New spin-off Smartivize takes an exclusive license on the 'Shopper Vision' technology from UGent

(29-11-2017) Smartivize is a new Ghent University spin-off of the Image Processing and Interpretation research group, that blends smart devices, computer vision and AI to bring innovation to different industries.

Real-time shopper behavior analytics

Smartivize CEO Vedran Jelaca: “Our mission with our first product Shopper Vision is to innovate the retail chain: for retailers and their suppliers (manufacturers) on one hand, and for individual shoppers on the other hand. We aim to provide real-time shopper behavior analytics for retailers and their suppliers, which will be so detailed to put them on a par with online shops and help the offline shops increase sales efficiency. We try to bring the online and offline world together for individual shoppers, augmenting the offline experience with highly relevant online data.”

Characterizing human behavior in indoor environments

UGent Prof. Wilfried Philips: “The ‘Shopper Vision’ technology builds on our research in image processing and interpretation. We build vision systems for real-time and robust applications. One example is the automotive sector, where the current autonomous systems need to deal with data from different sensors and have to react quickly to the environment. The same building blocks are of course useful for other domains. With Shopper Vision, we have looked into characterizing human behavior in indoor environments.”

Smartivize CEO Vedran Jelaca:  “For these purposes, we are creating an ecosystem that uses computer vision, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, together with shopper research and highly targeted shopper marketing. We use smart glasses that shoppers wear while shopping so we can collect shopper data."

Two year contract in Australia

Smartivize recently finished a big shopper research study for the Ferrero Group in Australia. The spin-off analyzed behavior of thousands of shoppers across Sydney and Melbourne stores and helped Ferrero to improve placement of their products in the stores. The positive outcome of this project resulted in a two year subscription contract for the Australian market. Smartivize intends to expand this next year to Europe and North America.

Future applications    

Shopper analytics and marketing is just the beginning for Smartivize. The technology and solutions they are creating can be used for other purposes in the future: fast and convenient self-checkouts (an alternative or complementary to solutions like Amazon Go), virtual assistance to visually impaired people, augmented reality guides, etc.

Smartivize joining the Watt community

UGent Prof. Wilfried Philips: “Shopper Vision has been developed by Vedran Jelaca thanks to an innovation mandate funded by the Flemish agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). It is the 10th company taking an exclusive license on a technology platform from our innovation cluster i-KNOW. We are also happy to announce that Smartivize will join the Watt Factory, the smart city accelerator. After Pozyx, this is our second company joining the Watt community.”

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