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What is computer vision and how does it help with handling packages?

As the increase in package volume, weight, and size along with an increase in carrier deliveries continues to rise at apartment communities, new methods are needed to solve the problem. These new methods need to be more advanced, smarter, less expensive, and much faster with higher utilization of the precious physical space available to handle packages.

 

The world is now turning to computer vision to solve many of its problems — traffic, autonomous driving, manufacturing, law enforcement, military applications, helping people with disabilities/differences, organizing photos, customer service, etc.

 

 

Work on computer vision began in the late 1960s in universities that were developing artificial intelligence (AI). The goal was to mimic the human visual system. The last 50-plus years have brought about many advancements in computer vision, due in part to the increasing power of microprocessors, database storage/retrieval, and advanced software development.

 

Computer vision is an interdisciplinary field that deals with how computers can be made to gain a high-level understanding from digital images or videos. As a scientific discipline, computer vision is concerned with the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images.

 

Why do you care and how can computer vision help with packages/carriers coming to your communities?

 

The keys to solving the package problem are speed and density. Computer vision systems can authenticate carriers 24/7/365 at your outside gate, inside gate, and at the package room door. This makes sure that you have a higher level of security on your property and that your leasing staff is not spending their time managing carriers instead of leasing apartments. Computer vision gets carriers on and off your property quicker, reducing the amount of time delivery trucks are blocking access to the community.

 

Computer vision systems, especially when combined with other advanced sensors that measure the weight of packages, make positive and quick identification of packages coming and going in your package room. As package volume, weight, and size continue to increase, residents will want to find their packages in about 30 seconds. They do not care that hundreds of packages were delivered to your community that day. They are only interested in getting their package(s) quickly and going about their business. Computer vision systems operate at the speed of light and are very powerful, keeping your leasing staff out of the package business and firmly planted in the leasing apartments business.

 

Computer vision not only allows for speed, but also for density in your precious package room space. Your goal is to maximize the number of packages in your package room. This space has to accommodate the growing volumes of packages coming in, but also the periods like Amazon Prime Day and the traditional Holiday period from Black Friday to Christmas. Computer vision systems combined with package weight systems allow you to put up to five times the packages in a given space and still allow your residents to find their packages in 30 seconds. Advanced technology provides the best of both worlds...speed and density.

 

Advanced technology systems today are comprised of sophisticated software (software is the key), advanced sensors (think weight), computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). While these are fancy terms that you might think only a computer scientist would love, these technologies are becoming commonplace and are the building blocks toward solving complex and even more mundane problems going forward. You are likely to see these technologies being deployed in many everyday things. Just like the personal computer, mobile phone, computerized watch, WiFi, 4g/5g, drones, 360 cameras, etc. were all once words that no one knew, computer vision will follow this pattern and become widely adopted.

 

Your residents want higher and higher levels of speed and convenience! Jeff Bezos and Amazon have built a huge business on providing ever higher levels of these two things...humans cannot get enough of either one.

 

Computer vision can provide your residents with new and exciting conveniences and a 24/7/365 level of customer service not available today. Not only can computer vision do simple tasks like identifying and checking in packages and authenticating carriers at all times of day and night, but it can also provide a virtual assistant that delivers very smart customer service in the package room. Again, you are likely to see this technology deployed at your local Burger King (or other fast food restaurant) drive-in window in the near future. What you want as an apartment owner is to provide great service for your residents at the point of need (not tomorrow, but right now) and do this without having to involve your leasing staff - they need to lease apartments. Plus, they are only available approximately 30 percent of the week. People pick up packages 24/7/365.

 

Computer vision is software. Software is like pre-programmed brainpower. The very last thing you want to use to solve the fast-growing package problem at your communities is your staff’s brainpower. Software is cheaper, faster, available 24/7/365, does not take vacations, scales to meet the demand, gets constantly updated, knows what is coming long before it arrives (integrated with carriers), etc. It is very smart and lets your people do what they do best. Computer vision is here now and you might want to consider using it to solve the package problem at your communities. The world is evolving very fast and yesterday’s solutions for handling packages are becoming overwhelmed.

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