Data Supports Video Analytics’ Merits

The time has come to stop dreaming or theorizing about what video analytics could accomplish in an ideal scenario and embrace the fact the technology is finally ready to deliver across a range of applications.

<p>High quality mobile image capture and fast transmission of data to cloud-based processing will help video analytics hit its potential. Multiply the police or military databases storing those images and you get Big Government Data.</p>More Lessons From Silicon Valley

Moore’s Law certainly comes to mind, which states computer processing power will double every 18 months. Analyzing video content certainly takes serious processing horsepower. Big Data is comprised of lots of both structured and unstructured data. It must be processed, analyzed and stored. The cost for data storage options continues to fall and Big Data needs a large house to live in! Big Data today requires VMS analytics servers to be sized correctly or they will choke to death in front of your eyes. Server-based analysis needs serious computer overhead resources and adequate network bandwidth allocation, and can realistically manage a limited number of active cameras with analytics turned on. Often analytics may need to be “detuned” to allow a video system to operate with more efficiency. Kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

That improved computing power is getting smaller, which lends itself to living out on the edge of our networks. Stronger hardware/firmware kernel design allows improved processing power of analytics applications in small packages at the edge of the network. This allows for facial analytics software to be better matched to the characteristics source of the data capture source. Knowing how a specific camera operates allows for tighter software integration and better results from analytics. The side benefits are lower bandwidth requirements, smaller servers at the enterprise level and reduced storage requirements. The downside is more cost and complexity at the edge. Is there any middle ground?

While many pundits have proclaimed the “death of the DVR/NVR,” like Mark Twain said, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” I tend to agree that the NVR is not dead and will be around for the foreseeable future. Purpose-built appliances that manage the middle world of data capture and storage are going to be around for a long time. They will continue to adapt, improve and play an important part in the migration path of security technology. They can be and are the smart, experienced “beat cop” that can effectively manage a transitioning technology neighborhood.

Next month, we’ll continue to talk VCA by examining the pros and cons of different analytics, and how to optimally match them depending on specific types of applications.

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Paul Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfield, Ohio-based Matterhorn Consulting ( He has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience and can be contacted at


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