November 2007
  
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The role of video analytics in the automated buildings market
There are now systems on the market that offer a plug-and-play solution that the average automation contractor, designer and security installer can successfully deploy and that donít cost a tremendous amount of money.

Roni Kass


Roni Kass
Founder and CEO
ioimage

In the automated buildings market, facility systems integration has become an everyday demand for those who need to design and operate efficient and intelligent buildings. Itís not enough anymore to have a facility thatís just energy efficient or that offers improved lighting control.

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Security technology and its convergence with IP has moved to the forefront of the automated buildings market as a solution that offers real benefits in the safety and operations side of the business.

It all comes down to delivering intelligent building systems and in the world of security, that means tapping into the leading technology now taking place in the video surveillance market.

Video analytics has brought to the market significant improvements in automating security surveillance and has been touted as a revolutionary monitoring tool. Instead of reacting to an incident within minutes, and in some cases hours, after someone breaches a secure area, video analytics enables security guards to receive an immediate alert to an event thanks to a technology that can visually detect an intruder and then track that individual as it enters a facility.

There are many video analytics solutions on the market today, ranging from pure software solutions, through hybrid architectures, to embedded hardware devices, with varying levels of sophistication and complexity. But when it comes to implementing a solution that truly offers easy installation and deployment, intelligent video edge devices are the most suitable of the pack. Also known as intelligent video appliances, these units reside at the edge of a network and provide the ability to turn a stagnant surveillance solution into a proactive intelligent sentinel.

Why incorporate a stand-alone appliance-based intelligent video device into your surveillance solution? The reasons are simple, in more ways than one.

First, an appliance-based intelligent video solution offers a simpler, easier to install approach than many of its video analytics counterparts. For years the security market has touted video analytics as a leading edge surveillance tool, enabling end-users to turn surveillance into a smart system that can detect and then electronically track intruders caught on camera. But the challenge was always the fact that these systems are not the easiest to install. They require an experienced installer, and often times itís a technician from the manufacturer, who must spend hours to configure each camera. These systems are often expensive to deploy for both the actual video analytics portion and the upgrades required for existing cameras to operate. They cater to large high-budget installations such as military, airports, nuclear plants, etc.

Appliance-based intelligent video devices break away from these issues, and are appropriate for both high-budge applications, as well as for the mainstream market. Designed for quick installation, they simply plug into any network and work with any camera. Virtually anyone with some IT and security expertise can deploy this solution. The stand-alone analysis and detection eliminates network sharing of image-processing resources, latency, bandwidth consumption, and system instability.

The impact for security is the cost-effective, easy-to-install expansion of self-detecting video arrays using computerized vision of plug-in devices. The remote capabilities for unmanned surveillance open the door to centralize dispatch for arrays of up to thousands of detection cameras, but more importantly Ė making this effective even from the first camera.

Reliable Controls For improving building safety, it means greater protection as detection uses scenario criteria to identify unusual events, can be scheduled, and provides unblinking vigilance at any hour. For criminals, it means the days of easy pickings are ending as private and government installations will be able to close security holes and achieve high level detection equaled to nuclear power plants.

Beyond nuclear facilities and airports, the security market has started to see universities and car dealerships implement video analytics solutions. A few years ago, the institutional and the retail vertical markets would be less likely to view video analytics as an economically feasible security tool were it not for intelligent video edge devices.

The interest in video analytics holds true for building automation contractors, designers and security system integrators who are not only taking notice of this solution, but are now called upon for actual implementations. Since edge devices do not require hours of technical training, installers and others aligned in the building automation market are more willing to consider and are interested in adding video analytics devices as a solution to offer their clients. As a result, video analytics is more accessible to the market as a whole.

With the advent of IP cameras and encoders with built-in video analytics now sold through distribution channels, the market has now embraced intelligent video as a true off-the-shelf solution like many traditional security devices on the market today.

Video analytics has undergone an incredible transformation in a short period of time. There are now systems on the market that offer a plug-and-play solution that the average automation contractor, designer and security installer can successfully deploy and that donít cost a tremendous amount of money. Thereís no way around it Ė video analytics is rapidly becoming mainstream, and itís time for everyone in the security industry to pay close attention to this valuable tool.


About the Author

Roni Kass is the founder and CEO of ioimage, an intelligent video and camera firm from Israel which was founded in 2000. From Dreamteam Ltd., a company Kass founded in 1995, he leveraged his video image processing and analysis development knowledge to spearhead development of visionary intelligent video technology. Before founding Dreamteam Ltd. and later ioimage Ltd., Roni also founded and managed a successful Los Angeles-based software company, A2i Inc., (est. 1992) which was later acquired by SAP.

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