Why are we seeing more and more products or solutions claiming to benefit from AI and video analytics, not only within the security industry but across all walks of life?
And, what does this really mean for the physical security solutions industry? In this article, we’ll explore what impact the revolutionary development of AI has on business and what the benefits are for security installers, integrators and their customers.
AI means that security solutions can go from being reactive to proactive, in real time. And then they can go that bit further again by providing detailed analysis to increase effective business strategy. In short, AI and the subsequent deep machine learning that comes as a result allow businesses and individuals to optimise resources and reap the benefits that go with this.
The last two years have forced many of us to review our existing ways of doing business. We must consider how we can make improvements or risk being left behind by our competitors. AI can offer huge assistance in reviewing business practices, by providing the critical management data need to really understand what’s going on.
That then allows you to see how you can maximise income opportunities (or indeed generate them!) and use video analytics to drive growth from better business intelligence.
Good news for experienced security experts!
Security solutions that are equipped with video analytics and AI not only enhance protection, but also enable staff to work smarter and systems to work harder.
In the security world, AI and video analytics will provide opportunity for experienced operators who will always be required to make key decisions and analyse results; what’s really exciting is that the information available within a truly artificially intelligent surveillance system propels security specialists to centre stage in business strategy. This is because you’ll be able to generate commercially useful data from your video surveillance system.
The real power of modern-day AI comes from ‘machine learning’ which means the system can assimilate information about how we are using it – i.e. which events we are interested in – learn from this and present information back to us based on our usage.
Intelligent Video Analytics also allow the outcomes to be set up dependent on different triggers. For example, if someone enters a secure area from another secure area, this might just be bookmarked in the system and logged. But if someone enters a secure area from a non-secure area, this will trigger both video recording to commence and an alarm to sound.
An interesting example of AI, combined with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), is currently operational in the UK at petrol forecourts, helping reduce ‘take & drive away’ fuel theft.
What does it mean for the security industry?
There are three key benefits of AI and video analytics for the security sector:
1. Provides highly accurate post-event search capabilities
Currently, most CCTV systems are ill-equipped to assist security managers in carrying out an effective examination of past events in a quick and timely manner. Organisations, however, are beginning to expect more from their surveillance systems. AI and deep learning allows more specific search criteria to be specified, in turn allowing more effective post-event analysis to be produced, with deeper reports generated.
2. Recognises unusual behaviour, alerts security staff, and prevents an incident from progressing
This mean that a video surveillance system can actually be taught what a potential threat looks like in advance using behavioural analytics – for example, what a human is and how it behaves.
The system can be configured beforehand with a set of criteria. Where it gets really smart is that it can then build on this information by learning as it goes along. The system learns from our responses to it and further increases the accuracy with which it raises an alarm, helping to drive down the number of false alarms.
Reducing false alarms is hugely attractive to those responsible for security, of course – the less time spent dealing with incidents that aren’t of interest, the less danger of alarm fatigue. Unproductive hours can be reduced. This will enable businesses to use their surveillance staff more efficiently at the same time as increasing a premises’ protection.
3. Provides precious insights for organisations
This allows them to make more cognisant decisions, and this is what truly allows a business to maximise the return on investment of its security arrangements.
Opportunities for security integrators and installers to capitalise on AI
The capabilities of applications containing AI really allow you to ask your customer “What problems are you facing today?” and then develop a solution specifically tailored to those problems. Then, as things change and threats evolve, the business can change and evolve without having to make costly hardware changes.
You can talk to them about so much more than just security because these systems cover the wider issues of Health & Safety, Occupancy Management and so on. This means that you can offer real value for money on a project. At the same time, you’ll benefit from reduced time spent on site and a system that is configured to be remotely managed.
You’ll be able to save your customers money by reducing the number of staff needed to monitor video footage or deal with false alarms. In addition, you’ll be able to offer a solution that doesn’t just help the business prevent crimes; there is a tangible opportunity for the business to use these systems to generate commercial data.
Take the example of a retail outlet or shopping centre: a properly installed CCTV system will ensure that the security team don’t miss a thing at the same time as providing the management team with customer insights. These systems can provide age and gender data, movement of people information, heat mapping and facial recognition.
This allows management to understand visitor demographics in detail and market to their customers more effectively. It gives them the opportunity to resolve bottlenecks, to product place more effectively, to maximise usage of space and even to sell space based on potential revenue.
Management can even sell on the demographic visitor data to tenants for their own marketing purposes.
Back in the security control centre, the security manager will be able to make real inroads into crime reduction, both by customers and employees. Installation of the latest cameras will be able to cover more with fewer units. They will provide 360-degree views and avoid previous blind spots, acting as a deterrent and allowing far better footage capture to be viewed retrospectively in the event of an incident
Suddenly, the security system becomes the provider of crucial data driving business success.
By Caroline Cooper, Content Marketing Manager at Norbain SD