For a retailer, the insights gained from in-store video analysis are invaluable for making better decisions. At the foundation of advanced video analytics is the Internet of Things (IoT), and its applications are everywhere. The technology that gives your retail business “smart” vision brings similar intelligence to buildings and cities.

How Smart Buildings and Cities Use Video Analytics

The video data capture method for smart buildings and cities is basically the same as for retail stores. All three rely on systems of video cameras to record content and motion in space and time, although the analytics and metrics differ somewhat in how they are labeled and used. The goal of these systems is to present a unified analysis of what is happening inside and around the physical structures they are monitoring.


In many cases, governments that operate smart cities and smart building owners make similar management decisions based on real-time data derived from video analysis as do managers of smart stores. Some of these comparable decisions involve:

  • Staff allocation. Placing employees where they are needed during peak hours for maintenance, general customer service, or security, just as you would schedule more staff to meet shoppers’ needs during power hours.
  • Facility/infrastructure management. Handling the upkeep of the structures and services that support the quality of life for occupants. You maintain your store in such a way that it’s comfortable, safe, and appealing for your customers.
  • Planning. Designing the layout of the city or building for its best possible use, which is comparable to optimizing your store’s layout.
  • Cost management. Finding ways for a city or building to be economically sustainable. This is similar to seeking cost savings in running your store.


When you consider how video analysis helps with the security for your store, loss prevention is probably the first thing that comes to mind. While video analytics systems for smart cities and buildings will monitor and alert for objects that are removed (or left) in the field of view, these systems also can perform public safety-related functions such as face recognition, license and vehicle identification, intrusion and fire detection, and more.

The complexities of an urban environment puts people counting into a different context than that for a retail store, too. Instead of identifying hot and cold zones where the focus is shopper traffic and attention, zone analysis is used to define zones for detecting crowds and what they are doing. And, instead of dwell time for the discovery of where shoppers linger, video analysis systems look for people who might be loitering or behaving in other possibly suspicious ways.

Quality of Experience Is Important, No Matter Where Video Analysis Is Used

The goal of using video analysis for your store is to improve customer experience, which can result in increased sales conversions. Smart cities and buildings are designed to improve the quality of life for their occupants, with a focus on security and facility management. Despite the differences,  retail stores and smart cities and buildings all use video analytics to promote quality of experience for the people served by them.

To learn more about the advantages of video analysis for your retail business, contact us today.