New Platform Helps Retailers Track In-Store Behavior
A new IoT physical-space analytics platform that uses radar and computer vision to help retailers optimize store layouts is hitting the shelves, so to speak.
Ulisse uses RF (radio frequency) sensors to provide real-time customer-behavior pattern analysis that store managers can use to maximize showroom space and turn curious browsers into paying customers.
The main Ulisse unit resembles a wireless router and can be placed in an unobtrusive location in a store to track the behavior of visitors. The unit, as well as optional remote sensors, illuminates the targets with reflection point-clouds that maintain privacy, unlike camera-based systems, CEO Luca Nestola said.
The system uses a “LEGO-like” approach in which the base can be assembled with multiple hardware modules, Nestola said, adding that Lidar and computer-vision functionalities are available. Installation takes just minutes, and the device can run uninterrupted and without maintenance “for years.”
Ulisses proprietary software and algorithms process the data collected to produce visual analytics that clients can use to optimize the placement of product displays, determine staffing needs and more. Current clients include Sunglass Hut, Salvatore Ferragmo and Sergio Rossi.
“As people begin to emerge post-pandemic and seek experiences outside of their homes, it will be obvious that the real estate industry has not fully understood people’s experiences and behaviors,” Nestola said. “Retailers can use data about how people interact so they understand how best to design physical spaces and make them most efficient.”
The cost of the system starts at approximately $500 and increases with add-on functionalities and sensors. A subscription of about $36 per month is also required, Nestola said.
Ulisse has applications outside the retail sector as well. It can be used to maximize office space, monitor patients in hospitals and even track the sleeping patterns of hotel guests to improve comfort. The platform is currently being used in the Singapore Cable Car Sky Network to track passengers and by the city of Venice to analyze and measure tourist density.
“Ulisse has a unique adaptive design so that it learns from human behavior and can turn every physical space into an intelligent space, regardless of what it is,” Nestola said. “We want to help realign spaces and places with people to create more liveable, comfortable and — for businesses — more-profitable environments.”