Microsoft recently expanded in the retail market by deploying kiosks in over 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada. The success of that campaign has since sent Microsoft’s attention to physical retail stores into overdrive. Microsoft chose Sentry360’s 180-degree panoramic mini-dome camera for this deployment in 2013, and has successfully deployed this model in all of the kiosks. The key advantages were its low profile form-factor and panoramic view, which is perfectly suited for wide open spaces. The 180-degree view was especially suitable for monitoring counters, customer engagement, and acquisition.
Kyle Caldwell, Senior Security Consultant for the Retail Division, explained, “There were several areas of consideration before we made our camera choice. First, size, we had to embed some of these cameras inside of a custom aluminum enclosure, in some cases temporarily, with very little serviceability. Second, compatibility with a variety of video management software platforms was very important. We wanted a clear and direct API/SDK integration with the leading video management systems and needed the ability to obtain all features (including dewarping) from the panoramic camera brand we chose.”
The success of Sentry360’s panoramic cameras in the Kiosk pilot leveraged a second on-going deployment within Microsoft retail stores of the future. Successfully doing the work of several traditional cameras, as well as putting the entire activity of a store into real context from one single-sensor/single-lens solution is what really allows retailers to utilize this technology to its fullest potential. With two, or in some cases, one camera per kiosk, the four megapixel panoramic compact camera achieved the desired small footprint and delivered an easy-to-install solution to enable future scalability. Thomas Carnevale, Founder and CEO of Sentry360 explains, “The future of retail is a mesh of security, loss prevention and business intelligence. We see intelligent panoramic cameras being a focal point of brick and mortar stores in the future.”