EXCLUSIVE: Doing the math on video analytics

Camect - video analytics

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Rachel Joy Swardson – Director Marketing for Camect explains why choosing the right video analytics to suit specific needs can aid a business’ operations.

False alarm

Security camera alerts driving you and your customers crazy? You are not alone.

Over 98% of security alerts are caused by something other than criminal activity.

This means well-intentioned businesses and homeowners, ironically trying not to get burglarized, are getting robbed everyday… of their time.

The average central station receives over 11,000 notifications from cameras per day.

This adds up to hours of precious time wasted and painful distractions resulting in frustration, revenue loss and customer disappointment.

All in the name of security? If that doesn’t sound right, it’s because it’s not.

Enter video analytics

The broad application of intelligent analytics can have a near instant financially positive impact on just about any business.

This is because the right video analytic application will eliminate false alerts and elevate critical detail.

These result in higher employee engagement and customer satisfaction while fortifying the three Rs: reputation; referrals; and reviews.

Do the math and you’ll quickly add up the positive impact across the entire company when time saved equals more money made.

Suddenly there is less internal frustration, lively energy to grow the business, more bandwidth to accurately respond to real issues.

One security dealer who installed video analytics across an organization instantly noticed a drastic reduction of alerts.

However, it was the long-term gains that were the most shocking. After only 18 months, the business saw over double growth without seeing a lift in overhead.

“All of our time was spent on real events and real issues. We didn’t even have to lay anyone off. The alert volume became right sized, allowing our team to give real alerts accurate time and attention.” 

It almost sounds too good to be true – more business with less overhead cost, all because of video analytics? As we say in the midwest, “You betcha”.

Applying analytics

Analytics simplified is the application of math, statistics and machine learning to recognize trends and commonalities in data.

Video analytics, sometimes found in a camera or added with an external hub, use algorithms to scan video footage looking for known threats. This could be a person in a closed construction zone or a rodent in a cafeteria or clean room.

Once a threat is detected, then only that alert is transmitted.

Smart video analytics filter out the time vampires, like bug alerts, rain, light flashes, unwanted wild animals and more.

However, this is only possible if the intelligence is actually smart. As with the varying range of human intelligence, not all AI is created equal either.

Some people are not as smart as others – the same goes for video analytics.

What to look for:

  1. Simplicity – for as complex as the concept of video analytics can be, the solution itself does not need to be overengineered
  2. Compatibility – make sure the external video analytic hub is ONVIF and RTSP compatible. Make sure you have the option of keeping existing cameras, not ripping and replacing them
  3. Edge device – cloud is “fine” if you have 100% confidence in WiFi not going down, you don’t mind paying for extra WiFi drain and don’t overthink the risk of hackers. Keeping data on the edge is the simplest, most cost-effective way of getting alerts
  4. Real time viewing – the average invasion is completed in under nine minutes. Scrolling back to an event, only to replay it, realize what happened and send to security detail is just antiquated. Real time viewing is what you want from your video analytics
  5. Clip sharing – if downloading and sending video clips is cumbersome, move on
  6. Integration capability – closed systems are inherently expensive. In part because they require an expert in that device to integrate it. It doesn’t need to be over engineered. Find a solution that is open and easily integrates

When considering video analytics, it can be exceptionally helpful and lucrative to take a broad lens to the use case.

Yes, crime prevention from humans is top of mind, but what else?

Keep in mind, not all threats are from people. Rodents can destroy a business reputation (think restaurant, school cafeterias, bio-tech clean rooms etc) and can also carry potential health hazards.

Mice can ruin expensive product inventory such as cannabis. Wild animals can wreak havoc on farms.

On construction sites, accurate analytics can be used to “people count” for employee management.

Think about applying video analytics to prevent fines or fees. Boxes blocking exit doors could be detected to prevent fire marshal fines.

PPE, safety vest and ladder detection proactively keep teams safe while avoiding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines and fees.

The more thought you put into where and how to apply them to your business, the more value you will reap from your results.

The right video analytic solution should be able to learn in new data, as long as the opportunity is big enough.

See the results

Once you and your team have identified the problem and the size of said problem, it can be helpful to test various video analytic solutions.

Share the pre-work you and your team have done to decipher what kind and type of analytics to best support your business objectives.

Then, put a few video analytic devices to the test.

Take into account ease of use, cost and compatibility and accuracy.

When testing for detection accuracy, challenge the device. A video analytic solution simply detecting a person on a clear day is basic.

Can it detect people at long ranges, through rain, with bugs obstructing visibility?

Detection accuracy in challenging circumstances will be the most valuable to your bottom line.

Same with vehicles. Can the analytic system detect if they are coming or going, differentiate between trucks, cars, bikes, delivery vehicles?

It is recommended to involve as many team members from across your business as possible for cross functional buy-in.

Making sure everyone from sales, to operations, to customer service and leadership understands the value of adding video analytics.

This can prevent enthusiasm for this solution from getting stuck or put on the back burner.

It will also bring the company together when reviewing and celebrating the positive results of adding video analytics to the business.

About the company

Camect was created by two Google computer scientists who set out to end the mass market issue of useless false alerts.

The Camect Smart Camera Hub is recognized globally for unrivalled detection accuracy and ease of use. The solution is compatible with nearly every ONVIF and RTSP camera and integrated with all major security platforms.

The edge device offers more privacy and security than cloud-based options, while using less WiFi and power consumption.

Use cases for the Camect Smart Camera Hub range from construction to campus, retail to restaurants and beyond. The name Camect comes from the word Camera and Connect. Learn more at Camect.com.

This article was originally published in the October edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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