From its inception, video analytics was touted as a solution that could assist those providing border security and video surveillance of airports, schools and critical infrastructure with a powerful means for identifying and detecting intruders. Government agencies and organizations facing high-threat situations, such as utility companies, were among the early adopters of this technology, which could pinpoint anomalies related to movement, size, direction, speed or other factors by carefully constructed algorithms.
Today, however, that same technology is migrating to the mid-range market, with intelligent video appliances finding their way into residential, commercial and leisure applications. The ease of installation and use, coupled with the benefits of reduced or eliminated guard or monitoring staff, has made video analytics attractive to a significantly broader audience.
As proof, here are five innovative applications of how video analytics is being used in the mid-range market. These applications cross all geographic boundaries and industries.
PEDAL WATCHERSAt an apartment building complex in Tokyo, strategically located PTZ cameras equipped with intelligent video appliances and connected to a video projection unit provide vision-guided tracking of the hundreds of bicycles parked outside of the two 14-story units. When someone mounts a bicycle and rides off, the camera keeps the moving target in focus, and the person’s image is projected onto a large screen. Although the camera isn’t able to distinguish between owners and thieves, knowing that their image is being projected and captured has deterred thefts, which were occurring at a rate of one per month.
Unlike CCTV cameras, which may have recorded the theft but required police investigation after the fact, the intelligent video solution acts as a deterrent to potential crime. It has enhanced the sense of safety that residents feel and eliminates the need for and cost of guards for the bicycle area.
GONE FISHINâ€™The Chilean salmon industry has long been the victim of theft of both salmon and roe. A leading aquaculture company, Trusal S.A., implemented video analytics at its salmon pools in Puerto Montt to protect them from intruders coming from land and sea.
Using thermal cameras equipped with intelligent video, the security system is able to detect suspicious boats, trucks and individuals, while discounting natural predators such as small animals, and environmental factors such as wind and rain.
The application of video analytics in this situation provides a high level of security and a lower rate of false alarms while covering a large space â€” 28 salmon pools and a perimeter of 8,000 square meters. Since implementing the video analytics solution, Trusal has reduced thefts by 75 percent and cut back on manpower by 30 percent.
BYE-BYE BIRDIEGolfers at a course in South Africa are protected by a virtual fence that maintains the perimeter of the property. Using infrared cameras equipped with intelligent video appliances mounted every 70 yards, security personnel are able to detect both human and animal intruders. Thieves infiltrating the course during the night and waiting to attack golfers in the daytime was an issue at the course, as was the threat posed by wild animals. Using video analytics to define the perimeter and identify threats has raised the sense of security for those using the golf course, and security personnel can address specific issues, rather than patrol haphazardly.
DONâ€™T STEAL THE STEELThe 20-acre Merkavim Metal Works site in Israel suffered from scrap metal thefts. The thieves entered the sprawling complex and made off with metal parts from the busses it assembles, along with high-end accessories from inside the busses, such as CB radios or TVs.
Thieves were able to scale the walls and fences that ringed the perimeter of the complex. While the company initially considered adding fence sensors or even surveillance cameras, the scope of the cameras to be monitored and high risk of false alarms made that impossible. Instead, the owners of Merkavim installed two dozen cameras equipped with intelligent video appliances. The system is configured to detect suspicious behavior on the adjoining roads and railroad tracks, while ignoring vehicles or persons passing in normal directions parallel to the fences. Stopped vehicles are detected through the use of the analytics “stopped vehicle detection” algorithm.
In the case of internal theft, in which employees would remove items and place them outside of the fence to be picked up later, any items taken from the location are detected by the intelligent video analytics appliance and recorded to provide instant on-screen notification to guards, who then respond to what is occurring.
As a result of the installation at Merkavim’s facility, the overall security expenses were cut by 30 percent and detection of break-ins increased.
UNDER THE SUNThe rise in popularity and visibility of solar power has made solar power farms a target for thieves and vandals. With panels costing from $1,000 to $3,000 each, protecting this investment has become critical. The photo-voltaic panels and generators are being stolen not only for reuse, but also for scrap metal value. In Spain, which is one of the leading countries in renewable energy generation, hundreds of analytics-equipped fixed and PTZ cameras are tracking activities at solar power farms.
Often located in remote areas, the cameras and analytics ensure the ability to monitor from a distance and also to distinguish between naturally occurring threats, such as birds or animals, and human intruders. Video verification also makes it easier and more cost effective to react to actual threats versus having to send out guards to verify every alert.
All of the benefits that large-scale, early adopters sought from employing video analytics are now being achieved by those in other industries as well. This has become possible because the cost of analytics has declined and the simplicity of installing, operating and maintaining these systems has increased. No longer limited to end users with extensive IT departments, intelligent video analytics is a solution for mid-range markets with diverse security needs.