Imagine knowing what displays your customers walk right past, what ones they stop and linger at, when your store is at its busiest, which areas of the store customers visit most frequently, which products are being picked up the most, and even where theft is taking place.
All that and much more is now possible, and it is being done without capturing what’s called personally identifiable information (PII), or data about the individual identity of people in the store. And this immensely valuable information is being gathered via a new technology called lidar.
Lidar technology is similar to radar or sonar, but instead of using radio or sound waves, it measures the time of flight (ToF) of laser points to build three-dimensional, real-time information about the physical world. The laser points that are generated by lidar are called the point cloud. This technology has been widely used in autonomous vehicles (AVs) and geographical mapping from drones. And new innovations have dramatically reduced costs to enable lidar for use in smart spaces such as retail, airports, event spaces, facilities, healthcare campuses and so forth. With the addition of machine learning techniques, this data can provide a wealth of valuable insights for enhancing operations, safety and the holy grail of retail, customer experience