They say actions speak louder than words, but words can be extremely important too, which can sometimes makes silent CCTV footage a bit useless.
Lip-reading camera technology, which has been in development for some time now, opens up possibilities for revolutionary market research – and there’s no escaping it.
Becoming the next generation of CCTV systems, experts predict an imminent rise of lip-reading cameras and software giving businesses and organisations an idea of the words being spoken in the images it captures.
While we generally associate this type of functionality with interpreting what contentious things were said by players at football matches, it has far wider reaching implications, especially for business.
Without the accompanying dialogue, some incidents caught on camera at your store remain a mystery, because your cameras don’t have microphones that can pick up the sound.
That’s fine when it comes to things like catching shoplifters, although it’s next to useless for finding out what your customers really think of your store, services or products.
But soon, systems will be able to capture and relay just what customers are thinking, without having to chase them down with a pen and a page full of tickboxes.
A spokesperson from CCTV.co.uk explained: “If you’re a business wanting to know your visitors’ opinions, a survey relies far too much on their honesty and effort to fill it in.
“With this leap in CCTV technology, businesses can analyse their customers’ reactions to a particular aspect of their store or service, and get qualitative as well as quantitative data.
“By capturing the comments of customers this way, they get an insight into unedited and genuine information that couldn’t be captured any other way.
“Of course this new camera technology will be particularly useful in noisy environments, for example. But many business premises play music or have multiple conversations happening at once, so there’s no escaping it.”