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Adding Business Benefits with a Smart VMS

by Benchmark

The modern VMS is so much more than video management software, and when an appropriate solution is specified, business and organisations can realise significant benefits across a wide range of operational activities. These benefits not only add value and increase the return on investment, but can also create intelligent solutions which ensure maximum efficiency when dealing with events.


Many manufacturers offering advanced video technologies will argue that their systems are intelligent, and to a degree they’d be right. Today’s video processing capabilities have expanded the potential from such solutions, making automated decision-making a reality based on data gathered from the captured footage.

In the past, video data was usually processed manually, which was both unreliable and inefficient. If an incident occurred, an operator would need to scrub through hours of video (usually video in which nothing of interest happened) to find snippets of footage which showed how the incident occurred and who was involved.

The process was labour-intensive, and often the time constraints meant some events were inevitably missed. For the business or organisation which had invested in the solution, this gave the feeling their money had been wasted.

In recent years, the use of new technologies and powerful video processing has resulted in video data being significantly more accessible. As a result, not only can security-related incidents be found, quickly and with ease, but the captured video data can also be used for a host of other applications. These can relate to business intelligence, site management, or a host of other tasks such as marketing and sales, occupancy control, compliance, etc..

What makes the use of video more efficient is the ability to use artifical intelligence, in different forms, to analyse the content of captured video data and detect anomalies, exceptions, objects and linked events. While video analytics isn’t new, what has changed the way it can be used is object classification.

Smarter classification

When developing the latest version of its advanced VMS, Cathexis decided to implement neural networking technology in its CathexisVision product. While some manufacturers have focused their efforts with AI on specific tasks, Cathexis realised that adding accurate and credible object classification would increase system efficiency across the board, and enhance the return on investment for end users.

The CathexisVision VMS solutions are able to categorise objects in the video footage, allowing the software to accurately detect whether an object is a person, a vehicle or an animal. It is the speed and reliability with which this is done which adds value for businesses and organisations.

The CathexisVision VMS has supported an extensive range of intelligent video analytics for some time, and while these do include a high degree of filtering, without accurate object classification some nuisance activations will inevitably occur. For example, if you consider line-crossing video analytics, the system will instigate a predefined action (or actions) when the virtual line is crossed by an object.

In order to enhance the accuracy of this analytics algorithm, a number of filters can be applied to eliminate nuisance activations. These include minimum and maximum sizes for the detected object, direction of travel, inclusion and exclusion zones, shadow suppression, etc..

However, with the addition of neural networking technologies driving accurate object classifications, the VMS can add another element to a bespoke Rule, further enhancing efficiency.


Bespoke Rules

CathexisVision makes use of Rules to assess site conditions and implement bespoke actions. Rules can be very simple (such as if a virtual line is crossed, record video from a linked camera in real-time for 30 seconds) or significantly more complex, using a wide range of status information and data from the site. For example, the simple Rule previously mentioned could be enhanced to perform differently depending upon the situation.

A more complex Rule might combine criteria such as the virtual line being crossed, the time being between 17:00 and 08:30 or during the weekend, and the access control system not logging a manager as present on site. If all of these conditions are met, the system might record the activity in real-time, send a push notification with a snapshot of the incident to a member of the management team, and switch on local lighting. Any number of trigger events and actions can be specified dependent upon site needs.

Accurate object classification adds benefits to such a solution, as the Rule can require a specific object – a person or vehicle – to cross the virtual line. If, for example, the requirement is to log people passing into a defined area, an animal doing so won’t generate an action, even if it is within the expected size parameters.

In an application such as a transportation depot, it may be permitted for vehicles to enter and move around engineering bays for repairs and maintenance, but people are not allowed to walk in these areas. As such, CathexisVision could protect the spaces from unauthorised access by pedestrians, helping to ensure compliance and assist in site management. If people are detected, a local audible warning could be played, or red lights illuminated to stop all traffic movements until the area is cleared.

Where users are relying on their investment in smart technology to deliver real benefits, the use of CathexisVision, with its combination of advanced intelligent video analytics and the object classification feature, can create efficiencies and deliver a better level of information when decisions are made.

As well as virtual line crossing, CathexisVision also supports presence detection, entry and/or exit from a defined area, motion detection, delayed time or stopping in a defined area, directional and speed sensing, loitering detection, object sensing (such as object appear/disappear and object counting), queue management and numberplate recognition.

Simpler searches

CathexisVision also makes use of advanced technologies to ensure relevant video footage can be found, quickly and easily. This not only helps when incidents occur, but can be valuable when analysing trends or making behavioural predictions during planning.

CathexisVision’s flexibility allows greater efficiencies to be realised, ensuring businesses maximise their return on investment.

Selecting a smart VMS can make sense in terms of operational support as well as protecting people, premises and assets.

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