Managing Security and Big Data With Video Analytics

Technology providers are collaborating like never before to bring amazing capabilities into the marketplace. At the top of that list is video analytics, which is finally working out the bugs, kinks and false alarms to deliver on its extremely high potential.
Published: June 6, 2013

In March, we talked about how technology has finally advanced to deliver on the promise of video content analysis (VCA), or video analytics, such that it is finally stable and reliable enough to become a viable consideration for video surveillance system design. The past two years’ dramatic advances in hardware, firmware, software, mobile communications and tools for mining unstructured data are enabling security integrators to add value to security and business operations.

All this adds up to 2013 perhaps being a breakout year in the real-world deployment of video analytics. I called two knowledgeable visionaries of video/facial analytics that service two very distinct market segments for some help. We’ll look at how this is developing, including a discussion of system design architectures, applications and the buzzword of the moment, Big Data. My thanks go to Animetrics CEO Paul Schuepp and 3VR CEO Al Shipp, both of whom shared their time and perspectives for this two-part examination of one of the industry’s most exciting and promising technology areas.

Collaboration Is the New Imperative

Shipp and Schuepp both show an open attitude and vision toward how their respective technologies could be used as tools in a bigger toolbox. 3VR utilizes best-of-breed software instruments developed by others in its own product solution offerings and is willing to share its own tools with others. Animetrics approaches its evolving market with a similar mindset.

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This is one reason why video and facial analytics will grow substantially as compared to traditional security technologies. Where proprietary software and limited collaboration has been the rule in the security industry, both Shipp and Schuepp bring a refreshing “what if?” perspective to their company’s technologies and growth plans. They have the right idea.

This will have a meaningful impact in 2013 because this approach unleashes hundreds of knowledgeable and talented companies that attack the problems of security and business in creative ways. Is this realistic to expect in the near future? Ask anyone who bought an iPhone four years ago. The surge in computing power, cloud services and applications that made work and life simpler grew at what rate? Better processing power, better software tools and, most importantly, the school of hard knocks has taught us valuable lessons along the way.

It sounds like we have some options and are moving in the right direction. The key is to ask the right questions.

Topology Can Take Many Forms

So what is the right approach to processing video analytical data? Should it be out at the edge? Should it be in the middle world of an NVR/appliance nodal location? Should we bring it back to Fort Knox at the enterprise? Or, gulp, should we rely on the new world order of the cloud? Drum roll please … it’s all of the above.

The right answer again lies in where your campus lives today and where you want to live when you retire. It’s about the right migration path when you have so many different actions, options and realities to consider.

Comparing the server side video content analytics to edge analytics is like comparing a 300-pound heavyweight prize fighter with a 116-pound bantam weight. One is big and powerful, and the other is light and fast. Stored video is typically Big Data any way you slice it, which means large storage and processing power is required. Not a cheap date.

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Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series