Video Analytics Offers Improved Situational Awareness, Operational Intelligence
Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Comments
The amount of video recorded by businesses and organizations is growing substantially every year. By the end of 2022, research firm Omdia estimates there will be two billion video surveillance cameras installed worldwide. However, much of that video is not being used.

“Most of that video data is never touched because it’s there in case of an emergency, in case something happens,” said Lizzi Goldmeier, director of marketing for BriefCam, a video analytics provider. “What happens most of the time is the video is never utilized because it’s not worth the time or resources to review the video.”

However, as technology advances and the capabilities of video analytics grow, organizations can begin leveraging video in different ways. The classic use case of video is security, but there are many other uses that video analytics are making possible. The key, Goldmeier said, is to consider video not just as video but as another form of data to be consumed.

“It becomes: ‘How can I consume this data in a structured way to make intelligent decisions for any part of my business that uses this data?’” she said.

For example, video analytics can be used to optimize traffic either in a city or an airport terminal that might experience bottlenecks. Video analytics could allow authorities at an airport to analyze certain times when a security line becomes too crowded and instantly deploy more resources to help alleviate that bottleneck.

Goldmeier said that video analytics allow organizations to consume and use data in several ways. BriefCam’s solution takes video, processes the video to classify all the objects in that video, and then indexes all of that metadata.

This indexing allows organizations to search and filter for specific things in the video. For example, a police organization with a description of a suspect could input that information into the search function and it would rapidly search and filter the entire video for all instances of objects that match the description. That can greatly help reduce time during an investigation.

“You go from combing through video and potentially missing out on a detail to focusing only on the data that is relevant to your case,” Goldmeier said.

Such functionality is useful for functions aside from investigation as well. For example, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it helped organizations contact trace, Goldmeier said. If an employee tested positive for COVID, the organization could search the video for any instances of that person and identify those who came within six feet of them, especially without a mask. The organization could then have those people test for COVID or quarantine.

Additionally, video analytics can be configured to provide alerts when certain condition are detected in video. For example, at airport security, an alert could be set up for whenever the video sees a queue reach a pre-defined threshold of individuals. At this point, more security agents could be deployed to help keep the line moving and alleviate the bottleneck.

Finally, the indexed metadata from the video can be used as operational intelligence to help inform future decisions, Goldmeier said. For example, the indexed video might indicate that people cross a busy street at a certain point, increasing the threat of a collision between them and cars. Given this data, the city might choose to add a crosswalk at that point to prevent a tragedy from happening.

“There’s a lot that you can do, and it’s versatile, and that’s why it can be an enabler of a smart city or a public service organization,” Goldmeier said.

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