The world of automated surveillance is booming, with new machine learning techniques giving CCTV cameras the ability to spot troubling behavior without human supervision. And sooner or later, this tech will be coming to a store near you — as illustrated by a new AI security cam built by Japanese telecom giant NTT East and startup Earth Eyes Corp.
The security camera is called the “AI Guardman” and is designed to help shop owners in Japan spot potential shoplifters. It uses open source technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University to scan live video streams and estimate the poses of any bodies it can see. (Think of it like a Kinect camera, but using 2D instead of 3D data to track people.) The system then tries to match this pose data to predefined ‘suspicious’ behavior. If it sees something noteworthy, it alerts shopkeepers via a connected app.
AI Guardman has been under development for at least a few years, but last month NTT East and Earth Eyes shared the results of some early trials with the camera. As you might expect for a PR blast, the feedback was glowing; and according to a report from Japan’s IT Media, NTT East and Earth Eyes claim that AI Guardman reduced shoplifting in stores by around 40 percent.
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