Today’s Technology is Getting Smarter

Smart technology is watching us, helping us, and getting smarter because of us.

July 18, 2012
KEYWORDS cameras , siri , smart , technology , video
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Most people agree our technology is getting smarter—but most don’t realize just how smart.

Sure, they know their smart phones have GPS capability and their smart appliances can improve efficiency, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Smart technology is around us every day. From surveillance cameras to clothing, today’s smart technology is watching us, helping us, and getting smarter because of us.

Smart video

Let’s look at in-store surveillance cameras. In the past, the video quality of those cameras was poor. Most of us can remember watching the nightly news and seeing blurry footage of a robbery and not being able to make anything out.

Today we have two things taking place that alleviate that scenario:

  1. Software that can clean up video footage so we can see the detail; and
  2. Inexpensive cameras that can replace those old, bigger cameras, and that can give us full 1080P HD video resolution at a low cost.

Now you might be thinking, “So, what? That just means the police will be able to better identify who was robbing a store.”

Actually, it’s a much bigger deal than that. With today’s smart technology, companies are tapping into these video streams and, using high-speed computer analytics, are doing shopping analyses within the store based on the security camera footage.

In other words, security cameras can expose a wealth of sales and marketing data.

We can see customer movements, what products they stop in front of, and how often they stop in front of them. We can see if that display at the end of the counter is working or not.

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineAt the end of each evening, we can get a report on all the traffic patterns in the store without having to watch all the video because it’s all automated. The report can show where delays take place in the store, where the lines build up, where people spend most of their, where people aren’t going in the store, what products are the hottest, and which aisles are being browsed and for how long.

And that’s just information from inside the store! When you take the camera outside, its uses are even more amazing.

Smart audio

Increasingly, we’re using cameras outside to analyze traffic patterns and to look at high-crime areas. The nation that’s most advanced in this practice is Great Britain. It has cameras all over its cities and towns, capturing people’s lives around the clock and using high-speed analytics to analyze traffic flows, people movement, crime, and so on.

But it doesn’t stop at video footage—there’s also audio. That means after a video has been recorded, an audio zoom can be performed, allowing conversations to be overheard.

You might think, “Who is going to listen to all of those conversations?” The answer: No one.

Because it’s digital audio, you can search the audio content for keywords and pull up the conversations that are specific to the phrases you’re searching for.

This is already happening in Great Britain. Will it be used only there, or will other countries, including our own, start using this smart technology in the future?

The answer is, of course, that we’ll be using this technology here and in other countries as well. So while seeing is believing, seeing and hearing something is undeniable.

NEXT: Smart tech you can wear

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