Tag Archives: Surveillance Footage

Network Video Tipping Point is Just Around the Corner

Much touted and highly anticipated, 2014 finally will be the year when network video can claim its dominance over analog, according to a recent report from IMS Research.  This “tipping point” –  whennetwork video revenues overtake those of analog systems — will occur  because, while analog cameras will still outsell network models on a per unit basis through 2017,  higher-priced IP video systems will become the revenue leader.

Already, the report tells us, the network surveillance equipment market grew by more than 10 percent from 2011 to 2012 and was anticipated to grow by more than 20 percent this year. In the world market, only China has increased analog sales; elsewhere growth is driven mainly by IP-based equipment.Video Security Network - Tyco Security Products - American Dynamics

Certainly those of us in the marketplace continue to see a growing acceptance of IP-based video security solutions because of the inherent flexibility, improved networking capabilities and enhanced functionality offered.

End users who invested in analog cameras are still able to begin the migration to IP because of the advent of hybrid NVRs that bring together existing analog units with new high-definition IP cameras on a single platform.  This means that network surveillance systems are no longer the exclusive domain of major enterprises; small and mid-size companies have started to invest in and build IP based  surveillance systems so they can make the shift to IP at their own pace.

Meanwhile, networks have gotten faster over the past 10 years — nearly 100 times in many instances — and solutions have been improved so everything from installation to streaming video to recording is no longer a strain on network infrastructure and a burden on the IT department. With IT buy in, security personnel can make their case for more network-based components.

Add to that the fact that competition from analog cameras continues to drive down the cost of network-based solutions. The truth is, we’ve finally gotten comfortable with IP technology in the security space because we’ve seen it work in our day-to-day lives. We have adopted some of the same technologies, such as megapixel cameras in our smart phones, so it only makes sense that these features should become more common and lower cost as they proliferate.

But one of the biggest factors for network solutions reaching the tipping point has to be the wide range of features these systems provide. IP-based systems with analytics that can interpret activities and behaviors and unified operations for database mining from video, access control, intrusion, fire and other systems offer a world of opportunity for today’s security director.

So here’s an early toast to 2014: The year of network video.

For more perspective on the tipping point from analog to video, read this recent coverage on the subject from Securityinfowatch. com.

From Big Data Come Big Results

At one time or another, we’ve all experienced information overload as we’ve tried to sort through all the data saved on our computers, stacked on our desks and stored in our smartphones.

That same issue faces loss prevention specialists in the retail industry on a daily basis as they try to make sense of both historical and real-time events and activities captured in Point of Sale (PoS), store management, video, intrusion and access control systems.

Big Data Security - Tyco Security Products

This compilation is often referred to, appropriately enough, as Big Data: a heaping pile of bits and bytes that needs to be converted into useful information.

So how do you make sense of Big Data and put it to work for you? Think of it as you would the New York City phone book. If you were looking for someone named John, without having any other parameters with which to find him, you could spend  days or even weeks going through all the men named John in the book, checking out each one. But if you know that John’s last name is Smith, you’ve applied a rule that narrowed down the list considerably. It’s still likely to be long, so you look for an opportunity to narrow it even further, and look for all the John Smiths on Lexington Avenue. Now you’ve set the threshold for a workable list.

The same concept of sorting takes place when you apply analytics rules to Big Data. Each rule you add can narrow the data pool until you get to a level where the information is usable and actionable. For example, if you start with the number of  people who walk into a store each day, that number may be so large that it does not provide any actionable intelligence. But by applying rules — how many of the total number of people in the store actually made a purchase — you can get to a measurable result. So, if 700 people entered a store on a Sunday, but only ten made a purchase, and only between noon and 1 p.m., you have a result you can address.

Big Data can also be culled to address security issues such as employee theft. You know from applying rules to all your data that you have 100 returns to your store each day. And by analyzing the data even further, you find out that of all the registers in your store, 20 returns are from a particular unit. That raises a red flag. By adding more rules using your video surveillance data, you look at all registers to see when there are returns with no customer present.  Now, with this narrowed list, you can identify your likely source of employee theft. Advanced tools provide you with the ability to execute a search from two isolated databases and narrow the results based on the match of the combined data.

By identifying and deploying specific applications to Big Data, you can achieve the goals you want for your business, whether it’s related to improving security, spotting business trends or gathering some other form of usable information.

The key with Big Data is to keep applying rules until you end up with usable, measurable, actionable information. From there, the sky is the limit as to what you’re able to find among all the bits and bytes you’ve stored up over time.

If you’re interested in learning more about the power of data mining and the usability of Big Data, please click here to view our recorded webinar, “Big Data: How to Combat Crime, Spot Business Trends and Determine Real-Time Traffic.”

Watch our Big Data Retail Webinar

Digital Video Recording: Don’t be the Next YouTube Sensation

Digital Video Recording

Being the next YouTube sensation can have its perks: instant fame and fortune, endless media attention, and maybe a recording contract or two. Unless you’re trying to be the next Justin Bieber (and presumably most security directors are not), having video of your organization viewed on millions of computer screens and mobile devices around the world, is the last thing a head of security wants to see. This is particularly true when the clip originated from your video system.

The exploding popularity of sharing video on sites like YouTube and a host of others, makes it far more likely that embarrassing or potentially harmful video from your parking lot, emergency room, office lobby or conference room could end up as the viral video of the week. Remember the YouTube video of the security footage showing a woman falling into a mall fountain because she was walking and texting? This was made much worse because of the security officers laughing in the background as they replayed the CCTV footage of her fall from multiple angles.

Modern Video Management Systems (VMS) are becoming increasingly more sophisticated by providing necessary protections to prevent digital video from being easily exported from a video management solution. These checks and balances are extremely important, not only to prevent embarrassing or potentially liable moments from becoming public, but they also provide necessary internal controls. Multiple layers of clearances and access rights among authorized users are vital when it comes to the crucial role some VMS systems play within an enterprise.

Gone are the days when surveillance footage was solely an asset used by the security department alone. With the widespread use of video, footage captured by surveillance cameras is now an informational resource used by many different departments for multiple functions within an organization. By enabling different access levels and additional layers of protection in these systems, video can be shared at the appropriate levels, providing maximum security.

Video Management Systems have greatly improved with regards to security and functionality. Find out more on how those improvements provide a solid foundation for future systems by reading Video Management Advancement, an article published in Security Technology Executive.

Author David Jackson is senior product manager, video solutions, American Dynamics.

Let us know how your organization is protecting your surveillance video by leaving a comment. What other concerns do you have about securing video content?