Analytical decisions

October 2011 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Video analytics? Yes, but be sure to find the right service provider.

There is a lot of talk and not enough walk in the video analytics arena at present. Uptake of the technology is growing and will continue to do so as vendors push to get their products to the mass residential and other markets, but there are a number of challenges frustrating users at present.

The immaturity of the technology and lack of skill of implementers and service providers have a lot to do with it.

There is any number of video analytics software vendors out there, some of them highly credible. However, since these solutions are still in rapid development phases, there is a lack of standards. Nor have vendors adequately developed their to-market channels, failing to ensure channel partners selling and implementing solutions have appropriate skills and training. In addition, user expectations are not being met – video analytics is not the install once, run forever kind of solution sometimes advertised. It is all adding up to a lot of client unhappiness, especially since the outlay can be expensive, with each channel (or camera) coming in at approximately R5000.

The answer, in large part, lies in identifying a solution provider who has the product and industry knowledge, as well as the experience, to make the technology meet the unique needs of your organisation. The other part of the puzzle is understanding the limitations of video analytics.

Limitations and fine-tuning

Sophisticated software algorithms analyse incoming video streams to enable, among others, perimeter intrusion detection, object detection, licence plate recognition, facial recognition and behavioural recognition, along with advanced archiving and retrieval capabilities. For government, retail, industry, transport sectors, health, education and even residential sector needs, the potential applications are endless.

In a busy airport, however, a video analytics solution is unlikely to identify an abandoned suitcase or detect a change in crowd behaviour – it is just too busy an environment. And, regardless of the environment you install it in, the solution is very likely to need ongoing fine-tuning, including factoring in recognition of seasonal environmental changes.

Jasco Security has done installations at mines, financial institutions, detention centres and power generation facilities. In each instance, the design of the solution was vital to its success and required insight into industry processes and practices, deep product knowledge and considerable technology and integration experience. From start to finish none of these installations took less than eight weeks to get right.

De Beer advises the following for someone considering adding video analytics to their security arsenal:

* Pick a proven product with a good pedigree and a well-defined development roadmap.

* Select an experienced implementation partner with a good track record and the right capabilities.

* Ensure your service provider has successfully delivered on industry solutions similar to what you want.

* Do a pilot and assess the feasibility of implementation.

* Ensure your service provider has ISO certification or an appropriate quality management system in place.

* Ensure you understand and have in place the right technology.

* Be willing to fine-tune the solution as processes, drivers and risks change within the business and installed environment.

For more information contact Jasco, trading as Multivid, +27 (0)11 894 7127/8, [email protected],

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