How can AI and analytics add value to video surveillance?


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Axis Communications’ Markus Lai considers how AI-powered analytics is boosting and expanding video surveillance capabilities to improve operational efficiency in a number of different industries.

Physical security has evolved considerably since its humble beginnings of standalone CCTV systems and manually operated access points. Cloud connectivity, the internet of things (IoT) and more recently still, the advancements in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence technology, are transforming physical security into an interconnected system of smart devices and sensors. Such systems are now capable of collecting and processing data to produce powerful insights, which serve to enhance security and improve operational decision making in many areas.

Yet, choosing the right technology and determining how and where to deploy it can be a challenge for businesses eager to select the most effective tools to meet their specific requirements. Knowing the how, where and why is crucial to gaining the most from the technology and delivering a sound business case. Unlocking the full potential of AI to transform the way premises, assets and people are protected will hinge on a greater understanding within the security industry of its capabilities and benefits.

AI advancement and the benefits for video surveillance

Today’s network video solutions provide advanced levels of protection at any site. For example, video surveillance cameras, thermal cameras and radar can be used to effectively detect movement at or near a perimeter, tracking intruders that are approaching on foot or in a vehicle, while automated alerts and alarms can be triggered through network (IP) speakers to deter potential criminal activity. Such technology, driven by powerful analytics and supported by AI, deliver superior levels of accuracy resulting in fewer false positives. This reduces the likelihood of a security team being dispatched to investigate a false alarm unnecessarily, leading to cost savings.

Video surveillance has also proved to be a powerful tool for complementing access control systems. At entrance points, automated access control solutions remove the need for security personnel to physically manage and monitor access points 24/7, facilitating a smooth process which uses video surveillance to provide a second factor of authentication. This method is used to accurately identify, authenticate and authorise personnel, effectively managing and streamlining admissions processes.

Analytics at the edge

Advanced and more accurate video surveillance is enabled by using network security products that have edge-based analytics built in. Detecting and resolving incidents becomes straightforward and the potential to apply a range of cameras and sensors gives security personnel complete peace of mind in any situation.

Onboard processing power has huge benefits in relation to the recording and analysis of video in real time and the availability of related data. Real-time, rather than forensic ‘after-the-fact’ data, allows teams to respond to an incident in progress and take pre-emptive measures by analysing video data as an event unfolds. The ability to process video at the edge, without the potential time lag and energy drain associated with the passing of data back and forth to a server, results in an efficient, cost effective and faster means of video capture and analysis.

And those established providers who have realised the benefits of collaboration over a siloed approach are further enhancing video surveillance processes by advocating open platforms. An open approach facilitates the sharing of best practices and collaboration over hardware and software. In short, this method enables vendors to come together to deliver a customised best-of-breed solution to meet a customer’s exact requirements, often resulting in a solution that is more powerful than anything that one provider could produce in isolation.

Artificial intelligence and deep learning

Collaboration and the sharing of ideas drives innovation. Much of the current thinking on AI and deep learning in regard to the processing of video and use of powerful analytics comes as a result of knowledge sharing between leaders in these fields. Today’s fluid, dynamic systems can make use of distributed intelligence for maximum levels of security and efficiency, allowing a non-rigid approach to processing power and a combination of server, cloud and edge capabilities. Technology doesn’t stand still and this approach allows developers to make use of a blend of all of these methods of data processing.   

Physical security continues to evolve rapidly, with multiple sensors, intelligence and on-device processing increasingly becoming the norm. Rather than getting hung up on specific technology, the security provider of the future will be required to work collaboratively to create a solution to fit a problem. Deploying analytics and artificial intelligence as a key component of video surveillance will enable businesses to better face their challenges, resulting in powerful cutting-edge video solutions for a smarter, safer world.

1-ISJ- How can AI and analytics add value to video surveillance?
Markus Lai

By Markus Lai, Regional Manager Engineering & Training Northern Europe, Axis Communications

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