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Stop Talking, Start Doing – Computer Vision Will Transform Your Business in 2020

Computer Vision really started to come to the forefront of industry conversations in 2019. From Amazon Go competitors to Walmart’s use of the technology to combat theft, a number of companies are realizing the organizational benefits of the AI subset. As we look to 2020, however, there are far more opportunities for computer vision implementation than replicating what Amazon and Walmart are doing. It’s time to look at Computer Vision for the other 99 percent of enterprises in the world.

By implementing Computer Vision, service providers can automate quality control functions and enable real-time training feedback for technicians in the field.

Nearly every company, regardless of a lack of data scientists and the seemingly endless supply of R&D capital available to the tech giants, can benefit from the implementation of Computer Vision. There are more obvious industries, like Retail and Transportation, and then the industries that don’t immediately spring to mind, like insurance, food service, and waste management.

In each of these industries, there are processes across the board that can be augmented and automated with Computer Vision. I will touch on a few of the industries below, and how they can implement it in the new year.

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While 2019 saw retail behemoths Amazon and Walmart implementing Computer Vision, as well as a few startups, we expect more players to enter the market and increased buy-in from retailers in 2020. The versatility of Computer Vision allows retailers to augment multiple processes with one technology. In addition to the Amazon Go model, which allows for cashier-less checkout and is the most prevalent use case for the industry, Computer Vision also has the ability to augment everything from security to stocking shelves.

For example, Walmart has implemented it in over 1,000 stores to deter theft by tracking activity at both self-checkout and standard registers. The technology notifies an employee should it detect suspicious activities, such as an item that is passed over a scanner too quickly or not at all. This is meant to combat “shrinkage,” the industry term for lost revenue due to theft, system errors and more.

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The telecommunications industry is no stranger to the implementation of advanced technologies, however, Computer Vision has the capability to augment more than just their infrastructure and networks. With 5G networks rolling out across the country, and the FCC investing billions of dollars over the next 10 years to expand, improve and maintain broadband networks in rural areas, the telecommunications industry has increased demand for skilled technicians. The industry, however, is experiencing the exact opposite, with fewer skilled technicians available to complete installations and maintenance on fiber-optic lines.

By implementing Computer Vision, service providers can automate quality control functions and enable real-time training feedback for technicians in the field.

Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR)

With the rise of third-party delivery services like UberEats, Seamless and Postmates, the QSR industry has grown exponentially as it’s now possible to have virtually any cuisine delivered to you anytime and anywhere. And while this increased demand and revenue stream is beneficial to QSRs, there are plenty of issues brought on by increased demand. According to the 2019 Drive-Thru Performance Study, both order speed and accuracy decreased in 2019.

By implementing Computer Vision applications, franchises can improve order accuracy by confirming the contents of an order before it goes out for delivery, eliminating the need to comp customers. Additionally, it is able to detect wait times and line length for both in-store and drive-thru customers, enabling managers to reassign employees to alleviate backlogs.

2019 offered glimpses into what is possible with Computer Vision, thanks to the visibility garnered by startups going up against Amazon Go and bigger industry players revealing various use cases.

In 2020, we expect to see executives within other industries implementing computer vision within their operational and business processes to either gain a foothold within their industry or close the gap on industry leaders. In previous years this might not have been possible, but with the advances made in computer vision the “99 percent” can now begin to reap the benefits that were once only available to Big Tech.

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