From its first introduction to the market until the modern day, video monitoring has seen rapid growth and innovation throughout its lifespan. With the creation of CCTV technology in the 1940s, the design of IP cameras in the 1990s, and finally, the internet-based and remote capabilities for video surveillance that are available now, video monitoring has proved it will always be a necessary security solution that benefits from constant innovation.  

Considering this fact in the wake of the pandemic, alongside the security challenges faced over the last few years, many organizations have been more concerned about their security than ever before, leading businesses to seek out new solutions to protect their people, products and infrastructure.  

Historically, video monitoring and surveillance solutions have been reactive, meaning business owners were left reeling from the aftermath of crimes like theft and vandalism on their property. For many years reactionary systems were the only solution on the market, that is, until innovation struck again. Throughout the past few years, proactive solutions have become a significant driving force for the industry's evolution. In fact, the proactive security market is forecast to reach $45.7 million by 2026, and more and more organizations are taking notice of solutions like proactive video monitoring (PVM), which have been proven to be valuable solutions for crime prevention. 

Why switch from video verification?

When it was first introduced to the video surveillance market, video verification technology was one of the most valuable tools in the industry. It allowed businesses and authorities to determine what happened at the scene of a crime and, to an extent, determine who had committed it. Although video verification features were enough to satisfy businesses years ago, the needs of organizations have far outgrown the capabilities of this dated technology.   

Additionally, organizations can run into a few underlying issues regarding traditional solutions like video verification. For example, when a crime is committed on-site, all security personnel have the capability of doing is responding retroactively. This reaction involves taking time to verify what crime occurred by stopping the current recording in progress, scrolling through footage to find the proper timestamp, observing the footage and finally alerting the authorities. 

Keep in mind that while security personnel reviews this information, the crime has already concluded, and the perpetrator has most likely escaped, leaving the property owner responding to the damages that have occurred. Reactive solutions like video verification help prove that a crime occurred and eliminate the possibility of a false alarm but not prevent the crime itself.  

This is where the power of proactive security makes all the difference.  

PVM: The next step in the evolution of surveillance tech

Imagine the earlier scenario of a business owner being forced to react to a crime retroactively. Before the introduction of proactive security, this was often the only solution. But with innovative systems like PVM, this entire scenario can be prevented.  

While traditional video solutions are almost always reactive solutions, PVM is proactive. Regarding the scenario above, with PVM, the criminal in question would likely have not made it past the front gate or entryway. Certain PVM solutions offer live audio warnings administered by specialists that alert the would-be criminal to the fact that they are being observed. These trained specialists deliver live-specific call-outs to the perpetrator, such as describing the vehicle they arrived in, their clothes, and what they are currently doing.  

Most of the time, criminals dislike the specificity and vacate the premises quickly — effectively stopping the crime, saving the business from losing assets, and preventing property damage. So how exactly does PVM achieve this?  

An active presence

The driving force behind PVM, and what sets it apart from traditional offerings, is the "proactive” aspect. PVM is a purpose-built platform with an active presence behind the cameras, always observing the situation; organizations can rest assured they won't need to pick up the pieces left in the wake of a destructive and potentially costly crime. Instead of requiring to stop and review a recording, PVM relies on a hands-on presence behind the scenes to keep the would-be criminals at bay. 

To break it down, PVM delegates security personnel to concentrate on high-impact activities while an AI-based engine "watches" out for possible security events. PVM is highly effective at preventing criminal activity by monitoring, engaging in live intervention, and reporting. Built-in intelligence automatically catches risks and transmits a real-time alert to an intervention specialist. The operator analyzes the area of concern and, if required, can communicate directly to an intruder via a live audio warning.  

Additionally, regarding the evolving discussions about how solutions like PVM can substitute the human guarding element, it is simply not the case. Security guards are vital to ensuring the safety of diverse locations and environments. With more than one million guards employed in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the position will not disappear anytime soon. PVM augments on-site security staff by improving their ability to detect threats. Dangerous activities — such as reacting to a hazardous situation — can now be controlled by PVM. This strategy dramatically reduces liability and assures the continued safety of guards on-site.  

Prevent, don't react

As much as the industry might wish, all organizations switching from reactive to proactive solutions is not something that will happen overnight. However, many businesses in verticals like construction, auto, parking, cannabis and retail are adopting these solutions and witnessing how proactive solutions like PVM protect people, assets and infrastructure.  

Organizations looking to switch to solutions like PVM should seek solutions that provide live audio warnings, 24/7 monitoring and fast reporting with a scalable and flexible platform that doesn't require them to rip and replace all existing hardware and infrastructure.  

Proactive solutions are beginning to take the market by storm, and the numerous benefits (all of which go far beyond what was discussed in this article) that they provide organizations should not be overlooked. Many solutions in the surveillance market are outdated and plagued with reactionary measures that leave businesses with a steep bill to pay. Investing in proactive solutions is the innovative answer and can leave organizations with guaranteed peace of mind like never before.