The need for quality, cost-effective video surveillance is growing with each passing day. More commercial customers, government facility managers and homeowners are looking for better ways to prevent crime while recording criminals when they’re not dissuaded by the presence of cameras.
“We’re seeing very strong growth as more and more dealers are embracing the benefits and cost savings of cloud technology. End users are very comfortable with the cloud concept,” says Jeff Vollmar, co-founder and chief product officer with OberCloud LLC of Lindenhurst, NY.
For example, on the residential front, use of cloud video is being applied to video verification as well as other applications, such as video motion detection.
“The rise in demand of the video doorbell has been a strong gateway for smart home security adoption in 2020,” says Dave Mayne, vice president of product, Alula, St. Paul, Minn. “Over the past six months, during the pandemic, we have seen a spike in consumers adopting and investing in smart home security technology, especially video to help protect the perimeter.”
Homeowners are also using them for other purposes.
“Beyond security, cloud-based video is being used to check in on pets, kids, elderly family members and vacation properties,” says Coreena Schultz, senior manager with video product management at Resideo, Austin, Texas. “In the future, there will be more analytics on the edge — which is quicker and more private/secure. And some companies may choose to store directly in the cloud.”
Cloud-Based Video Trending
Perhaps one of the reasons for increased interest in cloud-based video is the fact that everyday people are now more accepting of the ‘cloud’ concept where in years past the idea of entrusting personal data to the cloud was not largely favored.
Today, however, cloud-based services are in use in almost every area of commerce and our personal lives.
“Now, more organizations are embracing the idea of cloud-based video and remotely managed services that remove the risks associated with ‘rolling trucks’ to address offline cameras or network connectivity issues,” says Chief Revenue Officer Nigel Waterton of Arcules, Irvine, Calif. “Cloud video is also having its moment in the spotlight as a result of a large subset of facility managers and security leaders who have made the shift to more remote work.”
According to Christian Morin, vice president of integration and cloud services and chief security officer with Genetec, Montreal, the current health crisis also has forced people to rethink how they work, and this has accelerated digital transformation on a variety of different fronts that were mostly ignored in the past. “One of those transformations is ensuring a comprehensive solution is in place that allows for collaboration, communication and efficient business operations remotely or onsite,” he says.
There are additional reasons for this, such as a choice in storage capacity; low upfront costs; little or no long-term maintenance; and a cauldron of features (See “Recent Developments in Cloud-Based Video online”) that on-site systems cannot compete with. In fact, almost every aspect of cloud network physiology can be adjusted up or down using a single online dashboard.
“Many IT services such as email have already migrated to the cloud,” says Anthony Novotne, marketing director with CheckVideo of Seattle, Wash. “Compared to server or NVR-based solutions, cloud-based video does not require special software or workstations. It is broadly available. That makes it possible for users to remotely watch video from anywhere .”
According to Joanna Santander, head of business development, VideoLoft, Toronto, Canada, AI, machine learning and IoT are all having a big influence on the capabilities of the cloud video surveillance sector. “Rather than searching through hours of footage it is now becoming possible to find the video you need in seconds,” she says. “AI is enabling the industry to use video to learn what normal behavior looks like and spot the unusual or suspect behavior. It’s very powerful and feeds into all the sectors of the industry, such as proactive monitoring, false alarm filtering, detecting anomalies, etc.”
Evolution of Opportunities
Probably the most notable incentive for security integrators to become involved with cloud-based video is the residuals, or recurring revenue that can be earned by way of remote management, video storage and long-term data analytics.
“Cloud-based video varies from product to product, but we are seeing growth of recording at the edge using SD cards, CaaS cameras and more, which allows real-time video upload to the cloud while providing video backup and restoration caused by network losses,” says Mike Reed, owner/manager and integrator with Safe Solutions of Hurst, Texas. “As we move away from local storage, the ability to process video at a faster rate for verification and analytic response increases drastically.”
In addition to the residuals referenced by Reed, there are a host of other reasons to adopt cloud video with many more on the way, experts say.
“In Bosch’s case, we’ve enabled cloud-based video for several end-customer applications, such as video monitoring, video notification, event-based, counting reports and in-store analytics,” says Chris Larcinese, North American marketing manager - cloud services with Bosch Security and Safety Systems, Fairport, N.Y. Bosch’s vertical approach to marketing cloud video continues to serve them and their dealer base well and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
To those integrators who remain skeptical about sending video to the cloud for security reasons, according to John Larkin, senior partner with Electronic Systems Consultants LLC of Columbus, Ohio, “There’s an incentive for bad people to hack a central station computer in an effort to thwart detection during a big heist at a jewelry store or bank. Since I already trust my monitoring provider to protect the integrity of my client’s data, why wouldn’t I trust a cloud provider to do the same?”
Cloud video can be an ideal solution for a client’s long-term deep learning analytics and storage needs while real-time, short-term requirements are readily performed on site using internal CaaS analytics at the network’s edge.