Swedish furniture retailer opts for Axis cameras.
Axis network cameras installed in the IKEA store in Soroksár, Hungary.
In full consideration of GDPR guidelines, IKEA wanted a system that would guarantee the security (protection of life and property) of the store. Particularly prominent areas of the store in this respect were the ones, where money transactions and movements of goods take place. Excellent image quality is a fundamental requirement for monitoring money transactions. And in areas where movement of goods takes place, 24-hour monitoring is essential, since workers drive around in forklift trucks, moving heavy goods in a vertical and horizontal direction.
IKEA and Criterion, a system integrator working with Axis as a partner, have jointly developed a system for monitoring the 33,500 m2 store and the outside areas. The challenge in this case was that this system required a higher investment on the customer’s behalf than other competing offers. Nevertheless, the coverage of the camera system, its usability and the potential number of applications have projected future returns. Through the use of digital technology, such a modern system could be implemented successfully, which not only performs the basic tasks required by the tender, but also provides statistical data that can be used for further marketing purposes.
Currently, the camera system is used for protection of life and property. Other intelligent features of the IP cameras will be exploited in the near future. Such applications will include mapping customer paths, drawing the store’s heat map, POS integration, which will allow cash register transactions to be monitored through the camera system.
When it comes to use of advanced systems in Hungary, IKEA is definitely at the forefront. At the time of building the new store, we wanted to gear ourselves towards digital technology, as the whole world is moving in this direction as well, and because this technology is more flexible and provides much better quality.
When designing its security system, the store opted for digital technology. “When it comes to use of advanced systems in Hungary, IKEA is definitely at the forefront. At the time of building the new store, we wanted to gear ourselves towards digital technology, as the whole world is moving in this direction as well, and because this technology is more flexible and provides much better quality.” said Gábor Lovász, Business Navigations and Operations Manager at IKEA Soroksár.
There is already a developed, structured network in place in the whole building, therefore, they can install cameras anywhere. When it comes to the connection of devices, an endpoint can always be found within a 20-meter radius maximum. The store has its own server, on which the local recording is done. Furthermore, the VMS software of Axis partner, Milestone Systems, runs on it as well. A total of 162 network cameras were installed on the on the site, mainly AXIS P1425-LE, AXIS M3045-V, and AXIS M1125. But a good number of outdoor and indoor PTZ cameras have also been installed with optics that can be rotated, tilted, and also have optical zoom.
The system is easily scalable and upgradeable. The cameras’ intelligence and the performance of their imaging have greatly contributed to the reduction in necessary storage capacity for recordings. Technologies such as Axis Lightfinder technology, which allows for detailed and color-rich images to be transmitted in low light, and Axis Zipstream technology, which can intelligently compress video data, thus significantly reduce bandwidth and storage space without compromising evidence detail, have both helped this development along. Using less and more efficient tools will result in lower costs, thus reducing energy usage and the ecological footprint of the system, which was a very important factor for IKEA, a brand famous for its environmental protection efforts.
At the moment, the main focus is on personal (customer and employee) safety within the store and on the protection of property. The goal of protection of life is to avoid all kinds of accidents, while protection against theft is the main focus of protection of property. With consideration to GDPR provisions, it is possible to monitor license plates to find out how much time a customer spends in the parking lot and deduce in such way the amount of time they spend shopping. The camera installed at the revolving door counts the number of customers stepping in and out of the store.
Exploitable opportunities in the system
The next steps include customer tracking, mapping of customers’ routes, and thus drawing the heat map of the store and the assessment of customer habits. The store is built to have a predefined customer route. The goal is for the customer to go everywhere, have a look at everything. This helps them to deduce how attractive the design and inspiration of the area is. The software is able to tell the customer’s gender, estimate their age, they can even find out how many families with children shop in the store. In this way, IKEA can easily and quickly reflect on the market situation and make itself even more attractive to existing and potential customers. Based on such great experiences, developments began in two other stores in Budapest, thanks to which the cash register transaction function will be activated in the store in Budaörs.
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