The chat is not
just coming from suppliers either, it’s coming from end users. It is never a great
surprise to us when security software manufacturers talk up the strength of
their video analytics play but it’s more telling when security managers
themselves are calling our office asking for recommendations for analytics
solutions.

In saying this,
there’s no suggestion that analytics has reached a benchmark of capability or
will soon be governed by a standard, because it hasn’t and it won’t be. At
present analytics is driving out of edge devices (cameras), local devices (DVRs
and distributed NVRs), and centralised server-based solutions. Some makers say
edge is best, some preach server-based but what’s fit for purpose strongly
depends on the nature of the overall application.

In The Interview this issue I spoke with
Milestone’s Eric Fullerton who was in Australia to address Milestone’s highly
successful IP seminar in Sydney. A key point Eric made during our discussion
was the importance of adding value to high quality video using analytics. That
value might be added by integration with access control or alarm systems but it
might also be added in other open-ended ways.

What kinds of
ways? For a start it needn’t always be about application of thresholds,
presets, inputs and outputs. What about intelligent searches? An interesting
release from VideoIQ this month was the company’s new integrated product,
Object Search. The way this neat data mining application works is very simple
as well as being delightfully intuitive.

From the point of
view of the operator, all you do is plant your mouse on an object in a scene
and highlight that object – let’s say it’s a car, or a bus, or a person in red
jacket. A few seconds after you highlight the object, the system then presents
you with all other scenes in the database in which that object has appeared.

Of course the VideoIQ
solution depends on analysing metadata from its iCVR cameras, which contain pattern
matching software that searches for matches based on shape, size and colour.
Importantly, these VideoIQ cameras are discerning enough to relate the size of
an object to its distance away from a camera.

VideoIQ says its
cameras can identify people, vehicles and boats. What’s really interesting is
the apparent neural process going on here. According to VideoIQ, the camera
scene is learnt from the moment the camera is installed, and no additional
calibration is required for effective detection. Wow.

Along with the
appearance of neat products like these, the existence of increasing smarts in
cameras from a number of the industry’s most respected players, Bosch, Sony and
Panasonic. There’s also the presence of SDKs capable of offering all sorts of
clever apps in IP-market leader Axis’ cameras, as well as in Pelco’s Sarix
camera.

These potential apps
aren’t limited to hardware people. Milestone is talking about the development
of library of clever applications that will be available to its customers and
you can bet there are other major management solution players hot on the
case. 

Something else
I’d consider a bellweather for video analytics is the presence at IFSEC in
Birmingham this year of floor space that organisers are calling the Intelligent
Integration Zone. There are 3 key security shows in the world – IFSEC, ISC West
and Essen – and the presence of this space at IFSEC tells us there are now many
players pushing into intelligent video and turning over dollars enough to take
their global promotion strategies to a serious level.

“It is never a great surprise to us when security
software manufacturers talk up the strength of their video analytics play but
it’s more telling when security managers themselves are calling our office
asking for recommendations for analytics solutions”