Just where do video analytics stand, really?
Unisys is one of the more active companies in trying to disseminate information about security to the world at large, conducting surveys regularly and reporting the results and often offering commentary on emerging trends. And you know they're all over the Twitter. Their PR gal hits me up all the time, but in a fairly passive way - just seeing if I need a voice... Anyway, their latest predictive piece for 2010 is headlined "Unisys Predicts 2010 Yields a Biometrics Boom While Organizations Go on the Offensive to Protect Data," which is all well and good, but it doesn't get at the piece of the prediction that got my attention. Here's the bit I found most interesting:
7. Smart surveillance â€“ Surveillance systems will be become more sophisticated and intelligent. Unisys experts say that real time event detection technology will soon be able to identify a security breach as it occurs and initiate an action instead of simply recording footage to be reviewed after the incident. Improved digital camera technology coupled with intelligent software enables surveillance footage to be combined with other available information, such as facial recognition data, to create alerts so that immediate appropriate action can be taken. Surveillance software will also soon be able to recognize recurring patterns, or individuals to detect when an unusual event is occurring in real-time.Um, huh? "real time event detection technology will soon be able to identify a security breach as it occurs and initiate an action instead of simply recording footage to be reviewed after the incident"? I was sort of under the impression that we could do that five years ago. I mean, wrong-way detection is fairly commonly used at airports at this point and is exactly what they're talking about - a breach happens (someone goes the wrong way) and an action is initiated (an alarm goes off on someone's desktop and security is alerted). Is the analytics hype so great that what the analytics companies say they could do a while ago, and is supposed to actually be in practice right now, Unisys, a pretty big security integrator by any standard, doesn't even think they can do yet? But maybe they can do it soon? Am I reading too much into that? Maybe. But, to reiterate: "Surveillance software will also soon be able to recognize recurring patterns, or individuals, to detect when an unusual event is occurring in real-time." Soon. Of course, BRS Labs say they can do this right now, and it's not like they've been wall-flowers about it. Does Unisys not believe them? Has it gotten to the point that cynicism regarding intelligent video is so pervasive that the coin has flipped? That analytics companies can now actually do more than most people think they can?