Analyzing Analytics

Video analytics as a security technology has been hyped for the past several years, with the widespread view that it has been oversold, overpriced, misapplied and simply not ready for prime time. But recent advancements may change that view. The field...

We have every reason to expect continuing advances in processing power at the camera and at central servers. In parallel, the imagers in surveillance cameras will become increasingly capable. Combined, this will lead to improved performance, lower cost and more intelligence at the camera.

This greater horsepower and intelligence has several ramifications. Increasingly, the rich detail derived from megapixel will be exploited for better overall performance. Next, as image quality becomes less of a differentiator for camera manufacturers, look for those devices to serve up new flavors of metadata that can be exploited by VMS and the other systems for more intelligent, effective and faster search of stored video, and real-time search capability.

It is reasonable to project that we will see more application-specific and market-specific products due to better information capture and processing. Those who process this data in centralized systems have the opportunity to develop customized algorithms based on different types of metadata flowing into the system; and they can execute them with increasingly powerful processors, providing advanced search functionality, contextual search, correlation with other events and real-time forensics. Systems that get smarter over time will provide better performance and easier installation and calibration.

Ultimately, the utility and business value of surveillance systems will be enhanced, enabling expanded use of services such as cloud monitoring, and tighter integration of other business and building functions.


Ray Coulombe is founder of, enabling interaction with specifiers in the physical security and ITS markets; and Principal Consultant for Gilwell Technology Services. He can be reached at