The image on the left is a system view, the one on the right is the actual view, and the middle one is a blending of the two. When tuning a video analytic system, technicians use all three of these views to help define objects of interest and then filter false alarms.


The key to understanding how video analytics filters reduce false alarms begins with learning the fundamental difference between motion detection and intelligent video. Motion detection detects that something is happening. Intelligent video detects that something you care about is happening.

The first step in reducing false alarms with video analytics is understanding what you care about. After determining the most important security aspect for each video channel and creating a detection zone for the application, filtering allows the system to isolate what you care about and ignore false alarms (everything else).

Filtering isolates objects based on time and size in relation to space. By discriminating towards objects of a specific size, which stay in a location for a specific amount of time, you can reduce false alarms because you increase the probability of the system detecting the actual event.

Here are examples of filters used by intelligent video products available in today’s market and how they reduce false alarms.

A short-events filter allows the user to define how long an object must remain in a selected space to be considered an object of interest. The system ignores objects that do not remain for this specified time and identifies objects that match this time-based criterion.

Consider a detection zone set up to prevent loitering vehicles parked in an emergency ambulance entrance of a hospital. After the zone is set up, the intelligent video solution is tuned using the short-events filter to discriminate against objects based on time within the detection zone.

Security personnel determine that a vehicle will not be considered loitering until it is parked at an emergency access entrance for more than 60 seconds. The filter is tuned to trigger a security event after 60 seconds.

All vehicles that pull up to the exit to drop off people or just drive through are ignored and do not trigger an alarmed response. Furthermore, any movement in the field-of-view, such as wind blowing a trash bag, a bird flying through or a person walking (all of which would trigger a false alarm with pixel-based motion detection), are ignored.

An object threshold filter allows a system to discriminate objects based on size as a percentage of the area within the detection zone. The system looks for objects within a specific size range and ignores everything else.

Consider a virtual trip-wire set to trigger a security event when a man gets within 10 feet of a fence protecting a utility substation. After the zone is set  up, the IVS is tuned using the object threshold filter to discriminate against objects the size of a person who is 4 to 7 feet tall and ignore all other objects.

Security personnel base their analytics on the fact that the given size range will cover a high percentage of people who would break into the substation. It also will ignore smaller objects, such as dogs, cats or other animals that may wander through the detection area and trigger an event in a non-intelligence-based system.

The first step in fighting false alarms with video analytics is defining what constitutes a security event for every video channel. Once the criteria for an event are defined, the best intelligent video solutions on the market allow users to filter extraneous stimuli that would cause a false alarm on motion detection-based systems.

This power supply is protected from weather extremes in a lockable, sealed, non-corrosive enclosure rated NEMA 4X (IP66) and conforming to National Electrical Code (NEC) standards.

Weatherproofing Power Supplies Can Cut Service Calls

Honeywell Power Products, Northford, Conn., has witnessed a strong seasonal trend in demand for its weatherproof supplies made to power video, access control and intrusion systems. Honeywell’s 17 varieties of weatherproof supplies can be installed near outdoor pan-tilt-zoom camera housings, along fences for perimeter intrusion systems, and at power-controlled gates.

For further protection, eight styles of surge-protected, weatherproof units provide consistent power while safeguarding security equipment from harmful voltage surges and spikes.

“Not many companies offer weatherproof power,” asserted Gene Pecora, Honeywell Power Products general manager. “As installers tally up the amount of time spent traveling to job sites to replace equipment, more are requiring these protective, weatherproof products from the start.”

Data sheets, drawings, battery calculators and other comprehensive information on Honeywell Power Products’ complete portfolio of video, fire, intrusion and access control power solutions are available online at www.honeywellpower.com. To reach the company by phone, call (877) HPP-POWR (877-477-7697).

Kaba-Ilco Launches New User-Friendly Web Site

Kaba–Ilco Corp., Winston-Salem, N.C., unveiled a new, more user-friendly design for its corporate Web site located at www.kaba-ilco.com. From this home page, users are at the gateway to Ilco Key Systems, based in Rocky Mount, N.C., Kaba Access Control and Ilco Lodging Systems, Montreal, Quebec.

The revamped Web site is more intuitive and better organized to make it quick and easy to navigate. The site includes straightforward menu tabs, interactive tools and downloadable files, as well as myriad service and support information.

One of the new features on the site is a “Literature and Support” grid that is organized by product category, which makes finding specific product documents very efficient. In addition, the site is regularly updated with schedules for training seminars, traveling exhibits and trade shows.

NTC Partners with Inspector’s Boot Camp

Inspector’s Boot Camp (IBC), Las Vegas, a provider of hands-on education for fire alarm system testing and maintenance, began including National Training Center’s (NTC) Brown Book -- Fire Alarm Systems Design and Installation, with its class materials.

Inspector’s Boot Camp was created to provide professional training and certification in the test and inspection of fire alarm and life safety systems, fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems, security and safety equipment and any other product or system designed for safety in commercial buildings.

To learn more about Inspector’s Boot Camp, please visit: www.InspectorsBootCamp.com. For more information about NTC, visit: www.nationaltrainingcenter.net or call (702) 648-8899.

Paxton Access Chooses TransTech Systems as a Distribution Partner

Paxton Access Inc., Bellevue Wash., announced a new distribution partnership with TransTech Systems Inc., Aurora, Ore.

Paxton Access Inc. was established in the United States in April 2006 to serve the American security market. The company is the U.S. sales and marketing office for Paxton Access Ltd., a British-based manufacturer of access control systems. Paxton Access plans to develop a strong distribution network for Net2, a PC-based access control system. For information, visit www.paxton-access.com.

TransTech Systems is a value added-distributor specializing in secure identification badging systems and access control. For information about TransTech Systems, visit www.ttsys.com.

ADI Enhances Its Expo Training Series with More Training

ADI, Melville, N.Y., launched its latest Expo Training Series, celebrating 15 years of success in 2008. Free to industry professionals, the ADI Expo offers dealers the opportunity to meet with local associations and manufacturers, increase their technical expertise, expand their businesses and remain competitive in the low-voltage industry.

This year’s theme, Go Full Throttle, is designed to energize attendees. The ADI Expo provides dealers with educational opportunities, a chance to try out the latest technology and engage in face-to-face interaction with leading manufacturers.

Based on customer feedback, the 2008 ADI lineup will offer more training, including additional IP networking courses, CEDIA low-voltage educational classes, and seminars on business and project management.

To comply with industry standards, ADI is incorporating national, local and industry-accredited courses. Dealers will have an opportunity to visit with manufacturers as they showcase their product lines spanning a variety of categories such as intrusion, fire, video, access control, audio-visual, tools and hardware, home solutions, wire and cable, and IP networking.

 For information about ADI’s Expo Training Series, visit www.adilink.com.