Let’s face it! Home and business security has loopholes. And, criminals love to exploit them. New challenges arise on a daily basis in the security industry and if you have something really precious – which we all have – then, you need to keep a stern watch over it.

Why you should invest in Security Systems?

Having sleepless virtual eyes (aka CCTV security cameras) provides a sense of assurance that everything is being monitored all day and all night. Security systems have certainly become a good option for securing our precious assets and beloved ones.

Another reason for installing these security cameras is the emergency management crisis. Instant alarms and notifications incite the concerned authorities to take an immediate action as and when required.

The third major reason to get a full-fledged surveillance camera system positioned at your premises is the ability to view everything from afar. The power of managing your work force, business and home from afar not only gives you better control, but also saves a lot of your precious time.

What are the challenges faced in Video Surveillance?

Video surveillance surely acts as a solid proof to take the necessary action for any ambiguous event or crime. These days, forensic investigators and the police department, both are highly dependent on digital CCTV camera recordings to solve cases. First, they locate the evidence in a video tape and then, convict the criminals.

However, with the increasing number of cameras and home security systems, the amount of video created is also multiplying. Just consider a simple example. Reviewing a single tape of 2 hour duration to catch an employee who stole from the inventory is comparatively easier than reviewing same 2 hour duration tape from 15 cameras.

We sure should increase the surveillance cameras to increase the safety, but then it also increases the amount of redundant tape being generated. This makes the process of finding the required data extremely time-consuming and impractical.

The Security Gap

The time consumed for reviewing the raw data for particular information is considered as a “security gap”. With the addition of more and more cameras to the surveillance systems, the amount of surveillance footage becomes larger & larger, which consequently widens the ‘security gap’.

The traditional method of ‘refining’ the raw security footage is to apply specific criteria such as location, time and activity triggers while recording. These ‘search options’ however employ the same mechanics of retrieval. The security reviewers still need to download and manually check through the chunks of raw video content which consumes an excessive amount of time.

Solution – Intelligent Search

The best possible approach is to sort the data as per what a “security systems sees” like facial features, license plate number or the characteristics of the car such as colour, type or the direction in which it moves. Based on these characteristics, the security footage can be sorted and indexed.

This approach uses the same concept as that of Internet search engine’s similar data. This method facilitates the surveillance personnel to quickly review the ‘similar data’ instead of manually searching through hours of raw data. When you type in a particular query, then the images and videos related to your particular query are displayed. This method transforms raw data into rich informative content and minimises the amount of time needed to review the surveillance tape.

Major Applications of ‘Intelligent Search’

Combating Repeated Crime

When raw data is filtered through specific criteria and turned into rich information, then the amount of manual effort required in reviewing the whole footage gets lowered subsequently. A surveillance operator or the law enforcement agencies can sort the data using facial features, activity triggers, location, direction, license plate numbers, etc. The time required to search for any particular information is reduced manifolds using this ‘intelligent search’.

Consider an example of a bank. If a particular customer complains about a transaction that he did not perform himself, then this case can be clarified in a few minutes by reviewing the ‘sorted data’ with two methods. First, use the ‘face match’ method. The face of the customer can be juxtaposed against the footage of the day pertaining to the transaction. The next method is to search through the footage using the ‘transaction ID’. The transaction IDs can be linked to the surveillance footage using external APIs and third-party software applications. Searching with a particular transaction ID will bring forth the person who actually conducted the transaction and that too, within a couple of minutes. Then, the face of the suspect can be looked for in the other branches of the bank and sending his image can also help in minimizing the chances of any repeated crime.

Count Analytics

The ‘intelligent search’ can be used to count the number of people and objects in a particular location. The count analytics is very powerful in reference to retail and banking industries. For example, the foot traffic and occupancy rate in a bank can help them optimise a particular branch. If the foot count is particularly higher on some days or between particular hours then, bank can strengthen the staff accordingly to provide better service to the customers. Count analytics are enabling the surveillance systems to be used in unconventional ways that can enhance ROI of the businesses.

Storage Savings

When the recorded footage is sorted and the content of the video is filtered, then the redundant data can be discarded. This reduces the bandwidth requirements and consecutively minimizes the cost of surveillance. The content-aware video consolidated with the help of ‘intelligent search’ improves the storage efficiency and accelerates the speed of video search. The organisation can now manage, delete or retain the video as they see fit.

Efficient File Sharing

The refined video can be easily shared between the networks unlike the large, bulky irrelevant hours of raw footage. This can also be customized to support multiple systems and prepare one centralized, unified view of all the security operations of an enterprise. It is not only an easy way to organise and share security video, but different users can also search for ‘similar content’ on all the connected networks.

Over-the-wire Upgrades

When all the surveillance systems are integrated at one centralized location, then it also aids the security personnel to upgrade all the systems in one go when required. IT professionals can set rules, users, alerts, permissions and troubleshoot all the systems without physically touching them. In this way, the robust ‘intelligent search’ functions speed up not only the search of evidence, but all the operations of an enterprise.

The Final Word

Crime and fraud are plaguing the big enterprises and their clients. With a large investment and assets on stake, there is no room for any kind of error or wastage of time. Traditional security systems are simply not enough and enterprises need ‘beyond the norm capabilities’ to increase safety and minimize the chances of loss. Thus, the video produced by surveillance systems must be digestible and readily searchable to combat fraud and crime efficiently as well as effectively.

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Rohan Sharma is a gadget wizard, an active blogger, and an eminent speaker. With more than 10 years of experience to his credit, Rohan has always been a pertinent contributor to the security industry. He is closely associated with Revo America, a well-renowned security products manufacturer and retailer. Needless to say, Rohan boasts for paramount and credible products only, with Revo's being his favorite.