Video Analytics Has Come a Long Way

One of the foremost challenges of video analytics has been achieving a high detection rate while keeping false alarms to a minimum. Learn how recent innovations such as object classification that discriminates among moving things are allowing this surveillance technology to finally move further into mainstream security applications.

Field Cases That Validate Analytics

Although video surveillance and video analytics have their roots in security, along the way, we’ve discovered many uses outside of the security realm, and more are emerging today.

For example, VA applications are now being used for operational and commercial purposes such as crowd control and the prevention of long lines. Of course overcrowding can be a security and safety issue, but it’s also an inconvenience that can annoy the traveling public.

Why should airports and mass transit operators consider a passenger’s annoyance an operational issue? The answer is because it affects their bottom line. Today, people have a variety of options for travel, and that’s why passenger satisfaction is important. Transportation services are judged, rated and ranked based on a number of customer satisfaction criteria, including delays and wait times. Also, crowding and long lines at airports can take away from
the time travelers spend in the commercial areas of the airport where they spend money.

Using video analytics, airports can identify and alert to overcrowding hotspots and initiate actions to alleviate long lines and delays (e.g. sending additional staff, opening more lines).

For example, a crowd control VA solution from NICE has been successfully deployed at a major airport in Asia. The airport’s management wanted to provide passengers with the best travel experience possible — in part, by minimizing the time they spend in ticketing, security and check-in lines. With this solution continually monitoring queue lengths in different areas of the airport, airport personnel were able to proactively respond when overcrowded hotspots cropped up. The positive impact is apparently already being felt. Results from a subsequent passenger satisfaction survey revealed higher approval ratings.

Russia’s Aeroexpress is another transportation operation realizing VA’s benefits. Aeroexpress offers high speed railway service within Moscow to the capital’s three major airports and rail service to the Moscow satellite town of Lobnya. After opening for business in 2005, Aeroexpress management realized that passengers had a variety of transportation options, so to stay competitive they strove to deliver operational excellence in all areas — from safety and security to passenger service. One of the tools in its arsenal, the VA application identifies when there’s excessive congestion at exit turnstiles or when long queues form at ticket counters, and alerts operators in the control room to take action.

<p><em>Using video analytics, airports can identify and alert to overcrowding hotspots and initiate actions to alleviate long lines and delays (e.g. sending additional staff, opening more lines). photography ©</em></p>Accuracy, Smarts to Propel Video

All of this is evidence that video surveillance has not only become a powerful security tool, but a potent operational solution as well. Over the four decades since CCTV first came on the scene, video surveillance has given us eyes and ears in places where we wouldn’t have otherwise had them. Now, thanks to fourth-generation video analytics applications, today’s video surveillance solutions are more accurate, more intelligent and able to serve more purposes in more places than ever before.

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Illy Gruber is Product Marketing Manager for NICE Systems’ security business.

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