If you say that video analytics don’t work, are racked with false alarms, and are quirky and unmanageable—then read on, because the integrators in this story beg to differ.
Like any other technology, video analytics has to be suited to the application, environment and the nuances of the protected premises and its occupants. To be most effective, it has to be proactively managed and fine-tuned to the environment. It’s not just a piece of hardware that you install and forget. Much of the discontent has centered on unrealistic expectations for the technology and again, that all boils down to the fact that it has to be managed by the end-user and fit the protected premises. When those parameters are fulfilled, video analytics is the next generation in remote and virtual video monitoring and a solid solution with a bright future.
Real world, real solutions
Brent C. Brown is the chairman and chief executive officer of Chesley Brown Companies Inc. in Smyrna, Ga. His company has been offering analytics since 2006, when others might have just been reading about it. Chesley Brown Companies is a security management firm that provides customized security solutions that include consulting, on-site management and interactive remote monitoring.
In 2006, with Brown at the helm, the company launched the InCommand Worldwide LLC monitoring center. Through customized technology, which includes analytics, systems are designed to detect motion and activate an alert to Chesley Brown’s Security and Command Center when a security event occurs. Trained officers then review the situation in progress and notify the proper authorities—in real time.
“We’re using video analytics for a variety of clients, from fuel farms and industrial customers to major product distribution hubs, food service facilities and retail clients,” said Brown. “Chesley Brown’s InCommand is the first of its type in the U.S. and takes typical passive uses of CCTV and electronic security and creates a more valued asset with much greater ROI for our customers,” continued Brown. “We developed InCommand Worldwide specifically for remote monitoring and video analytics,” he said.
Brown said the applications for video analytics are limitless, but some who deploy it “assume there’s not a need for boots on the ground,” he said. “The mistake people make is they think video analytics is a replacement for people and guards but it’s not always the case. Just like any type of security, you have to actively management it and analyze the video.”
He said he sees that many in the industry are simply selling product, and not necessarily the entire solution. “Analytics is an electronic version of a guard force. It allows you to dispatch on a real event. It makes a passive system an active system based on intrusion, and it all centers on service. Some say you only deploy analytics in environments where there’s nothing going on, but that’s not true. We’ve covered 18 city blocks 300 cameras and ground traffic with analytics in one deployment and the analytics helped us determine how to use our people more efficiently.”
Where do analytics fit?
Asked where he has had the most success deploying analytics and Chris Newhouse, president of LANOptic Video Solutions, Burlington, Ontario, stated a resounding “everywhere.”
“All my systems are successful because of video analytics,” explained Newhouse. “It’s like comparing a bicycle to an automobile. There are few things that can be accomplished better with a bicycle than a car or truck. I actually find it difficult to consider a comparison between video surveillance with and without analytics. LANOptic Video Solutions feels so strongly about this that we have managed to move all our existing clients of video surveillance from conventional ‘always on and basic motion detection’ systems to analytics environments. Once the clients have experienced the benefits of video analytics, they are very happy to pay the cost of upgrading.”