Home Innovation Awards 2020 Smart Solutions Winner: BRIEFCAM

Smart Solutions Winner: BRIEFCAM

by Benchmark

BriefCam’s Video Content Analysis Platform is an intelligent and comprehensive platform which delivers innovative analytic capabilities, allowing end users to quickly and effectively search, analyse and act on intelligence gained from real-time or recorded video content. Through AI, Deep Learning, advanced object detection, identification and classification, it allows operators to make sense of video data by implementing advanced processing to filter objects, pinpointing and tracking targets, understanding timelines and trends of activity and providing real-time alerting, as well as dashboards for visualising and analysing data.

BriefCam’s REVIEW, RESPOND and RESEARCH solutions enable the platform approach. REVIEW is used for post event investigation and allows advanced searching and filtering based on the extracted and aggregated video metadata, and the creation of cases to organise the video assets of an investigation. RESPOND uses advanced filtering and rules to generate alerts based upon activities, objects or scenarios detected in live video streams. RESEARCH is a reporting and dashboarding tool which enables users to visualise, assess and compare aggregated video data to detect trends, plan strategies, assess performance and define security and operational procedures.

The REVIEW component is where operators work with recorded footage. The layout of the GUI is logical and makes searching, filtering and viewing footage a simple and intuitive task. On the left of the screen are thumbnails of the various video streams, with additional data such as camera name and, if a filter has been applied, a count of how many specified objects have been found. On the right-hand side are filters which can be applied to video streams, either individually or across multiple videos, to find relevant data.

The central part of the screen changes dependent upon which tasks are being carried out. For example, it could include a video stream playing in real-time, a BriefCam VIDEO SYNOPSIS view or thumbnails of filtered incidents and occurrences. The layout allows for simple navigation of the system and the manipulation of video in different ways.

The VIDEO SYNOPSIS capability allows a short video clip to display hours’ worth of activity in seconds. Without any filtering, the VIDEO SYNOPSIS will show all objects in captured footage, and each identified object will be marked with a time stamp (date information can be included if the search spans multiple days). The density of the VIDEO SYNOPSIS can be adjusted.

In a typical street scene, the detected objects might include people, vehicles, animals, etc.. This can be distracting and overload the operator. However, there are additional search attributes and behaviours available to further target the search, which is where the intelligence can quickly turn a labour-intensive task into an efficient one.

The operator can either use filtering or create a region of inclusion or exclusion within the scene and look for activity within that area only. The two can be combined, allowing filtering within a region of interest. With a single mouse-click, the object classification being searched for can be set: people, two wheeled vehicles or other vehicles being the most common options. By selecting ‘people’, for example, only humans in the scene (or region of interest, if applied) will be shown. This filtering can be applied to a single region, a full camera scene, or multiple cameras.

When an object of interest is seen, the operator only needs to click on the relevant time/date stamp to call up the full video clip of that scene. As well as searching via the VIDEO SYNOPSIS, it is possible to add visual layers which provide additional information.

For example, a scene can be viewed with an activity overlay. This creates a heat map showing where the greatest levels of activity are during the selected search period. Alternatively, dwell times can be overlaid to identify places where people (or other filtered objects) loiter. The time windows are user adjustable. Paths can also be set, which identifies targets which travel through an area in a specified direction.

The use of overlays allows the operator to immediately understand trends in the video without spending hours analysing the real-time footage. The information can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from security and law enforcement through to business intelligence tasks and site management, monitoring traffic flow, customer densities, traffic and parking violations, etc.

Using the various filters can help to drill down into the captured data to carry out specific and accurate searches. When the filters are used, the central screen shows a selection of thumbnail images which match the filtering criteria. Thumbnails can be sorted by relevance to the filters applied, or by oldest or newest footage.

The RESPOND module of BriefCam uses object filters and user-configurable rules to generate real-time alerts when violations or exceptions are detected. For example, if a directional path is established in a region of interest, any person (or other selected object class) passing through the selected area in the defined direction would create an alarm or notification.

There is a choice regarding how the alerts are delivered. Real-time alerts are simpler detection events and are typically signalled within 5 seconds of an event. Where more complex needs must be met, a smart alert can be generated. This uses a wider range of criteria but does result in the alert taking slightly longer to be generated as the analysis is more complex.

Defining rules is simple and can be done without any need for advanced programming or writing macros. The menus are intuitive and allow a high degree of flexibility. These can make use of multiple defined regions of interest and filters to ensure flexible and accurate results.

The RESEARCH module allows the creation of reports and statistics. These can be used to view and interrogate event logs, alarms, events and incidents, as well as applying data for trend analysis.

For example, dashboards can be created to view data, both current and historical, which gives business insights as well as security information. In a retail environment, the user could view figures for customer numbers, shopper profiles such as shopper gender demographics, visit durations and zones within the premises which experience the highest footfall. Comparisons can be added with previous weeks, months or years.

Displays in RESEARCH are user-friendly and allow at-a-glance assessments as they can include graphs, charts, diagrams, heat maps, etc. Displays can be manipulated using classifications and filters, thus allowing the stored data to be mined for valuable insights.

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