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Realize your surveillance system's full potential with video analytics

Intelligent Video Analytics Evangelist, IBM

After 9/11, the use of video surveillance systems greatly increased all over the world. Britain is estimated to have 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras deployed—almost one for every 11 people. In the United States, more than 30 million surveillance cameras have been sold in the past decade. Unfortunately, as is too often the case with reactions to traumatic events, the implemented solutions fall far short of the intended goals.

This is especially true of video surveillance. Most video surveillance systems are deployed to improve public safety. But although recordings of surveillance video can help determine what happened after an incident occurs, live surveillance video is much less useful for keeping incidents from occurring in the first place. The reason often lies with the human operators charged with monitoring the video feed. People are not designed to watch multiple video feeds hour after hour (though we might exclude the hardest of hardcore sports fans, who seem able to absorb the action from multiple sporting events simultaneously). A person watching surveillance feeds will quickly become bored and inattentive and might even be distracted by something happening in one feed and miss something happening in another.

But even the few people who can maintain their attention when dealing with boring stimuli are still likely to fall prey to what psychologists call perceptual blindness—an inability to see new and unexpected things that suddenly appear within view. Watch the Monkey Business Illusion to see what I mean. Even for those familiar with this experiment, the version I’ve linked has an interesting twist that helps to further prove my point.

Video analytics can help solve the problem of video surveillance. Video analytics is never sleepy, inattentive or distracted. It isn’t overwhelmed by trying to keep track of dozens of video feeds. It isn’t affected by perceptual blindness. Rather, it monitors all video feeds 24/7, notifying human operators when something of interest happens. If an identified event requires action, the human operator can step in immediately. All this dramatically reduces the likelihood that an event of interest will be identified late or even not identified at all. Adding video analytics to your surveillance system can help unlock its full potential.

Unlock the potential of your video data

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