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Video Surveillance and Analytics

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Not your father’s camera: security cameras today have taken on new capabilities.

Video surveillance has made impressive leaps in the last few years. Not only has the rise of hosted video allowed for lower costs, smoother integration and flexible business growth, but cameras themselves have become smarter and more advanced. 

AI and analytics in video technology open the door for not only detailed identification practices but also for building automation. Video security merges even more closely with access control practices as the capabilities of video technology becomes more sophisticated. 

Video analytics can be performed either on the edge or in the cloud. Let’s look at some of the differences and what that means.

On the Edge

Running video analytics directly on the server or camera provides a true real-time experience. While this is only a few seconds’ difference compared to the cloud, that time can prove extremely impactful in settings that demand lightning-fast security response times. For example, airports might choose to run analytics on the edge in order to very quickly detect and respond to weapons or security concerns if they happen throughout the airport, in real time. 

The drawback of this method simply lies in the physical and computing power requirements. Real-time analysis on the edge requires computing power directly on the server or camera to implement analytics, and requires one server to be dedicated to each area. The hardware demands for running real-time analytics are more rigorous than using the cloud. 

In the Cloud

For most business security purposes, utilizing a cloud system for running AI analytics on video surveillance will provide the best integration and ease of use.  

The perks accompanying the use of video analytics in the cloud are based in flexibility and accessibility. Security professionals can access cloud analytics anytime, anywhere, and share pertinent information smoothly by simply sending a link. For example, should an incident occur, security managers can send a link directly to law enforcement, who could then open it from anywhere and quickly understand the situation. Virtually instant and endlessly flexible, cloud analytics in video surveillance can completely reshape and refine the functions of video security. 

Uses of Video Analytics

Access Control

The use of AI and detailed, instant analytics in video surveillance opens the door for further integration between video and access control efforts. With pinpointed analytics that can use video footage to scan badges and even recognize faces, the implementation of access control becomes much smoother. 

Take a university campus for example. In these settings, it’s extremely important that only students and staff are allowed into authorized areas such as dorm buildings. The safety and security of each student is at stake, and right now, many campuses rely on access control cards which can be easily lost or transferred. 

With video analytics, systems could conceivably keep a record of the faces of the students who live in that building, and be able to cross-check those records to ensure that campus safety protocols are followed and only authorized personnel are entering each space. This practice could extend to individual classes as well, and could be integrated throughout campus tech to help instructors keep accurate attendance, even in large lectures. 

In business settings, access control can easily become more tailored and specific. Especially in cloud-hosted systems, simply using existing cameras near the doorways to secure areas can reasonably be used for access control. Video AI can function the same way as badge scanners that trigger locks, or movement in certain areas can tell analytics to automatically notify security personnel. With specificity and flexibility like this, the options are endless. 

Building Automation

Advanced use of video analytics can smoothly tie into building automation systems to allow for easier and more efficient control throughout any building. Building automation systems are designed to keep building spaces at comfortable temperatures and optimally ventilated for staff and clients, but many of these systems are outdated when it comes to alerts and notifications for building managers. 

However, with AI capabilities in video surveillance, building managers can integrate video analytics with building automation systems to ensure that energy is not being wasted heating or cooling empty rooms, for example. Especially with ever-changing pandemic protocols, most building managers can’t rely on a set schedule to know who will be in the building each day and where. This can lead to substantial energy waste that continues to add up over time, impacting sustainability efforts and the bottom line of your business. 

Pandemic Regulations

With the rise of new variants and the onset of each change in policies and regulations, the need for reliable and specific tracking grows. At large companies, especially those with multiple locations in various states, attempting to track occupancy, distancing, mask wearing and vaccination status and requirements can feel futile, yet in many cases this tracking is essential for compliance with state and federal regulations. 

Fortunately, smart video analytics can help your business to accurately monitor and record many of these aspects. These systems can count how many employees are present on your entire premises, and with additional cameras throughout your offices, can even account for how many people are in each space, providing an accurate reporting on people per square foot and confirming that you are providing opportunities for reasonable spacing. 

If the need to contact trace should arise, video surveillance analytics can play a huge role in determining who might have shared a room with an infected individual, and for how long. Tracing these exposures can minimize the impact on your workforce while keeping your staff as safe and healthy as possible. 

Finally, advanced video surveillance technology can help you track whether staff are complying with mask mandates. With analysis that can zero in on facial recognition and mask detection, you can stay on top of important health and safety protocols onsite, as well as provide any necessary documentation of your compliance. 

Weapon and Unusual Activity Detection

Instant alerts from your video surveillance analytics can accelerate your response to safety threats such as weapons in the building, or unusual activity like running. Without targeted analytics, these incidents can take precious minutes to respond to as reports have to make their way through the building and the reality of the weapon’s location can change so quickly. With instant reporting and alerts, security managers can respond right away, with all the information needed to act swiftly. This difference in timing can save lives. 


In the event that an emergency does occur, the ability to perform a quick and accurate headcount is vital to ensuring the safety of all staff and clients. With analytics that can track who enters and leaves the premises and automated roll call functions at muster stations, managers can quickly understand the status of an evacuation or emergency procedure. Coupled with facial recognition and access control protocols, these tools can quickly help identify whether anyone is missing during an evacuation and help them to efficiently get the help they need. 

Facial Recognition

With the right video analytics, access card badges may one day be obsolete. Facial recognition capabilities grow more accurate all the time, baking video surveillance into access control and personnel functions. Whether your organization needs to track who enters a high-security area, or whether you need an easier way to take roll calls at large meetings, facial recognition can add efficiency and accuracy to many workplace functions.

Overall, the analytics and AI technology behind video surveillance has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, and it only continues to grow more accurate and dependable. Implementing video surveillance in key areas of your business and coupling analytics in the cloud or on the edge can take your business from disjointed to integrated while accelerating security response times at key moments. Gather pertinent data and keep your staff and clients safe when you implement powerful analytics in your video surveillance system. To learn more, contact us.