Serving the Smart Future of Retail

March 21, 2017
By Weld Royal

With its ability to count people, Panasonic’s Grid-EYE® infrared array Sensor can help retailers, hospitals and others relying on IoT insights.

A tiny device is spurring big changes on the retail floor. About the size of a fingernail, Panasonic’s Grid-EYE Sensor is an 8x8 (64) pixel infrared array device that can provide retailers data on consumer behavior without collecting sensitive personal information. Industry leaders are using it to help turn in-store experiences into sales.

Grid-EYE specifications

The Sensor’s pixel count enables a device to count and track multiple heat sources as they move. By tracking body heat, the Grid-EYE Sensor can be leveraged to monitor people through an entire retail space—from providing information on how many people have stopped at the store window, and how long they stayed, to the numbers of people waiting to use the in-store VR gaming booths or details on the crowds gathered for high tech video displays.

Sensors are fundamental to the information flow in the Internet of Things, or IoT, and sophisticated Sensors, such as the Grid-EYE provide new insight. The Grid-EYE isn’t simply tracking the number of people who enter a space. The consistent stream of information allows users to track movements through the location and measure the time and frequency shoppers spend in specific areas.

Understanding Its Singularity

Many different types of Sensors are used in retail. What makes the Grid-EYE unique is the sophistication of data it can collect to help retailers improve the shopping experience in a bricks and mortar location. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, brick-and-mortar outlets still control between 94% and 97% of the market.

And applications for Grid-EYE thermopile Sensor technology reach beyond retail. Medical institutions can use it to monitor a patient’s activity, such as whether or not they’re in bed or up and about in the room. By tracking the body heat of the individual, as opposed to collecting an image with a camera, these Sensors can be utilized to provide information and respect privacy.

Sky’s The Limit

In a similar setting, the Grid-EYE can monitor whether or not doctors are following procedures by tracking, for instance, whether or not the medical professional moves toward the sink and washes hands before and after inspecting a patient. Along with these applications, further uses for the Sensor include: digital signage, security, lighting control, kiosk and ATMs, medical imaging, portable devices, automatic doors, thermal mapping and robotics.

What is so exciting about the Grid-EYE is that it can be integrated with other technology to create new solutions, as a building block that becomes a part of a larger whole. One of the reasons the Grid-EYE is so versatile is its size. The whole Sensor is an enclosed package with its lens already included within the housing. As a result of its size, Panasonic’s Grid-EYE is one of the first surface mountable thermopile Sensor available.

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