and reporting options leverages the strengths of both partners.  Sony's added value services, such as remote monitoring, bring a new dimension to the science of people counting.  Integrating people counting with Sony's industry leading video systems is a logical evolution and will bring benefits to Sony's and Experian FootFall's customers.  We envisage a rich future working with a partner as competent and technologically advanced as Sony."

Martin Higgins, Global Operations Director at Experian FootFall, adds: "The flexibility of the range of IP cameras and applications that Sony provided also meant we could choose the right cameras for indoor and outdoor use, such as the mini-dome cameras which we mounted in-ceiling or the IP66 cameras for outside."

The added value of Sony's IP-enabled cameras and recorders lies in their intelligent capability supported by DEPA technology.  Sony is the first company to implement an intelligent algorithm in their cameras as a standard feature.

The combination of a video monitoring system with a counting solution also gives users unique benefits, especially in the retail market.  For example, the dual functioning system is much easier to operate in terms of both cost and maintenance and it is far easier to expand once the video platform system is installed.

As Simon Nash, Senior Marketing Manager for NVM/CCTV at Sony Europe, remarked: "Our relationship with Experian FootFall brings home the endless market opportunities for making innovative use of Sony technology.  The sophistication of our DEPA enabled products is having real impact across industry sectors, and we are looking forward to demonstrating the capacity of our intelligent cameras for Experian FootFall at ISE."

Experian FootFall's Sony technology applications will be available in market from February onwards.

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