Polaroid Cameras Stop POS Shrinkage As It Happens

Aug. 20, 2013
Retailers need to quit thinking of surveillance systems as repositories of what’s been seen and recorded and, instead, think of cameras as sensors in a system

NEW YORK, NY –Leveraging the new line of Polaroid surveillance cameras, retailers can not only record evidence for law enforcement but can also stop incidents while they are occurring. Most retailers still have to search through their recorded video to catch an incident. It can be extremely time-consuming to view video in a search to catch a clerk pilfering. Even in cases where the retailer has associated video and text for faster searches, the incident is still discovered after the fact.

“Retailers need to quit thinking of surveillance systems as simply repositories of what’s been seen and recorded and, instead, think of cameras as sensors in a system,” explains Allan Markoff, CEO of PRD International, manufacturer of Polaroid Professional Security Solutions. “Why should retailers search through recordings to locate an incident when they can stop it as it happens?”

There are a variety of ways that a Polaroid camera can add to its return on investment by acting like a sensor for the entire system with the help of video analytics to stop shrinkage incidents as they happen. Perhaps a retail jewelry store wants an alert whenever a certain object, such as the very expensive necklace in the front showcase, is moved. With a simple motion detector, if the necklace is moved, the system sends an alert in any manner that the store management wishes.

The system could also detect suspicious activity for immediate follow-up such as people entering low traffic areas that could be used for tag switching, undue motion around the POS stations and out-of-hours activity around the POS stations. At the changing room, the system can automatically compare what merchandise was carried into the changing room versus what is carried out.

Using Polaroid cameras as sensors, the system can quickly determine whether a person returning an item entered the store carrying that item. It works by detecting and tracking customers at entrances and customer service desks and associating the two events. Such a solution only requires cameras at the store entrances and returns counters, so it is simpler than a more customary approach where the customer is tracked throughout the store (requiring many cameras and very reliable camera hand-off algorithms) and must be continuously monitored to determine whether items are picked up.

Another video application could target employees that ring up a “return transaction” without a customer present. If so, the instant the return transaction occurs, the Polaroid camera looks for a customer and, seeing none, alerts management. Many organizations would like to better enforce a two-person rule for such types of transactions. The system operates in the same manner. If two people aren’t present at the time of the transaction, an alert is instantly sent.

Besides catching incidents and helping the retailer immediately take action, Polaroid systems will also help the organization improve customer service at the registers. For instance, if company policy is to have no more than four customers in line, once the fifth customer queues up, the system sends an alert to the store manager to get another cashier at the station.

All Polaroid surveillance equipment carries a 10-year warranty.