Once upon a time, a video management system (VMS) was something truly innovative in the world of video surveillance. Being able to have easy access to video, including from remote locations, was something that offered both more security as well as cost savings, with the idea that one person in a control booth could virtually patrol several areas at once and dispatch security personnel as needed.
That novelty has worn off to the point where VMS is more and more of a commodity and many customers are asking: “That’s fine. But what else do you have?” In line with that, many want analytics features, such as facial recognition and license plate recognition (LPR). In addition, rather than having to go to various vendors for different analytics solutions, they want them to come built into the software, with the idea that they can be turned on as needed, depending upon security demands.
The saying: “Everything old is new again,” doesn’t really apply to the world of video surveillance. It would be more like: “Everything new quickly becomes old,” particularly as security needs continue to increase, and along with that the need for automated and intelligent features.
Are you showing your customers the value?
One of the drivers here is definitely economic. If VMS gave customers a sense of just how much more security they could get through better software, and how that in turn could reduce overall personnel costs, analytics is giving them an even better idea of how the security process can be further streamlined. LPR, for example, can not only read plates much faster than the human eye, but with the right analytics in place, it can tell you if the car is stolen or is linked to a terrorist suspect. There will always be a place in security for the human element. Someone, after all, has to receive that alert about a stolen car, as well as coordinate emergency responses. To that end, there are certain things only people can do, others that only the technology can accomplish.
Analytics is designed to make the whole security process easier, but there are also other factors that drive its increased adoption in many different arenas. Tough economic times have resulted in spikes in crime worldwide and this has created an increased need to provide more security for people in all kinds of situations and protect assets of all kinds. There are many real world applications for analytics that take place every day and make clear how necessary this technology has become for security personnel and law enforcement.
Facial recognition systems, for example, now help keep any of a number of public and private areas safer—including stadiums, corporations, train stations and airports, as well as many different divisions of government. The ability of such a system to spot a wanted felon and automatically alert appropriate personnel so they can take preventive action is a major step forward for security and law enforcement. At the same time, with shrinking budgets and less financial resources to expand security and law enforcement staff, the ability of such technology to fill the gaps is also crucial.
As VMS becomes increasingly commoditized and analytics comes more into its own, the ultimate beneficiaries will be the end users, both in terms of cost as well as overall security. Here’s what you need to know:
Megapixel Cameras Enable the Move to Analytics
Megapixel cameras have done much to help increase the use of analytics features in the video surveillance industry. There are two essential features of megapixel cameras that make that possible: ultra high resolution of images and forensic inspection. The higher resolution quality allows for clearer identification of images, which is crucial in analytics. Forensic inspection is related to the fact that with megapixel cameras you can zoom in on images with very little loss in clarity. Analytics such as facial and LPR depend on being able to quickly and precisely identify images, so this forensic feature is crucial for overall success.