How video analytics helps unlock the value of video

July 10, 2022

Video analytics can review hours of video footage in minutes and help you find what you’re looking for, fast.

Suspicious movements of people, traffic violations, a sudden outbreak of fire – these are just a few examples of what a video analytics solution can detect quickly and accurately.

Video analytics automates tasks that are usually done by humans. And it delivers results that are ridiculously fast...and accurate. In tandem with conventional video surveillance, video analytics today plays a key role in keeping cities and citizens safe.

Video analytics technology is now all around us, improving urban mobility and sustainability as well as public safety.

While cities rely heavily on video cameras to improve safety and security, real-time video monitoring and surveillance is nearly impossible. The sheer number of cameras rules out manual scrutiny of footage.

This is where video analytics come in – with automated and fast extraction of information, intelligence and insights from video footage.

Keeping you safe

Over the years, video has emerged as an effective security measure to keep cities safe. Surveillance technology has come a long way, with analog surveillance cameras yielding to their more advanced digital cousins in recent years. Today, most big cities are likely to be interspersed with digital CCTV cameras keeping a watchful and protective eye out for its citizens.

Video: the challenge of scale

While the visible presence of security cameras may be a deterrent in itself, they rarely guarantee lower crime rates and incident prevention. At the time of writing this (towards the end of 2021), it’s estimated that there are more than 770 million video surveillance cameras worldwide, recording thousands of terabytes of footage every day.

“To monitor all this footage in real time and identify every threat as it occurs would take an unimaginably large number of people. No public body anywhere in the world – be it the police, the fire or the health department is equipped to do this. As a result, most video footage remains unwatched.”

What’s needed is a solution that cuts down time and manpower and delivers accurate results quickly.

Video analytics: the way forward

The human ability to monitor live surveillance footage has its limits. One person can only scrutinize one video monitor diligently for a short time before his or her attention wanders. Add several hundred million cameras and feeds to the mix and you have an impossible situation on your hands; not enough people, not enough time.

Take the case of the 2005 London bombings investigation. It took the police months to review the video because they had to examine footage from over 6000 cameras. It took weeks to review the 5000+ hours of video from the Vancouver riots to identify the troublemakers.

But what if there was a way to analyze surveillance video automatically and quickly, and get intelligence from it? Crimes would be solved faster. Emergencies would be responded to faster. Cities would become safer.

Video analytics is the answer to this problem. Video analytics can literally let you review hours, even days of video footage, in minutes. Officials can quickly pinpoint objects of interest by time, gender, size, color, direction and speed. They can identify events and suspects in record time and respond faster.

Video content analytics can be used for strategic decision-making, benchmarking trends and configuring rule-based alerts. For example, real-time alerts can be issued when building occupancy exceeds the pre-determined threshold. In a retail context, it can be used to differentiate employees from guests so managers can understand whether there’s adequate staff to serve customers.

So, what exactly is video analytics?

In simple terms, video analytics is the use of algorithms to translate a recorded video into useful insights. It uses a clever combination of AI and GPU to identify events and objects in video content. For instance, a video analytics solution can recognize activity like a sudden breakout of fire, suspicious human movement or even non-compliance with traffic regulations.

Forensic analyses of post-event videos can extract intelligence that can prompt a set of actions. Simply put, video analytics automates and phenomenally speeds up tasks that are near-impossible to carry out by people. And it provides far more accurate results.

Video analytics can extract more value from your existing video surveillance investments by making video searchable and actionable. One such advanced video analytics solution is Milestone XProtect® Rapid REVIEW from Milestone Systems. It can help you carry out highly accurate, cross-camera video search and filtering, based on an expanding suite of classes, attributes, behaviors and visual layers. With this, you can quickly review video to pinpoint people, objects and behavior of interest. You can then immediately turn that information into evidence, insights and action.

When data fights back...

While XProtect Rapid REVIEW cannot prevent crime or incidents by itself, it can help authorities make better data-driven decisions for response. For example, police patrols cannot be everywhere, but they can be deployed in the right place at the right time.

Take the instance of a child that’s reported missing. In such cases, response time is vital. XProtect Rapid REVIEW can swing into action immediately. It can carry out super-fast multi-camera searches and identify the child based on face recognition, and attributes like apparel, color, size, speed, path and direction, etc. It can then quickly provide a trail of digital breadcrumbs, enabling police to detect the exact time and place where the child was last seen. Missing children can be located and reunited with their families faster.

Or consider a stolen car. XProtect Rapid REVIEW identifies it via color, make and license plate, and alerts law enforcement to its location. The stolen car is retrieved, crooks are apprehended and further crime is prevented.

Find what you’re looking for, fast! XProtect Rapid Review is an advanced forensics analytics tool that accelerates investigations by fast-tracking people and object detection.

Ensuring safety beyond crime

Public safety is not just about crime and crime prevention. It also involves managing traffic to avoid accidents, responding quickly to emergencies, and conducting regular inspections, among other priorities. A tool like XProtect Rapid REVIEW can help authorities perform these functions more effectively – often saving lives and preventing damage to property in the process.

Educational campuses: Safety 101

A safe city is a desirable city to live in and raise children. That safety should extend to school and college campuses.

But increasingly, school and college campuses have become more and more vulnerable to criminal acts. These can range from simple burglaries and vandalism to the more serious sexual assaults and mass shootings.

XProtect Rapid REVIEW can deliver the valuable intelligence that campus administrators need to improve security and response times, accelerate post-event investigations, and better understand incidents.

Video footage captures incidents that need to be investigated. It could be a missing student, vandalism, theft, assault, an accident or a harassment claim.

Typically, manual forensic review of archived footage is time-consuming – the more the footage, the longer it takes. XProtect Rapid REVIEW enables fast, filtered searches across multiple cameras so security teams can quickly find the evidence and information they need. Quick review of post-incident footage can be leveraged to validate claims (or clear false claims), and better understand incidents.

Facilitating a return to pre-Covid normalcy

It’s been a year and a half since the world has been living with COVID-19 disruption. Now, as vaccines roll out throughout the world, many cities are slowly returning to some semblance of normalcy. As businesses start to re-open and people return to work, cities face the challenge of straddling the delicate balance between public safety and supporting economic recovery.

XProtect Rapid REVIEW can be leveraged to pinpoint and trace individuals who have self-identified as having been diagnosed with Covid-19. Through Face Recognition, Appearance Similarity and Proximity Identification filters, contact tracing can be conducted to notify at-risk individuals, and safety protocols can be initiated.

Conclusion: Video analytics helps you get more from your video installation

A video analytics software like XProtect Rapid REVIEW is a powerful way for cities to get the most out of their investment in video surveillance. By mining the data that lies buried in video footage, city officials can leverage cross-departmental collaboration.

They can ensure that police, fire, health, environmental and planning departments connect and communicate with each other. By enabling officials to rapidly review footage they can attain situational awareness, gather intelligence and initiate action. It is indeed the secret weapon that ensures a city becomes a safe and secure city.

Ready to see what we have to offer with smart video technology? 
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