How Video Analytics Adds Value

Remote video services that make use of video analytics are providing great value and meaningful return on investment (ROI) for a range of applications. As a prime example, video analytics can drastically reduce the monthly fees associated with video verification.

Until recently it was difficult to justify the cost of deploying quality analytics for small- and medium-sized applications. With the introduction of new off-the-shelf platforms, the gap has been filled.

With the analytics providing most of the heavy lifting, only the exceptions are communicated to the central station. In many applications this means most, if not all, of the communications that require action are real events. The elimination or at least a drastic reduction in video transmissions results in a significant decrease in the monthly fees associated with these services. In some cases, because the analytics and camera locations can be placed in such effective places, the use of this technology also eliminates or reduces the need for proactive remote or physical guard tours or patrols. (For more on the subject of video analytics, click here.)

It can be more than a little puzzling for dealers when it comes to understanding analytics and the variety of levels that are available. Some dealers are further confused by relating analytics to the more familiar, conventional video motion detection. This misunderstanding, combined with the simple fact that video analytics was traditionally a very expensive proposition, has caused many dealers to reject the technology for their installations. Typically, analytics include true object recognition of people, vehicles, boats and suspicious objects. Applying alert rules such as trespass, direction of travel, virtual tripwire, crowd detection, vehicle dwell time and loitering allow simple or comprehensive installations to produce real results. Platforms such as VideoIQ offer the storage and analytics at the edge (in the camera), while others provide it through gateway interfaces.

In any case, the application of these technologies combined with the offsite management and monitoring by a state-of-the-art central station will deliver results for subscribers and a great new revenue source that can bear significant margins for the installing dealer or integrator.

There are a variety of important factors to consider when deciding on technology and service providers. The products installed in the field need to be proven for the specific application at hand. Although many quality technology providers exist, don’t expect all solutions to be “one size fits all.” Certain providers perform better both logistically and economically for larger installations; others are better suited for smaller projects. When it comes to remote services, it is essential the provider specializes in these services.

Investigate and confirm a prospective provider actually offers these services through a unified remote management platform, rather than running several applications that are loosely tied together to give the perception of the services without the effectiveness and efficiency. The provider should also offer its dealers and end-user customers remote access to a Web portal, allowing them to view live video or any previous video alarm or event that has occurred in the past.

I hope this article will motivate dealers and integrators to take a hard look at what’s available to them today. I have been involved with remote video for more than 15 years and for the first time I feel confident the marketplace has the technologies that will allow remote video services to gain the traction it rightfully deserves.

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About the Author


Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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