via IFSEC Global
What was hoped for in video analytics a decade ago might be finally coming true.
A maturation of the technology and vast improvements in overall reliability, effectiveness and accessibility has pushed analytics from the periphery to the market mainstream, while edge devices, their processing capabilities and steadily dropping price points indicate that this is a trend destined to continue.
Below are some of the many reasons why analytics was so prominently featured at this year’s IFSEC International and is likely to remain a major industry focus for some time yet.
1. Analytics for everyone
Video analytics have come a long way over the last few years in terms of capabilities and accessibility. In previous years, analytics were primarily needed and available to large, corporate or government systems, requiring powerful servers to run each application along with high-end infrastructure.
Now, due to maturing analytic engines and the exponential increase in camera and server processing power, analytics can be used by many different kinds of users and in a variety of environments. Analytics can run on the camera (edge) or on a server running multiple video streams or multiple applications.
2. Choice on the edge
The growing prevalence of analytics on the edge offers system flexibility and can significantly reduce the cost of the overall solution, as fewer servers are required to run the analytics. Edge based analytics can also lessen system bandwidth demands, as video can be transmitted from the camera only after being prioritised by the analytics.
Due to the onboard processing power of modern IP cameras, an edge analytics based approach can also offer device-specific selection of applications. Consider your smart-phone and the Apps ecosystem in which it functions.
With IP cameras, analytics present the same types of possibilities, adding in optional applications that build on the camera’s out of the box capabilities. Many premium cameras already possess the processing horsepower and available memory to do this today. It is simply a matter of time for an ecosystem of add-in functionality to become available.
3. Business intelligence
In the analogue age, surveillance devices themselves were used purely as security solutions. Now that IP network cameras have become so popular and especially because of the edge analytics they offer, the humble camera has become a business intelligence tool.
By deploying video analytics, end users can leverage specific analytics data and leverage it into actionable intelligence for functions such as marketing, health and safety and personnel management.
Analytics can offer such tools as heat mapping and queue monitoring for retail and hospitality, as well as people counting and foot traffic.
4. Processing power
The processing power of cameras and servers continues to grow exponentially whilst prices are steadily declining. As time passes and the camera’s processing power increases, its capability for hosting an ever-increasing array of analytic functions also increases.
We foresee a time when the apps ecosystem makes available edge based analytics that monitor air-conditioning applications, lighting apps, and access control apps, working together to make the ‘Smart Home’ and ‘Smart Building’ ideas a reality.
5. Better decision-making
Even with the great strides in improved effectiveness, increased accessibility and cost, the primary function of analytics is still to complement the role of system operators, not to eliminate them.
Ultimately, analytics assist operators in making informed decisions by illuminating the unusual from the mundane, as the number of cameras being deployed and monitored continues to increase. Better analytics can’t help but give the operator more reliable information, which in turn improves response time and effectiveness.