Revolutionizing Retail: 360-Degree Fisheye Camera & Video Technology

Discover the advantages of 360 degree fisheye camera technology in the Retail Industry and how it enhances security, surveillance and customer experience

The Growing Need for Video Security and Insights in Retail

Kostas Mellos HeadshotKostas Mellos

VP Sales Oncam, North America

In the evolving world of retail, both surveillance excellence and deep business insights are of paramount importance. 

The 2023 National Retail Security Survey by the National Retail Federation revealed that US retailers faced a staggering loss of $112.1 billion due to shrinkage in 2022. What's more, an alarming 81% of retailers report that organized retail crime offenders have become more violent. 

But the scope isn't limited to just security. It's also about gaining insights into customer behaviors, preferences, and patterns within the store. 


Increasing Use of 360-Degree Fisheye Cameras

As retailers aim to blend top-tier security with enriched customer experiences, the choice of technology becomes pivotal. Contemporary fisheye cameras, coupled with advanced analytics, offer not only a holistic 360-degree perspective but also a slew of benefits over conventional narrow field of view cameras. These benefits span from substantial cost reductions and minimized operational interruptions to a treasure trove of valuable business insights. 


What are the advantages of 360 degree fisheye cameras?

1. Single Camera, Total Situational Awareness

The foremost advantage of fisheye cameras in a retail setting is the sweeping coverage they offer. Unlike traditional setups requiring multiple cameras to reduce multiple blind spots, a single fisheye camera delivers a 360-degree panoramic view. This is invaluable for retail spaces, ensuring every nook and corner is under surveillance and contributing to total situational awareness. 

2. Dynamic Dewarping & Virtual PTZ

A fisheye camera's dewarping technology enables retailers to seamlessly transform fisheye images into conventional views while simulating a virtual Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) experience. For instance, store managers can zoom into specific sections, be it an aisle or a counter, offering real-time detailed views and enhancing situational awareness, without wasting valuable monitor real estate with non-important views As no image stitching is required, no tell-tale visual distortion or analytics issues occur.

3. Operational Efficiency with Fewer Cameras

Installing multiple traditional cameras means more licenses, more cabling, more points of potential failure, and more locations to monitor and maintain. A fisheye camera's expansive view minimizes the need for excessive cabling and multiple installation points. This not only results in direct cost savings but also reduces business disruption during installation, especially during peak trading hours or seasons.

4. Analytics-Powered Business Insights

Moving beyond security, fisheye cameras coupled with the right retail-focussed VMS platform, enriched with analytics become potent business tools. Analytics can track conversions, dwell times (how long a customer spends in a particular section), and pathing (the routes customers typically take). Comparing areas of high foot traffic with sales data, retailers garner crucial insights into product placements, displays, staffing, training and promotional strategies. By integrating video surveillance, you gain an additional dimension of insight, offering visual evidence that can uncover extensive details about your retail operations. Many retailers have seen a boost in profitability through such integrations, mitigating theft and fraud, enhancing operational efficiency, and refining customer service and marketing strategies.

5. Simpler Maintenance and Management

With fewer cameras to monitor and manage, the ongoing maintenance and management efforts—and thus costs—are considerably reduced. In the rare event of a malfunction, diagnosing and rectifying issues becomes more streamlined, further minimizing downtime.

6. Discreet Monitoring for Enhanced Ambiance

Especially in premium retail environments where aesthetics matter, the compact design of fisheye cameras offers an advantage. They provide expansive coverage without being obtrusive, ensuring the store ambiance remains undisturbed while still achieving total situational awareness. What’s more, less cabling means less conduit in walls and ceilings in situations where routing cannot be easily concealed.

Why choose Oncam C-Series 360-degree fisheye cameras?

1. Sharp, Clean Video Imagery in Retail Store Environment

Not all 360-degree cameras are the same. Oncam’s C-Series 360-degree fisheye cameras have emerged as a game-changer for retail applications, setting new standards in video surveillance and analytics technology. At the heart of its prowess is the camera's comprehensive and crisp 360-degree view derived from its unique blend of embedded technology and firmware features.

2. Comprehensive Monitoring and Multi-Mode Streaming in Retail Spaces

While its 360-degree image capture offers a bird's-eye view of the entire store, its smooth dewarping algorithms facilitate more intuitive live viewing in control rooms. Adding a layer of flexibility, the camera’s Multi-Mode allows retailers to stream multiple dewarped distinct views concurrently. This means control rooms can simultaneously monitor the entrance, cash counters, aisles, and exit, ensuring no activity goes unnoticed.

3. Addressing Diverse Lighting Problems in Retail Video Surveillance

Challenges such as inconsistent lighting in stores can sometimes lead to camera exposure issues. For instance, storefront windows on sunny days may flood the camera with intense light, causing overexposure, while dimly lit aisles in the evening can result in underexposed, grainy footage. Both these contrasting scenarios potentially obscure critical details. TrueDetail HDR captures dual exposures of a single frame at varied exposure levels, merging them to elucidate details in both dimly lit and overly bright sections of an image. This dual exposure unveils nuances often missed by conventional cameras.

4. Overcoming Lighting Issues in Retail Video Surveillance

Complementing TrueDetail HDR, Oncam’s Advanced Light Management Technology, adapts dynamically to any lighting condition. Be it in the muted lighting of an evening or the challenging mixed lighting of a busy afternoon, this feature ensures that every corner of a retail space is optimally illuminated in the captured footage. The result? Crystal clear surveillance videos with minimal noise, capturing every detail, every time.

5. Video Data Efficiency with Advanced Compression

Yet, the advantages don’t stop at image quality alone. Oncam's StreamLite Compression technology is a boon for retailers concerned about data storage. By slashing video bandwidth requirements by an impressive 50% on average, it ensures that high-quality surveillance doesn't translate to high storage costs. And with Oncam’s ColorMap Compression, integrated VMS/NVR partners can squeeze out an additional 20% compression, further streamlining storage needs.

6. Aesthetic and Functional Design for Modern Retail Oncam-C-Series---Small-Form-Factor

In the age of stylish interiors and sophisticated store layouts, the appearance of surveillance equipment has become increasingly important. For retailers who place a premium on aesthetics, the C-Series indoor camera is the perfect blend of form and function. With its discreet and compact design, it doesn't just serve its primary surveillance purpose but also blends with the store's ambiance. The Oncam's C-Series of indoor cameras are so unobtrusive that they each fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, and not disruptive to the visual harmony of the retail space.

7. Deployment Speed & Minimising Business Disruption

Rapid and efficient camera installations are crucial to ensuring that businesses face no or minimal store downtime and business disruption. Several mounting options, combined with an intuitive camera configuration tool and innovations such as in-box configurations, streamline the process, making it swift and straightforward. Additionally, by simplifying the installation process, retailers can invariably maintain their operations, ensuring customer satisfaction and steady revenue streams.

8. Video Analytics Integration

In today's retail landscape, video analytics empower businesses with insights essential for growth, enhancing customer experiences, and optimizing staff performance. Recognizing the potential, major VMS providers have placed a premium on accurate metadata sourced from advanced, reliable fisheye cameras, central to their progressive analytics and AI solutions. It's no wonder that when it comes to making a choice, these leading VMS providers consistently turn to Oncam.


Oncam’s Holistic Solution for Modern Retail Challenges 

In essence, Oncam's offerings encapsulate what every retailer seeks: unmatched clarity, efficiency, and adaptability. As retailers strive to elevate in-store experiences, total situational awareness becomes non-negotiable. 

Oncam and its C-Series indoor and outdoor range of 12MP and 8MP cameras empower retailers with a comprehensive understanding of both security and customer behavior. This holistic perspective is vital for not just safeguarding assets but also for creating a retail environment that resonates with today's discerning customers and the challenges of the retail sector.


Find out more

Ready to start your journey towards a smarter, safer retail experience, or have you further questions? Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.