From a perceived premium add-on to a cost-effective and key component in certain security applications
Since the very first so-called ‘video analytics’ systems were introduced, the technology has experienced a number of false dawns in terms of its acceptance as a reliable and cost effective addition to traditional video surveillance tools.
The use of analytics in the transport sector has evolved beyond fulfilling basic security needs to include advanced features, such as traffic monitoring functions and detection of left luggage within transport hubs.
On a basic level, the ability of analytics to identify the movement and speed of vehicles (and people), as opposed to other spurious objects, lends the technology to monitoring of perimeters and suspicious behaviour within defined areas. Video analytics can alert operators to packages left within a scene, which otherwise may go undetected in the midst of multiple CCTV screens.
Recently, a number of factors have contributed to an increase in interest and demand, enabling video analytics to be reconsidered as a viable video surveillance option. i-LIDS is the UK government’s benchmark standard for video analytics technology and is awarded to security products judged to have met the stringent criteria specified by the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) in the development of videobased detection systems for government use.
Manufacturers meeting the highest level of performance classification receive the i-LIDS accreditation, which is the first real independent measure of the quality and functionality of a video analytics system.
Improving the security function
When the costs of manned guarding and operators are considered, it’s tempting when assessing analytics to assume that the number of security staff can be immediately reduced by introducing the technology. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to view video analytics as a way to improve the efficiency of operators and guards. Analytics can be used to assist in highlighting notable events, thereby allowing operators to do what they do best: deciding whether an incident is suspicious or not. Security functions can therefore handle more cameras more effectively with their existing staff. Supporting the guards with analytics means the ability to switch guards to mobile patrols based on analytics incidents, covering a larger area more effectively and responding to real incidents more quickly, rather than just following a routine guard tour.
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