A Guide to Video Analytics
16 December 2021
With video analytics becoming more prominent within the offers of a modern CCTV system, we look to cover the different kinds of video analytics, how they work and how they can integrate into your security system.
What are Video Analytics?
Video analytics are a technology that automatically analyses a scene where a CCTV camera may be placed. They do this by using algorithms that process video within a certain scene and utilise this to carry out a specific task. An example of this would be to identify a moving object, whether it is a vehicle, human or reading vehicle licence plates. If artificial intelligence is involved, they are classed as intelligent video analytics.
Utilising video analytics and the related software can assist in the streamlining of the job of watching hours of CCTV footage in search of potential threats. Video surveillance has become a critical feature of businesses of all shapes and sizes, so integrating video analytics can help a security team to identify incidents quickly and efficiently, proactively over reactively. Having analytical features present within a system can offer a key benefit to a security team when having to monitor multiple camera feeds.
How do Video Analytics Work?
Video analytics start by using rule-based algorithms that are set to detect if a possible threat is detected and then whether the threat is confirmed, and this would generate an alarm alert for a CCTV operator to verify and act upon if required.
Analytics software isn’t utilising a continued stream of video, instead it’s uses individual frames, analysing them in sequence. A rule-based algorithm will determine whether there is a threat by analysing the individual frames in sequence, testing for an outcome before it is able to determine whether there is a security threat present or not.
Rules-based analytics are a useful tool but do have limitations. The rules are generally set by engineers and no matter how thorough these algorithms are, there are always cases when there will be false alarms and false reads.
With any false alarm, there is the scope to adjust the threshold and make minor tweaks to limit this. It is always good to be mindful that too many rules being setup can limit the effectiveness of the systems overall accuracy.
Setting up motion detection, or more simple algorithms can cause issues and potentially miss an incident. If a trigger is too sensitive then there is a good chance that this will cause multiple false alarms and if not sensitive enough, there is every chance that a serious incident may be missed.
It could be the case when intelligent video analytics may be of most benefit, these types of analytics are able to learn by exposure to millions of images making it a more consistent and versatile method of video analytics.
As an example, the algorithm may ask if the object is a vehicle? If yes, how many wheels? Two wheels? Then it identifies it as a motorcycle and would then ask the colour and so on… The way these analytics learn is by correctly identifying from a vast knowledge of stored examples whether its big, small, light, dark and so on.
Why are Video Analytics used in CCTV Surveillance?
Whilst not every situation may call for the use of video analytics, the advantages do out way the negatives and the ability to be able to identify possible threats in a proactive manner take a huge amount of pressure of security staff and assist them in there day to day tasks. Other benefits include:
CCTV operators and Security teams have challenging jobs and must concentrate and stay alert to any potential threats. These threats come in all shapes and sizes and can happen at any time. For the most part, 95% of these alarms are likely to be false and CCTV operators end up wasting a lot of time and effort which may make them less likely to identify a real threat if it may occur. By utilising video analytics, it allows you to narrow the margin off error and also proactively respond to a perceived threat.
Accurate Decision Making
Accuracy is paramount when setting up the rules for video analytics, they are the difference between a threat being stopped or taking place.
A CCTV operator is able to detect an incident accurately but are prone to Human error. They can be affected by their environment, tiredness, work pressures and the fact that there day to day tasks mean they are having to constantly multitask.
Bringing in in video analytics give CCTV operators additional support in the form of alarm detection support and unlike human beings, the video analytics and algorithms do not lose there focus and they consistently detect genuine and false alarms.
Learning and Improvement
Intelligent video analytics are constantly learning, and this means always improving. The more you expose the algorithms to video footage, the more accurate they become and in turn this means less false alarms and an ever-improving system.
What are the Main Types of Video Analytic Detection?
There are many types of activities that can be detected utilising Video Analytics, Some include:
Motion detection - assessing whether an object and/or person has moved.
Line triggering / boundary detection - monitoring a boundary and sending an alert if an object/person has crossed it.
Loitering - locating people and measuring how long they have remained in one place; if it goes beyond a certain time, an alert is raised.
Object removal - if a precious object (such as a piece of art) is removed, an alert is raised.
People counting - locating and counting the number of people in a location, such as a shopping centre.
Vehicle speed monitoring - identifying vehicles travelling above a certain speed, and raising an alert.
Is a Video Analytics Solution right for you?
With CCTV surveillance systems a key part of effectively securing businesses and properties, video analytics offer an extremely efficient way of allowing you CCTV operators and security teams to monitor, interrogate and react proactively to a potential threat. There are many systems that can bolt on to existing surveillance systems utilising existing hardware so the expenditure can potentially be kept to a minimum but is still able to offer your business real time alarm detection for the protection of your staff and property alike.
Are you looking to get a CCTV and Video Analytic system set up on your premises? Contact us here or call us on 01702293157 for more information.