HOW HAS VIDEO CONTENT ANALYSIS BECOME A PART OF PHYSICAL SECURITY?

Physical security activities have always been closely related to technological advances. Since safety and security are such important matters for nearly every society, lots of technologies have been developed for the specific purpose of improving the systems that take care of people and organization’s safety. From the invention of video surveillance cameras to the transition from analog to digital video, everything has increased our safety and security.

As a matter of fact, the transition from analog to digital that we mentioned above has been great for security systems, because digital compression can allow transmitting or storing more image data. But this technological advance also brought itself a downside: digital video encouraged the usage much of more cameras that in turn require physical operators seeing the videos for determining if there’s any suspicious going on. And this is where a relatively new technology called Video Content Analysis may be able to help.

Video content analysis technology consists on analyzing video material automatically through certain algorithms in order to detect specific spatial and temporal occurrences. It can recognize significant features out of a number of frames and create alerts if a specific event happens. And what’s most important is that it does this on real time. This is a significant improvement for video surveillance security, considering that it is estimated that an operator watching the screen can usually miss up to 90% of the activity on the scene after 20 minutes. Yes, observing a single screen during long periods of time can do that to a person, because it really pushes human concentration beyond its limits.

Thanks to the video content analysis technology, specific software can support security personnel with detecting any specific event previously defined on the personalized algorithm, and also triggering a specific alarm.

As you can imagine, this technology can be successfully applied in hundreds of situations. The most popular and obvious application is for detecting intruders. Defining the motion detection of a person at a place where there’s supposed to be no movement as an alarm-trigger event is perfectly viable.  Or, for example, in prisons they use video content analysis for the opposite! Since they try to keep prisoners in, this technology is used for detecting if someone is trying to get out. Another interest place on which this technology is starting to be used is at airports: after leaving the plane the passengers usually have to follow a predefined path. Through video content analysis, it can be determined if a person is going the opposite way.

There are some companies that have been providing software based on video content analysis technology for several years now, even improving it year after year. One of the most remarkable companies on this subject is Qognify, which provides an impressive software called Video Content Analytics.