Monitoring made smarter using video analytics

Monday, August 1, 2005

Developers in the video monitoring world are focusing these days on bringing more features and intelligence to the systems they produce.
Acknowledging that the world is becoming increasingly video-oriented and, specifically, IP-video oriented, is influencing what is coming to market as well.
John Moss, founder and chief executive officer of S2 Security Corp., said, "It used to be that video was an option. Now, video of some type is on 80 percent of (security) systems. It's shocking how few guards are left."
While just 10 percent of the company's customers currently offer remote monitoring from their own central station, the rest are seeking ways to handle and view the cameras they have in their facilities. Using IP-video cameras, Moss said his company is able to help clients manipulate the cameras remotely via a web browser.
The next step, Moss said, is to build network video recording right into the integrated security management system, which also controls video, access control and alarm monitoring.
Allowing for remote video monitoring, said Steve Thompson, director of marketing-fire and security at Johnson Controls, is both a cost reduction "and an obvious benefit of not having people tied to monitors."
Security is improved, Thompson said, by providing the right people with the information as it happens and not having to rely on a guard force to catch something on a monitor.
The addition of intelligence, via video analytics, is also moving the industry forward.
Moss said smart video can replace guards, determining many of the same things a guard would be asked to, such as if a car is parked in a restricted space.
Thompson is also a proponent of incorporating analytics into video systems. Traditionally, he said, video has been used as an after-the-fact method of forensics.
But analytics can take advantage of the infrastructure of the video system, archiving exceptions and also seeking requested information, such as when certain colored cars are moving in the parking lot.
With the advent of the Digital Age, said Thompson, many of the limitations put on video, including frame rates and bandwidth, have been removed. And as technology continues to improve, he said, "video analytics will only get better."