Here’s the interview snippet from the interaction with Mr. Azhaan Merchant ,SVP of Strategy & Business Development, Deep North.
IT Voice Spokesperson: Please elaborate on your business model & USP’s.c
Mr. Azhaan Merchant: Deep North helps businesses achieve better outcomes through its software only analytics and AI platform for the physical world. Its end-to-end software solution combines artificial intelligence with computer vision to help retailers and businesses digitize and analyze behavioral metrics in the physical world and gives them tools to act upon these insights.
The company has developed a patented computer vision engine that leverages existing CCTV footage that can deploy with unparalleled ease and speed across an infinite number of video cameras. The company’s algorithm optimizes perpetually over time, turning actionable, real-time insights into rich trend reporting. This in turn informs prescriptive and predictive recommendations that allow enterprises to impact their business both in the moment and with an eye on future outcomes.
IT Voice Spokesperson: Role of pragmatic AI for retail and beyond
Mr. Azhaan Merchant: Where most AI systems capture and report data, the Deep North platform arms enterprises with real-time alerts and recommendations that allow you to uncover opportunities, remove obstacles, and improve business outcomes.
Our goal is to give our customers a detailed understanding of consumer behavior as it relates to their specific physical environment. We use computer vision and AI to provide real-time insights that support profitable decisions by retailers (and those in other industries, from commercial real estate to transportation hubs). We provide the ability to create a kind of personalization in the brick-and-mortar world by unlocking data and providing insights that previously could only be captured online.
Our technology is designed to do nothing less than enable retailers to make shopping a far different experience for their customers — and in the process improve their bottom line. Enterprises are leveraging our computer vision platform as an extension to their team, helping capture what’s working and what isn’t in real time, and then recommending immediate, actionable solutions while perpetually learning and optimizing the system over time.
IT Voice Spokesperson: What kind of technologies will be trending in 2022?
Mr. Azhaan Merchant: Computer Vision and AI-Driven decision-making for store operations to drive productivity, and profitability will be possible at scale due to powerful virtualized edge compute thanks to innovations from Dell Technologies and Nvidia.
The hardware that these enterprises have developed will enable digital transformation, including automation and real-time experiences at the edge while being connected to Hybrid clouds. Deep North is partnering with the Dell and Nvidia and have tested and simplified our solutions to ensure we can flexibly deploy across any physical environment.
Computer vision solutions like Deep North can digitize and turn physical stores into a webpage overnight at costs effective prices. Once this data is unlocked then, both store managers and executives can utilize this in real-time to accelerate decision making to empower the organization at all levels.
IT Voice Spokesperson: How the Use of Data Analytics and Understanding the True Omnichannel Experience for Customers
Mr. Azhaan Merchant: Enterprises such as Shopping centres, Retailers, QSRs have limited visibility into how consumers behave in their physical environments. The primary data that they have access to today is from their Point-of-Sale systems. However, there is an entire blackhole of data on what happens when a customer enters their brick & mortar store until they reach the POS system.
With the growth of ecommerce, consumers are getting hyper personalized experiences as their behaviour is being tracked pixel by pixel. Deep North’s goal is to reclaim traffic for brick-and-mortar stores by helping them understand the customer funnel pre purchase. Using computer vision, we can tap into existing CCTV footage to help enterprises understand customer analytics such as footfall, conversion, consumer demographics, dwell times and product interactions.
IT Voice Spokesperson: Any challenges faced in the Industry & future plans.
Mr. Azhaan Merchant: While computer vision has been around for over a decade, most players have developed facial recognition-based algorithms to track people/ objects. With the development of the GDPR framework, it is of utmost importance to preserve every individual’s identity along with any personally identifiable information. Deep North was founded with the belief that there was a massive opportunity for Western enterprises to utilise such software if it was GDPR and CCPA compliant. As a result, all our algorithms since our inception have been based on skeletal tracking – this means that we are never tracking the facial characteristics of any individual. However, at the same time our demographics algorithms can identify individuals in age and gender brackets. This allows our enterprises to slice and dice the data we unlock in the form of cohorts instead of an individual level.