Analytics update at ISC West

As with most sectors of the security industry, video analytic technology providers have been affected by the economy. While most high-end and early adopters of analytic-based solutions continue with their implementation of the technology, some other small-to-mid-sized applications have definitely cooled on the products.

Despite this fact, however, most people in the industry believe that the outlook for analytics is good, given that the price to implement most analytic solutions has dropped and because many companies continue to bring innovative products to the marketplace.

“We’re seeing the hype turn into reality,” said John Whiteman, president of ioimage’s Americas division.

Whiteman said that there has been exceptional growth and adoption of analytics by companies that want to either supplement or replace security personnel altogether with remote guard tours. Another innovation that has boosted adoption of ioimage solutions is simplification of setup and removing the need for extensively trained technicians to install a surveillance system equipped with analytics.

One of things that the analytics community has benefitted from during the recession is that the technology, for the most part, allows people to immediately see a return on their investment, which is something that all security firms are looking to accomplish during these economic times.

With the recent passage of the stimulus bill, many government agencies and municipalities are continuing to adopt video analytics as part of their future infrastructure plans, especially in areas such as transportation, which is expected to see a large chunk of funding from the legislation.

“Some sectors of government are moving forward with analytics technology, whereas they otherwise would not,” said BRS Labs Chief Technology Officer Eric Eaton.

With the ability of analytics to detect incidents before they occur, Eaton said that the technology is also getting some long looks from places like the hotel industry, considering the substantial role they could play in preventing another terror attack like the one that struck a Mumbai hotel last year.

BRS Labs and its Cognitive Video Analytic solutions have also addressed the issue of false alarms with the technology, as they’re able to learn on the fly and determine the difference between a normal occurrence and a security breach. In fact, the company’s AISight learned analytics solution received the SIA New Product showcase award in the video analytics category at ISC West.

One of the biggest challenges that analytics sector has had and continues to face is educating people that don’t understand the benefits of the technology, according to Phil Robertson, vice president of corporate development for Cernium.

“People are not looking for toys, they’re looking for solutions that can do things for them,” he said.

Cernium is attempting to do just that with the release of its new scalable Check Video intelligent remote site monitoring solution. Not only does Check Video allow for easy installation via a web portal, it also has DVR capabilities with an expansion port for an external hard drive. The company is also displaying the latest version of its Perceptrak software at ISC West.

Continuing the theme of helping end users see ROI, Robertson said that Johns Hopkins University was recently able to cut crime by 37 percent using the software.

Most industry experts also agree that the continued shift, especially among those businesses in the retail industry, to use analytics for business intelligence with features such as people tracking, has also help spread adoption of the technology.

Another company on the cutting edge of analytics technology, ObjectVideo, continues to see widespread adoption of its embedded solutions by manufacturers. The company is also gaining traction among video management system providers with its OV Ready integration partnerships.

Unlike many analytics company’s, ObjectVideo’s customer base are the manufacturers of CCTV products, not the end user. As such, the company simplifies the technology for them by embedding it in the products they buy.

According to Edward Troha, the company’s director of marketing, one the reasons that analytics has been criticized in the past is that many end users were mislead by some manufacturers, who over promised on the capabilities of the technology. He also said that some people need to learn just what exactly analytics are all about.

“End users need to understand the difference between video motion detection and video analytics,” he said.

Troha advises those that are thinking about adopting the technology to not only speak with companies that have computer-based vision analytics like ObjectVideo, but also to other firms that have a lot of experience in the industry, not just taking a manufacturer’s word for it.

In other analytics news, Honeywell has introduced its new Rapid Eye Active Alert DVR. The solution decreases missed detections and false alarms and can support up to eight channels of integrated video analytics.

March Networks has also added a new version of its VideoSphere video management system to its portfolio of intelligent video solutions.

Peter Wilenius, the company’s vice president of marketing, said that while the market for analytics may not be expanding like it once, it’s not just going to disappear overnight.

“The market (for analytics) is not going to go to zero,” he said.