29.11.16

Samsung on Big Data

qanda

Tim Kridel speaks to Minson Chen, Samsung Electronics America Business Development Manager, Vertical Business, Enterprise Business Division, to get the company's views on Big Data, and the opportunities it represents for the proAV industry.

What are some existing and potential pro AV applications that involve big data? A few that come to mind are video surveillance in stores to collect demographic information about shoppers, AV control systems that collect information about room usage and smart buildings where AV’s role includes HVAC and other building management systems.
 
Those are both good examples. Big data has been collected by brands and retailers to help them to detect emerging trends, anticipate demand, set pricing and product assortment, and target customers for marketing.

For customers shopping online, this data enables real-time personalized contextual experiences [such as] online product recommendations, product comparisons, re-targeting and personalization. IT vendors have already deployed mature solutions in this arena, but the opportunity is emerging for forward-thinking pro AV integrators who can combine their expertise deploying traditional in-store digital signage with big data to now bring real-time personalized experience into physical stores. The convergence of retail’s digital and physical channels is the next battleground.

•    Video wall that responds to emotions with ability to use machine learning to deliver real-time personalized content
•    Lift and learn digital merchandising mirror displays to trigger product information
•    Beacon triggered content and offers
 
What are some sources of big data that AV firms should know about when deciding whether and how to expand into big data services? For example, one category is Internet of Things modules that can be attached to, or embedded in, AV and non-AV devices such as HVAC equipment. I don’t know if you’d put Bluetooth beacons in the IoT category, but regardless of how those are labeled, they seem like another source of big data that AV firms might be able to work with. And then there’s MAC addresses and other Wi-Fi information coming from smartphones, such as what Samsung and Walkbase enable: https://www.samsung.com/uk/business/insights/news/walkbase-and-samsung-launch-an-augmented-advertising-solution-for-british-retailers.

Big data can come from online sources—web and e-commerce, social media data—as well as offline sources: point-of-sale data, beacon events, Wi-Fi tracking of customer smartphones, in-store video analytics to identify unique visits, engagement with in-store interactive kiosks, people counters, as well as store associate wearable devices. All this can drive customer insight and personalized front-of-house in-store experiences.

But pro AV integrators should not ignore back-of-house opportunities for staff communications, employee training, operational decision making for supply chain, logistics risk management and facilities management. For example, big data can also be used to optimize how retailers motivate and retain their large base of millennial workers. Smartwatches can be used to send notification to drive tasks and workflow for warehouse employees. They can also be used to maintain and track customer service levels by connecting store associates.

As a vendor, how is Samsung enabling the big data opportunity for AV integrators? Your work with eyeQ and Walkbase are two examples, but I’m also interested in whether you’re building capabilities into traditional AV devices such as displays that big data services could “hook” into.

Our new smart signage system-on-chip commercial displays that run Tizen are already designed to be part of an IoT ecosystem. The Samsung family of devices that run on Tizen will expand from today’s smart displays, phones, wearables, refrigerators to other Samsung devices. As an open source platform, we hope this extends to a large ecosystem of other devices.  Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThing for connecting the home (lights, security, etc.) sets the foundation for controlling smart facilities in the enterprise.

Why would/should enterprises look to AV firms for help with big data? (For this story, I’m using a pretty broad definition of “enterprise,” from retailers to government.) I suppose the answer depends on what the AV firm can provide, whether it’s help with displaying the big data or providing more of an IT-integrator-type role. But even when that data is generated by AV systems, wouldn’t enterprises still view IT firms (or their internal IT departments) as the natural choice for help with storing, analyzing, securing and applying big data? I think that to be perceived as viable players in the big data market, AV firms will have to invest heavily in the necessary people and skills, just as some have been doing for other applications that involve IT networks.

I think AV integrators have to play up to their strengths, which is integration and deployment of the end points on sensors and interactive devices that collect big data and screen-based connected devices to help enterprises display and visualize the data and the insights gleamed from the data.  Agree with your assertion that enterprises would still view IT firms as central to a big data solutions and as you say the ”storing, analyzing, securing and applying big data,” but pro AV can still play an important role integrating and securing the end points.