The Evolution of Video Analytics

Why should airports and mass transit operators consider a passenger’s annoyance an operational issue? The answer is because it affects their bottom line. Today, people have a variety of options for travel, and that’s why passenger satisfaction is important. Transportation services are judged, rated and ranked based on a number of customer satisfaction criteria, including delays and wait times. Also, crowding and long lines at airports can take away from the time travelers spend in the commercial areas of the airport where they spend money.

Using video analytics, airports can identify and alert to overcrowding hotspots and initiate actions to alleviate long lines and delays (i.e., sending additional staff, opening more lines).

A NICE crowd control video analytics solution has already been successfully deployed at a major airport in Asia. The airport wanted to provide its passengers with the best travel experience possible — in part, by minimizing the time passengers spent in airport lines. With the NICE solution continually monitoring queue lengths in different areas of the airport, airport personnel were able to proactively respond when overcrowded hotspots cropped up. The positive impact is apparently already being felt. Results from a subsequent passenger satisfaction survey revealed higher approval ratings. 

Russia’s Aeroexpress is another transportation operation that deployed NICE video analytics. Aeroexpress offers high speed railway service within Moscow to the Capital’s three major airports and rail service to the Moscow satellite town of Lobnya. When Aeroexpress opened for business in 2005, it realized that passengers had a variety of transportation options. To stay competitive, Aeroexpress strove to deliver operational excellence in all areas – from safety and security to passenger service. NICE video analytics is one of the tools in its arsenal.  The VA application identifies when there’s excessive congestion at exit turnstiles or when long queues form at ticket counters, and alerts operators in the control room to take action.

All of this is evidence that video surveillance has not only become a powerful security tool, but a potent operational solution as well. Over the four decades since CCTV first came on the scene, video surveillance has given us eyes and ears in places where we wouldn’t have otherwise had them. Now, thanks to fourth-generation video analytics applications, today’s video surveillance solutions are more accurate, more intelligent, and able to serve more purposes in more places than ever before.

Illy Gruber is Product Marketing Manager for NICE Systems’ security business.

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