CCTV hasn't been left behind in the technological leaps and bounds seen in technology in recent years. CCTV cameras may have gotten sharper, more affordable and smaller but they've also become a lot smarter.
There's actually a constellation of new intelligent features in modern CCTV security systems and mostly, fit under one collective umbrella "Analytics"
In this blog, we'll look at just what features CCTV analytics gives you, and how it benefits you and your business.
What are CCTV Analytics?
CCTV analytics can be broken down into 3 distinct categories: Fixed Algorithm Analytics, Artificial Intelligence learning algorithms and Facial Recognition. That might sound like a whole lot of technical jargon, but don't worry, in plain English these categories simply mean:
Fixed Algorithm Analytics: This looks for a single, pre-defined behaviour and alerts security personnel when it happens. For example, someone loiters around a specific area for a long period of time, someone leaving a bag somewhere, a fence being climbed etc. etc. You tell it what to look for, and it tells you when it sees it. Simple!
AI Algorithms: Rather than telling it what to do, AI Algorithm learns as it goes, over a period of time it learns what it thinks is normal behaviour, and alerts you when it thinks something strange is happening. You can think about incredibly busy, impossible to predict locations such as airports, banks or train stations utilising something like this.
Facial Recognition: This one is a bit less ambiguous, the analytics software uses points on someone's face to control access, and alert security if someone new or unexpected is in a particular area. "Faceless Recognition" is also something that can identify people by picking up on other characteristics such as a person's height, gait, posture and build.
Applications of CCTV Analytics
Including the above-mentioned applications, here are some of the most common applications of CCTV analytics:
Crowd detection is the real-time detection of crown density to evaluate capacity or issues in a particular area. For instance, a large group of people clustered around a fire exit or guest entrance.
When someone crosses into a predefined area, they get detected and counted. This aids greatly in occupancy control, capacity evaluation, or even non-security areas such as sales and conversion metrics.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition
ANPR reads vehicle number plates from CCTV footage. Having this form of analytics enabled allows you to have an automatic ledger of every car in your staff car park, which updates itself whenever a car enters or leaves your car park. Imagine having to do that manually!
This feature, as you might expect, senses any physical movement in an area. You might have some experience with this sort of technology in the very popular "Ring" doorbells where you can specify an area in which the doorbell will alert you of movement.
Image change/ Tamper Detection
If someone is motivated to try and cover, move, cut power or spray over your cameras, this feature will alert you instantly by detecting major changes in the view of the camera.
As you might expect, it detects and alerts if one person or a group of people are fixed around a single area, some systems can also detect suspicious behaviour, called "behavioural detection".
How different Industries use Analytics
As was alluded to above in the 'people counting' section, CCTV analytics can have applications far beyond the realm of business security.
Here are a few examples:
Leaving aside the safety of patients, staff and visitors, hospitals use video analytics to detect and alert automatically if an elderly or vulnerable patient has fallen or hasn't taken medication.
The retail sector tracks the customer experience and behaviour, for example, visit duration, where customers spend the most time looking. Studying this kind of behaviour manually would take hours and be extremely expensive.
Video analytics in warehouses can obviously detect theft, but it also has a place in streamlining management and safety. For example, they are being used to assist in the early detection of incidents (using the behavioural detection mentioned above)
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