Store Cameras with Facial Recognition Feature

Hi all, I have a retail store which is constantly targeted by bloody low lives in high traffic area. Often, I don't even know things got stolen until reordering time, due to the size of the shop. I have tried security guards, but they just don't care sometimes.

Just wondering is there a camera system with facial recognition feature, since the technology is so widely mentioned these days? Just wanna get alerted ASAP when repeated offenders entered the store, so I can send them away immediately. Surely if my portable cam could recognize faces, the better ones could do so? Hope to find a company in WA. Thanks!

P/S I'm thinking if I could capture the person of interest in the software first, then get alerted when the person walk in the store next time. Not scanned against any official database. It's just a retail store after all. I could easily lose in the vicinity of a couple of hundreds a day on bad days, especially a whole bunch of kids walk in at the same time.


  • Is it Harvey Norman?

    • I wish

  • What's the $ amount of the items stolen? Sometimes it's just not worth the time and effort. You may need many high res cameras to cover the entire store? What's the cost and legality to store that sort of information (unique high resolution faces of a lot of people)? What if people enter the store with their masks on? Who is going to sit through the footage to make an initial assessment of the faces that should be flagged?

    • +1

      Trust me, it hurts like a bitch during pandemic time. Retail doesn't exactly have a high margin to begin with, at least in my sector. I guess I can't stop people from wearing masks these days, but we could usually pick up the dodgy ones when you see enough people, and flag them first.

  • +2

    I'm not sure you've thought this through.

    Which database of biometric IDs would your cameras be connected to in order to determine the identities of random criminals? ​ASIO's? The AFP? Your local cop shop?

    Even if you sent footage to the police they're not going to run it through various confidential criminal ID databases at their expense in order to help a mum & pop store catch a few petty thieves. This isn't CSI. You're probably one of thousands of stores being burglarised like this every year and police resources are barely used on such wild goose chases to begin with.

    Never mind the fact that the kind of CCTV cameras you're talking about and associated software platforms cost somewhere in the area of half of your yearly revenue if not more and most of the scumbags snatching items off your shelves probably haven't done anything serious enough to warrant having their faces recorded in a high enough resolution to be viable for facial recognition matching.

    • +1

      See the above update to the post. Honestly, I don't the police to do anything, just want to chase them out before they start sneaking into the store. Thinking with something with forward-facing camera at entrance.

      • -2

        I think your idea of technology is a little… Sci-Fi inspired.

        What data would you train the facial recognition algorithm on? How do you know what the next criminal is going to look like? Are they all related?

        Your baby monitor works because the baby's face is largely motionless, about 50cm away from the camera lens and has a fairly consistent set of parameters that can be readily identified against the virtually monochrome background of the crib/cot it's in. That's not a remotely relevant comparison.

        What you're talking about with facial recognition at distances of 10-20 metres or more in fast motion video with near-instantaneous response times and ID-matching exists, but is something that maybe one of the world's busiest airports that's experienced multiple terrorist incidents would deploy on a large scale.

        Or a large Chinese city.

        There's nothing remotely like what you're describing for small businesses or home users that's going to identify criminals walking into your store before they commit a crime.

        I'm trying not to make light of your situation but you're expecting surveillance technology straight out of the The Minority Report for a corner deli; it's preposterous.

      • +1

        I’m sorry this is happening to you, it’s hard enough to make a living.

    • the police do post cctv images of people of interest eg

  • Here’s a bit of an example for you of what can be done. They are Enterprise level technology solutions. Big $$.

    • Ok, maybe not that much, don't make enough money for that…more hoping for improved HIK with AI recognition. I meant if my Eufy cam can recognise my kids' face, surely someone would have incorporated into proper security cameras?

  • -1

    You might want to look into Swann systems but it is very basic.

    • Nah, Swann was never in my thought, unless they're better now? I already have a fairly good HIK system, but wanna upgrade to one with facial recognition if possible

      • That's what I'm saying.

      • +2

        Anything but Swann in the price bracket you are talking - Worst quality, reliability and functions.

        Not sure whether available in Aus and also do not want to get into a conversation about their contribution towards CCP mass surveillance (personally I won't use Hik) but have a look at Hik DeepinMind NVRs and supported cameras. This NVR claims to be able to do what you are after and won't cost an arm and a leg to buy and a whole team to support it. Not sure how sophisticated or accurate the facial recognition algorithm would be but supposedly it can build a face database and you have the ability to categorise the detected faces under strangers, VIP and blacklist and take appropriate action next time a face in the database is detected.

        • @websterp this is exactly what I need! Hopefully it can integrate with my old hik system, but I'm about to update my CCTV anyway

  • There is a small independent supermarket, here in Sydney CBD, that has a low-tech approach.

    They just have a prominent sign in the front window featuring the faces of shoplifters and/or people who presented counterfeit currency stating that they must not enter the store.

    According the shop owner when I spoke to him earlier in the year, it's effective in so much as he/his staff have not seen offenders return and it's contributed to a reduction in theft-related shrinkage (presumably from discouraging others).

    • Have thought of that, but my partner thought it's a bit tacky looking sticky faces everywhere. The popular offenders we can usually flag them down quick if we're not busy at the front tills. It's those occasional opportunistic ones we wanna keep track

  • +2

    We use "Blue Iris" at work for facial and plate recognition and it works perfectly. You can setup Web Hooks and Email Alerts based on the person and what zone they are in. Blue Stack even has the ability to detect weapons but the AI confidence level is quite low on object detection.

    • Thanks! Does it integrate with most common cameras?

      • It should. As long as the camera supports the ONVIF protocol then you're good. Please note that for facial recognition the camera's resolution should be over 2K and has an FPS of 25 or higher.

        There is a CCTV compatibility list on Blue Iris's website as well.

    • how well would it work for a person wearing a mask and possibly a cap?

      • In that event you'll have to re add the image of the person wearing the mask to the database. Or you can dump all the photos to another image recognition software like Synology Photos for better accuracy. In most instances the top portion of the face should still be recognizable albeit at a lower confidence score.

  • how about those beepy things on your products?

    • By the time it beeps, usually they ran away already.. And they usually hid inside their cloth anyway, which we can't search