How AI is democratizing remote video monitoring

May 18, 2021
Advances in analytics have made intelligent surveillance tools attainable for the masses

Advanced, remote video monitoring is becoming much more attractive to mid-sized and smaller customers, thanks to recent developments in AI (artificial intelligence) analytics that are transforming the quality of service.

What comes next should be even more exciting. There is much business to be won, as customers are increasingly seeking a more tailored, responsive, proactive level of service, which is beyond what they have ever been offered before.  

Many of these customers also recognize that video tech can now add real value to their business in a way that goes beyond basic security. For years, system integrators have had their choice of quality cameras and the installation expertise to enable video coverage of any location, inside or out. But today’s end-to-end solutions are even more affordable, robust, and user-friendly than ever, which cuts down the time spent on maintenance and troubleshooting with end-user customers.

However, the biggest difficulty, and cost, for the monitoring services sector has always been how to ensure those systems are used fully, and without error, by the teams of people who control them. It takes experience, attention, and focus to view camera feeds, and even the most dedicated operators can’t maintain a high level of attention hour after hour.

In the past, this limited the quality of service that could be offered. But today we have a new generation of automated video monitoring tools.

Automated AI-enabled detection that delivers reliable performance is now highly accurate and much less prone to being triggered by harmless environmental factors. It means that system operators only need to view a video feed, and decide on what action to take, when an event of genuine interest occurs. The analytics handles the 24/7 vigilance, and operators only get involved when they need to – which lets them focus on customer service.

Given all these capabilities, customers can now contact their monitoring operators and say, “I had a slip in one of my lobbies. Can you back up the relevant cameras, upload the recordings to a particular folder on our FTP, send a link to the store manager, and include it on a report to our insurers as soon as possible?”

This is a major benefit - helping users cut their insurance liabilities and reduce their litigation risks – and it leads the way to further video applications beyond traditional security. How about having a camera system that detects when a construction worker neglects to wear a hard hat or high visibility vest? Or notifies a logistics manager when a truck driver fails to run through obligatory vehicle safety checks before starting their journey? Or warns cannabis growers if their plants are wilting, or a food processor if there is a production line problem?

People can’t watch activity 24/7, but smart video can.

As AI develops further, there’s huge potential for many more new uses and benefits, and there will be a market for these services. It is already making highly customized video monitoring services much more affordable, as a single operator can now oversee more sites than previously. And customers are impressed by how well services can be targeted to service their specific needs.

There can be a big difference in the response required from one site to another – even at sites belonging to the same customer but in different locations. For example, an intruder coming into your parking lot after dark might be a sign of real trouble at one location and will require rapid intervention. But for the same customer in a different state or city, that kind of incident might be a regular occurrence which is of little concern – a harmless passer-by with no ill intent.

The point is, responses can be tailored precisely to each customer and to each location, and AI-analytics is helping to make that possible by eliminating the noise.

This kind of 24/7 granular site monitoring was once only available to large corporate customers with dedicated control room operations or significant budgets that allowed them to outsource to high-end remote monitoring service partners.  Today even small businesses can reap the benefits of video monitoring and virtual guarding thanks to the power of AI video. 

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