Video analytics to keep you ahead of the game

Christina Behle

According to the old proverb, “forewarned is forearmed”, and the ability to take proactive action to prevent incidents before they take place is something to which everyone concerned about safety and security can easily relate. Whereas, previously, this ability was solely reliant on the skills of the surveillance operator, whose experience would allow them to identify suspicious or dangerous behavior and take action, today smart video analytics can be employed to augment and enhance human abilities.

Motion detection as the foundation

It’s an obvious thing to say, but the vast majority of incidents where forewarning would be useful in allowing a response will feature some sort of movement, whether from people or vehicles. Motion detection, therefore, provides the foundation for proactive intervention. But clearly the attributes of motion and their indication of suspicious, dangerous or threatening behaviour can differ throughout the day: a warehouse door in constant use throughout working hours is entirely normal, of course. But people approaching it in the middle of the night would be of significant concern. In addition, the solution must be ‘smart’ enough to ignore movement caused by wind, vehicle headlights, or small animals.

It is important, therefore, that any analytics-enhanced video surveillance solution allows for the creation of multiple configuration profiles, establishing those areas to be included at different times of the day or night, different times of the week, and for different types of movement.

In addition to these differences, not all areas within a specific camera’s field of view will be seen as critical to unusual movement: a dangerous or prohibited area next to a busy corridor or pathway will need to be isolated, so that only someone moving into it will trigger an alert and the appropriate response. Again, analytics now allows for the identification of precise ‘include’ zones within the camera’s field of view to be highlighted, and technology such as fence guard allows for the creation of virtual fences and trip wires to protect sensitive areas.

Alerts that drive proactivity, and efficiency

For smaller organizations without the ability to employ full-time video surveillance operators providing 24/7 coverage, alerts created by analytics can be the difference between stopping an incident taking place, and simply dealing with the consequences. To use another well-known phrase, ‘prevention is better than cure’.

But a solution enhanced by analytics has additional benefits. Cameras can be set up to only record when motion is detected, or when a virtual fence is breached, which saves costs related to bandwidth and data storage.

For organizations where cost efficiency, ease of use, and comprehensive coverage are of central concern, analytics are an important aspect in an end-to-end video surveillance solution, such as that which you get with AXIS Camera Station.  Find out more about the considerations you should bear in mind when specifying a video surveillance solution here.