Over the past few years, we have seen the electronic security industry begin to evolve into a more useful tool as opposed to simply a security system. With modern systems now highly network-dependent we are starting to see new technologies and deeper integrations emerge. In this article I will discuss one of those technologies available to end-users and when implemented can move the business forward by helping to generate revenue and reduce operating costs.

    Video analytics is all the talk now as you can see from many of the national security shows and industry publications. Camera manufacturers are trying to grab market share on this by adding the analytic processing at the camera then sending that data back to third party devices. This makes a lot of sense due to the amount of processing power required by many analytics, often requiring the addition of larger or additional servers. While this may work for some companies the added cost of those servers prevents many others from leveraging the technology currently available. By having processing power at the camera (edge device) it will reduce overall hardware cost and open the door for more companies to leverage their abilities.

     Why are video analytics important? It is my opinion that the only way we will ever see the full potential of what security analytics can achieve is to give the control to a specialist in the field. Our job as security professionals is to ensure we have the procedures and systems in place to protect our people and assets. Though there is nothing wrong with this method of thinking, it just gives us a rather narrow view of the true capabilities of our systems and because of this security budgets are often considerably less than other departments. Electronic security is simply not typically viewed as a revenue-generating business unit. So now the question is, how do we change that perspective?

     Cameras are all around, they watch us every day, but most of that video remains unused. The typical video surveillance mindset is to simply gather video footage in the event something happens. Modern analytic technologies can help us to utilize much more of this wasted recording space than before by leveraging analytics such as people counting, heat maps, object appear/disappear, loitering, and others we can begin to dig deeper into the data gathered by these devices.

     By configuring analytics, a retailer could trigger an audible advertisement for sales in the section you are standing in. A situation where an expensive item is on display can be configured to trigger an alarm if the item is removed. Heatmaps at checkout counters can help management decide how many lanes need to be open during certain times. The list is almost endless but additional examples are: analyzing end caps based on foot traffic, reducing time spent watching hours of video footage looking for a single event, enforcing no parking areas without sending people when there are no violators, and many more.

     With technology continuing to advance we are now seeing more and more companies begin using object-based analytics that will help to even better refine the data gathered. The reality is that the security systems we see every day can be leveraged in many ways, we just need to broaden our views of their overall abilities for a greater ROI from those devices. Security budgets are already often tight so how do we work with the other teams within an organization to expand that budget? By leveraging the capabilities of these new technologies we will begin the change opinion of the security team as a financial burden to a revenue-generating division of its own. This approach will help to expand the availability of security across many organizations while at the same time helping businesses be more cost-effective and run more efficiently.

     No matter your level of knowledge Security Design Consultants is here to help customers fully understand and expand on the capabilities of their existing systems as well as provide guidance on potential upgrades and modifications. If you would be interested in learning more about how we can help you please schedule an appointment on our website at security-design.com/schedule or email me directly at tj.ammond@security-design.com