How to Select and Deploy Video Analytics

Intrusion and tamper detection, counting and license plate recognition are just some of the real-world campus applications for this type of software.

Video analytics has come a long way in the past few years. When the right solution is selected and properly deployed, it can act as a force multiplier, augmenting security personnel tasked with monitoring the growing number of cameras that are being deployed at hospitals, universities and schools around the nation. Analytics can also be used to improve customer service in crowded hospital waiting rooms, college athletic events and even on-campus retail and dining establishments.

Follow these best practices to get the most out of your technology investment.

Know the Types of Analytics Appropriate for Your Situation

When it comes to video analytics, the one-size-fits-all approach definitely does not apply. Campus protection professionals and other administrators considering the purchase of these solutions must understand what each type can and can’t accomplish.

Motion and intrusion detection are probably the most common analytics applications deployed at educational and healthcare institutions. These types of analytics can issue an alert when someone enters a hospital pharmacy or some other area prone to breach. Analytics can also be used outside to create virtual fences at K-12 schools that can be monitored by a campus dispatch center or central station says Rick Cook, executive vice president of Thrive Intelligence.

“After the bell rings, all activity coming on campus triggers an alarm where the video is streamed to the centralized monitoring and response center,” he says. “If the activity is normal, then the alarm is quickly closed. If the alarm indicates potential harm, then police can be immediately dispatched.”

Tamper detection is another analytics solution often deployed by campuses. These sensors can determine if someone re-positions a camera, throws a coat over it or spray paints the lens – common tactics used by vandals and taggers.

Video analytics can count people and objects. For example, it can monitor the length of lines at bookstores and sporting events. Perhaps a retailer may want to understand the foot traffic patterns in a store, so the manager puts cameras at entrances and exits to count the number of people coming and going.

This solution even has fire safety applications, says Jammy DeSousa, product manager for Tyco Security Products. “If you have a fire drill and you want to know how many people are in the building, you can use entry and exit analytics for that,” he says.

Video analytics has several applications for parking security and customer service as well. It can count vehicles attempting to locate a parking space. License plate recognition can compare license plates of cars entering a garage with state databases to identify known offenders or cross-reference with a campus database of vehicles that are authorized to park at the facility. Directional analytics can identify vehicles travelling the wrong way in a one-way lane.

Analytics software can scan for objects disappearing that should be present, as well as issue alerts when something is left behind that shouldn’t be there, such as a gurney left in a hospital hallway or a package left in a foyer.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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