The Realities of Video Analytics: An ISC West 2007 Report

Vendors and integrators at ISC West 2007 speak candidly about the challenges of this emerging technology

7. Analytics at the edge is useful, but be wary of deleting all that video except for the clips associated with event triggers. If you think you can deploy an intelligence-embedded encoder to decide what video to store, remember that sometimes you may want complete archived video to look for a known previous situation that wouldn't have set off any existing triggers. You can't re-analyze the video you captured if you didn't save it, right?

8. False alarms aren't just the bane of guys who install burglar and fire alarm panels. Video analytics can generate its fair share as well, which is why integrators need to pay close attention to whether a solution is right for a customer (see my earlier point about being ready to say "No").

9. Processing power is the current challenge to doing more with analytics. These are complex algorithms that aren't going to necessarily run on any chip.

10. Analytics is more and more ready for off-the-shelf deployment. Gone are the days when if you wanted analytics set up on site, you'd need to hire 3,000 hours of a vendor's engineering crew to get it done. From server-based platforms that can be set up in 10 minutes to cameras that are practically plug-and-play analytics device, to software that ready to go and in the can, you don't have to develop everything individually anymore.

11. Camera tampering is the perfect entryway to video analytics. Put together analytics for a common occurrence, and help identify whether it's your cleaning crew who is bumping your cameras out of place, or if it's a malicious act.

12. It's taken until 2007 before the hardware was ready for going on the IT network. With much of the hardware and software for video analytics being designed to operate on the business network, integrators and corporate IT security staff were very mindful of whether the equipment met standard IT network protocols (for traffic bandwidth, virus protection, etc.). Unfortunately, until very recently, much of the equipment wouldn't have passed a standard IT security check.

If anything, the spring 2007 market for video analytics is shaping up to dispel some of the myths and misinformation that have been spread. On top of that, I sense that there seems to be a bit of refreshing honesty occurring in the video analytics market. And seeing that honesty just seems to make video analytics much more realistic, much more human, and much more ready to deploy in a sometimes dishonest, crime-filled world where tired eyes can't watch all of the cameras.