Since 2010, VTT has developed technology for an advanced tracking system based on networked 3D depth sensors that provide accurate information on how people move about and behave in various spaces. The system can be applied, for example, to improving the shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores, optimising the use of office facilities, as an tool for assisting independent living by the elderly or providing an input to smart lighting control systems. The tracking system provides real-time information on people detected in the monitored space: location, height, velocity and direction. This data can be processed and analysed in order to model behaviour, segment the people based on their behaviour, measure the activity level, predict the actions and interpret the intentions. The analysis results can be communicated in real-time to external services.
The usage of the analysed data varies between different application domains. For example, in retail the system can provide an insight into shopper activities: where they spend their time, what draws their interest, or where they intend to go next. By analysing the information gathered, it is possible for example to model various shopper types as well as to design store layouts and product displays to meet the customer and retailer needs, in addition to providing improved customer service.
For smart lighting solutions, information can be used in order to create dynamic personalized lighting schemes, e.g. improving shopping experience inside a retail store. The system creates a rewarding and interesting shopping experience by adjusting lighting dynamically depending on people's behaviour in the store. The sales items and landmarks in the store can be highlighted so as to improve orientation. The sections of the store outside of main corridors can be made more inviting. As the shopper see the collections more clearly, they feel more comfortable and spend more time in the store, and this has a positive effect on the shopping experience and finally on sales.
The depth sensor-based people detection and tracking system has been piloted for retail use cases in Finland and the Netherlands. The facility management piloting has been carried out in Belgium and Finland, and the elderly care use case piloting in Finland.