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Where are video surveillance cameras headed? At the core of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are advanced chips with artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge, enabling cameras to gather valuable information about an incident: scanning shoppers at a department store, monitoring city streets, or checking on an elderly loved one at home. Thanks to advanced chip technology, complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras —professional to consumer — fueling the democratization of AI in the IP camera market.Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras Expanding The Global IP Camera Market The video surveillance equipment market grew to $18.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase this year, according to IHS Markit. The latest research points to video everywhere, edge computing, and AI as the top technologies that will have a major impact in both commercial and consumer markets in 2019. Computing at the edge means that the processors inside the camera are powerful enough to run AI processing locally, while still encoding and streaming video, and are able to do it all at the low-power required to fit into the limited thermal budget of an IP camera. New SoC chips will be able to perform all of the processing on camera and provide accurate AI information, with no need to send data to a server or the cloud for processing. Instead, data can be analyzed right in the camera itself, offering high performance, real-time video analytics, and lower latency — all critical aspects of video surveillance. This new AI paradigm is made possible by a new generation of SoCs, a key driver behind the market growth of IP cameras. Complex analytics operations are becoming more affordable across the full spectrum of surveillance cameras to fuel the advent of AI in the IP camera market Micro-Processor-Enabled Video Analytics Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most timeMicroprocessor-enabled analytics allow users to more easily extract valuable data from video streams. How about an insider’s view into retail customer behavior? Consider video cameras at a department store, monitoring shoppers’ behavior, traffic patterns, and areas of interest. Next-generation cameras will recognize how long a shopper stays in front of a specific display, if the shopper leaves and returns, and if the shopper ultimately makes a purchase. Next-generation video cameras will be able to create heat maps of stores to see where people spend the most time, so retailers will be able to adjust product placement accordingly. Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly. By understanding customers’ behavior, retailers can determine the best way to interact with them, target specific campaigns, and tailor ads for them. Cue the coupons while the shopper is still onsite! Analytics will also help identify busy/quiet times of the day, so retailers can staff accordingly Fast Processing For Rapid Response At City Level City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations such as loitering, big crowds forming, or cars driving the wrong way.Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations Quick local decisions on the video cameras are also used to help analyze traffic situations, adjust traffic lights, identify license plates, automatically charge cars for parking, find a missing car across a city, or create live and accurate traffic maps. Real-Time HD Video Monitoring And Recording When it comes to home monitoring, what will next-generation video surveillance cameras offer? Real-time monitoring and notification can detect if a person is in the back yard or approaching the door, if there’s a suspicious vehicle in the driveway, or if a package is being delivered (or stolen). Advanced video cameras can determine when notifications are and aren’t required, since users don’t want to be notified for false alerts such as rain, tree branches moving, bugs, etc. Next-generation video camera capabilities can also help monitor a loved one, person or pet, helping put families at ease if they are at work or on vacation. For example, helpful analytics may be used to detect if someone has fallen, hasn’t moved for a while, or does not appear for breakfast according to their typical schedule. City surveillance and smart cities are depending on advanced video surveillance and intelligence to keep an eye on people and vehicles, identify criminals, flag suspicious behavior, and identify potentially dangerous situations Next-Gen IP Cameras When evaluating next-generation IP cameras (cameras on the edge), look at the brains. These cameras will likely be powered by next-generation SoCs chips. Here is what this means to you: Save on network bandwidth, cloud computing and storage costs. There is no need to constantly upload videos to a server for analysis. Analysis can be performed locally on the camera, with only relevant videos being uploaded. Faster reaction time. Decisions are made locally, with no network latency. This is critical if you need to sound an alarm on a specific event. Privacy. In the most extreme cases, no video needs to leave the camera. Only metadata needs to be sent to the cloud or server. For example, the faces of people can be recognized in the camera and acted upon, but the video never reaches the cloud. The cameras can just stream a description of the scene to the server “suspicious person with a red sweater walking in front of the train station, has been loitering for the last 10 minutes, suggest sending an agent to check it out.” This could become a requirement in some EU countries with GDPR rules. Easier search. Instead of having to look through hours of video content, the server can just store/analyze the metadata, and easily perform searches such as “find all people with a red sweater who stayed more than five minutes in front of the train station today.” Flexibility/personalization. Each camera at the edge can be personalized to work better for the specific scene it is looking at, compared to a generic server. For example, “run a heat map algorithm on camera A (retail) as I want to know which sections of my store get the most traffic; and run a license plate recognizer on camera B (parking lot) as I want to be able to track the cars going in/out of my parking lot.” No cloud computing required. For cameras in remote locations or with limited network bandwidth, users have the ability to perform all analytics locally, without relying on uploading video to a server/cloud. Higher resolution/quality. When AI processing is performed locally, the full resolution of the sensor can be used (up to 4K or more), while typically the video streamed to a server will be lower resolution, 1080p or less. This means more pixels are available locally for the AI engine so that you will be able to detect a face from a higher distance than when the video is streamed off camera. AI At The Edge Professional-level IP cameras capable of performing AI at the edge are coming soon with early offerings making their debut at this year’s ISC West. As we enter 2020, we will begin to see the availability of consumer-level cameras enabling real-time video analytics at the edge for home use. With rapid technology advancement and increased customer demand, AI is on the verge of exploding. When it comes to image quality and video analytics, IP cameras now in development will create a next-generation impact at department stores, above city streets, and keeping an eye on our loved ones.
Across the country, law enforcement officers are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the near overwhelming number of calls coming from security alarms. Police departments commonly define a false alarm as a call, which upon investigation, shows no evidence of criminal activity, such as broken windows, forced doors, items missing, or people injured. While false alarms bog down police, they can also negatively impact customers and integrators. End users can expect hefty fines for false alarm responses, and when these customers receive large bills from the city, many turn to installers, dealers, and even manufacturers expecting them to accept the responsibility and pay the check. What First Brought The Issue Of Alarm Verification To Your Attention? It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight I’ve been aware of the problem of false alarms for about 5 years. I believed audio capture, through microphone deployment, could be an active part of the solution when used as a second source for indicating ‘out of the norm’ activity and as an equal component with the video surveillance technology. In 2015, I found similarly minded security professionals when introduced to the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response. After reading PPVAR’s paper on ‘Audio Verified Alarms Best Practices; [April 2015],’ I knew that the Partnership was on to something important. In our lives, two of the five senses we count on day-in and day-out are sight and sound. It is crucial to both see a situation and concurrently listen to any corresponding sounds to gain full insight. What Is The False Alarm Rate? In 2016, the International Association of Chiefs of Police reported that over 98 percent of all alarm calls in the United States were false. This number is obviously staggering, and something we need to work towards correcting. Why Did This Issue Resonate So Strongly With You? When I first investigated this issue, I was sure that the security industry would have already recognized this and was acting to ensure improved alarm verification, preferably through a combination of audio and video technologies. However, I quickly saw that this was not the case, or even close to the norm. I have questioned the rationale behind the lack of adoption and found the deployment of audio is often hindered by the concern of privacy. I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio As CEO of Louroe Electronics, I’ve spearheaded many initiatives to explain the monitoring policies surrounding audio. I’ve had to reassure many security personnel and customers how the law supports the use of audio in public places as long as there is no expectation of privacy. By dispelling fears with facts around deploying and implementing audio sensors, customers can confidently include audio in their surveillance systems and gain a more effective security solution. Who Is Affected By This? Truth be told, everyone from the end user to the manufacturer is affected by this issue. Not to mention the strain this puts on law enforcement who are tired of ‘wasting time’ and effort out in the field on these nuisance alerts. When an end user receives a check for their false alarm, many of them will immediately blame the integrator and or the monitoring center for a faulty set up and management and expect the integrator to remedy the situation, including carry the burden of paying the fines. The integrator, on the other hand, will turn to the manufacturer, assuming faulty equipment and installation instructions; therefore, looking for reimbursement for the cost. What Is The Average False Alarm Fee? It depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for responseIt depends on many factors, and especially your first responder assigned location for response. According to the Urban Institute, fees generally range from $25-$100 for the first offense, rising as high as a few thousand dollars per false alarm if a location has a large number in a single year. What’s worse, in extreme cases, alarm systems may even be blacklisted by the police dispatch center if they have raised too many false alarms in the past. Why Do You Believe Audio Is The Ideal Technology For Secondary Source Verification? Video surveillance has been the main option for security monitoring and alarm validation for decades, however industry professionals are realising that video alone is not enough. Video only tells half of the story, by adding audio capture, the responsible party gains a turnkey solution with the ability to gather additional evidence to verify alerts and expand overall awareness. In reality, audio’s range is greater than the field of view for a camera. Sound pickup is 360 degrees, capturing voices, gunshots, breaking glass, sirens, or other important details that a fixed camera many not see. How Would A Secondary Source Verification System Work With Audio? Using a video monitoring solution equipped with audio, the microphone will pick up the sounds at the time a visual alert or alarm is triggered. If embedded with classification analytics, the microphone will send alerts for specific detected sounds. The captured audio, and any notifications are immediately sent to the monitoring station, where trained personnel can listen to the sound clip, along with live audio and video from their station. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response From here, an informed decision can then be made about the validity of the alarm, along with what the current threat is at the location. If the alarm is in fact valid, the information is then passed along to the law enforcement within minutes. When law enforcement receives a validated alarm, they can better prioritise the response. It also provides more information in a forensic evaluation. Are There Any Additional Resources You Would Suggest Looking Into? Yes, we would suggest looking into the following to see a few different perspectives on the matter: NSA Support For 2018 Model Ordinance For Alarm Management and False Alarm Reduction Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response Support for the Term “Verified Alarm” and Prioritising Verified Alarm Responses Urban Institute Opportunities for Police Cost Savings without Sacrificing Service Quality: Reducing False Alarms
Las Vegas is a city that bombards you with choices: dozens of glitzy hotels and casinos, a plethora of restaurants and eateries to satisfy any craving and an endless variety of entertainment guaranteed to delight and amuse. With so many options, it’s hard to decide where to spend your time. The same goes for ISC West. Like the city in which it’s being hosted, ISC West 2019 is going to bombard you with more options than ever before. Dozens of new technologies and vendors as well as old familiar faces will be vying for your attention. With only three days, it’s nearly impossible to explore every booth and every vendor. Ultimately, you’ll want to focus your limited time on companies whose partnership can lead to your organization’s long-term success. In that context, I’d like to suggest a few things to think about as you wend your way through this year’s tradeshow. The Next Wave In IP Technology The fact that the whole world is going IP is nothing new. The network-based connectivity trend has been ongoing for more than 25 years. What’s changed is the nomenclature. Today it’s all about the Internet of Things (IoT). What was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP For the security industry, the concept of IoT really began with connecting DVRs through a network. Then in 1996, IP cameras – the first true IoT devices – hit the market. Since then, what was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP, providing exceptional growth opportunity for any company wanting to be on the leading edge. Today, however, that market is relatively saturated and growing at a much slower rate. In response, consolidation of the market has started to accelerate. Many vendors are disappearing while a select few are becoming stronger. Though the IP video revolution is now a fait accompli, there are still a few ancillary security technologies that are just beginning to jump on the IP convergence bandwagon. I’m referring to two in particular: IP audio systems and IP intercom solutions. Like their IP video cousins, these relatively new IP systems are built on open platform standards and provide the same benefits for convergence as happened in the camera space: better scalability and ROI, more functionality, and easy integration with third party systems. The technology is a great complement to a customer’s existing IP surveillance system or an ideal replacement for an antiquated analog audio system. So I’d recommend spending time at booths showcasing this technology. Listen to the crystal clear sound quality. Learn from the various vendors how easy IP audio systems are to custom configure, remotely manage and scale. And discover the different ways the IP technology can be used, from paging, public address and broadcasting background music to augmenting security systems and perimeter protection solutions. The potential markets that can benefit from this latest IP technology are wide and varied, everything from hotels, hospitals and transportation hubs to educational institutions and retail chains. So it’s well worth your time to take a look at this growing opportunity. AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board Artificial Intelligence: Hype Vs. Reality Video intelligence or video analytics was the big trend a decade ago. But it quickly fizzled out when hype crashed into reality. In the ensuing years algorithms have greatly improved, leading to more reliable analytic performance. Now it’s commonplace for video surveillance solutions to include a wide range of analytics from motion detection and people counting to dwell time analysis, object left behind and license plate recognition. The latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI) With analytics gradually becoming mainstream, the latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI). These self-learning applications parse event data and use what they’ve learned from the experience to make determinations or predictions that can increase the accuracy of future alerts. Before you get swept up in all the big promises that have yet to prove deliverable, take time at ISC West to educate yourself about the current state of the technology. AI works well in some areas. For instance, AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board. Talk to some of the AI vendors at ISC West to learn when and if AI might be right for your organization’s analytic applications. See who has actual, field-proven solutions and who is just offering ideas that might take many years to prove useful in real applications. Connecting With The Right Partner Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Choosing the right partner is as important in business as it is life. Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners. You’re sure to find a number of new companies entering the field this year. Also be sure to notice which companies are absent. Have they left the surveillance industry? Are they struggling financially and can no longer afford to show up? If you partnered with them in the past, where does that leave your business today? As you explore potential vendor relationships, make sure you not only look at the arc of their technology development, but also their long-term financial stability and the kind of support services they offer. Cybersecurity should be front and center on your radar, along with timely updates, product integration with your existing technology and ongoing training to gain the most benefit from your investment. Look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimize waste and lower their carbon footprint Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet - look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Another important thing to find out is whether their business ethics align with yours. Is sustainability important to your company? How about corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion? Ultimately you want to do business with healthy, innovative companies that share your core values. If being green is a fundamental principal of your company, look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimize waste and lower their carbon footprint. If striving for better global citizenship is your corporate mantra, you need to know how the vendor is assuring their operation complies with environmental laws and regulations. In terms of maintaining social and ethical standards, it’s important to know where the vendor stands on issues such as human rights violations, compulsory child labor, fair wages and sourcing minerals from countries in armed conflict. Go In With A Plan There’s so much to discover at ISC West this year that four days isn’t nearly enough time to see it all. So you’ll have to strategically pick and choose which booths and vendors to visit. I’d advise that you plan out your days in advance so that you can get the most value from the choices you make.
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