GroundLevel Insights Inc is a Canadian technology start-up at the forefront of helping businesses adapt to the 'new normal' and regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As of July 7, it is now mandatory to wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces in the city of Toronto and the group's artificial intelligence (AI) platform is helping retailers, tourist attractions and government agencies ensure the new bylaw is adhered to.
"COVID has caused an accelerated digital transformation for our clients," notes Asif R. Khan, founder and CEO of GroundLevel Insights. "Our solution easily integrates with a company’s existing CCTV camera and applies machine learning algorithms to the existing video to measure social distance, face mask compliance as well as age and gender approximations."
"All video is processed onsite and we do not use facial recognition, so there are no privacy concerns. Any rules not adhered to, result in an alert being sent to staff via text message or email," Khan added.
The firm's technology can count people via sensor to maintain capacity restriction and can analyze CCTV footage to monitor social distancing and face mask detection.
Scott Bradley, of baking supply store Flour Confections in Pickering outside Toronto, is a fan of the group's offering.
"I received the 'rules box' from GroundLevel Insights and installed it myself a few weeks back when we reopened to the public, first, as a way to learn more about our customer base which has changed post COVID – now I’m grateful to have a system that sends me a text if a customer removes their face mask or comes into the store without one," he said.
Not only does the technology help to meet COVID restrictions, it offers rich consumer insights that will help businesses grow, even in a slower recovery market, said Khan.
The tech veteran, who began his career in Silicon Valley two decades ago, said he is now seeing clients work in partnership with other retailers.
"With location data they are able to now see where their customers are before and after via the GroundLevel dashboard and are reaching out to those businesses and striking mutually beneficial arrangements to drive return customers and cross-marketing efforts," he explained.
Cannabis retail market
Founded in 2018, GroundLevel originally targeted the emerging cannabis retail market via consumer location data.
It said because its platform was built around the high degree of regulation in the cannabis space, it was an easy pivot to help all businesses make sense of the government standards for coronavirus.
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