Lights, Camera, A.I.: The benefits of using proactive and smart video

By Deborah L. O’Mara | May 15, 2022
A robot body with a camera head against a blue background. Image by Shutterstock / Phonlamai Photo.
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and analytics have transformed the camera from an “after-the-fact” technology to a smart, proactive device—maybe not a thinking one, per se, but certainly with plenty of intelligence to custom-tailor the intrusion detection to the client. 

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and analytics have transformed the camera from an “after-the-fact” technology to a smart, proactive device—maybe not a thinking one, per se, but certainly with plenty of intelligence to custom-tailor the intrusion detection to the client. Leveraging and deploying A.I.’s features and capabilities will help you solve many customer problems and challenges.

If you’re still installing cameras as a reactionary measure to only record and play back video events, then you’re missing out.

Video continues to surge in part due to demand for security at critical infrastructure, educational campuses, public places and other businesses, according to Allied Market Research’s Video Surveillance Market Outlook. Video surveillance is projected to reach nearly $145 billion in growth by 2027, with the rising need for overall safety and the integration of internet of things devices further driving the market.

Change your mindset

Deploying cameras as single-purpose devices is a mindset that helps you expand your systems integration business. Show how cameras add value beyond security and safety in business intelligence or data that assists in other areas of operation to move customers to the more expensive, but highly capable, IP networked cameras.

It’s impossible (from monitoring fatigue) and extremely labor-intensive to watch hundreds of cameras simultaneously without a way to detect and alert to anomalies. That’s where A.I. comes in. It pinpoints and alerts on areas of interest for immediate reaction. At the same time, it helps prevent costly false alarms by assessing alerts in real time to determine the appropriate next steps.

A.I. advancements in physical security

A.I. in surveillance has advanced from simple motion-based detection. Algorithms in early A.I. would compare pixel changes from scenes in moving video to assess that movement. Technology improved greatly with deep neural networks, which are layers of data that resolve problems or shortcomings in computer vision.

Deep neural networks made object, or various attributes of an object, detection possible with a high level of accuracy. Still another evolution, convolutional neural networks, are now widely used to analyze images and video streams, offering superior performance in speech and audio inputs.

“Near-human” perception

According to’s white paper, “Entering the Era of Computer Vision Intelligence,” “we are entering the third level of A.I. in physical security, where true intelligence (in video cameras) begins to emerge.”

“True computer vision intelligence comes with the ability to understand cues that humans recognize immediately. Today, this kind of drastic improvement is possible with A.I. that has a near-human-level perception.

“The ability to comprehend contextual aspects of an image or video plays an integral role in preventing threats without relying on data that compromises individual privacy. With this advancement, computers can understand human activity, for example recognizing that a person breaking into a room constitutes a security threat,” according to the white paper.

Hotbed of applications

Do your customers need to manage parking structures or an expansive, multi-acre site? A hybrid approach to security, using guard services for critical areas coupled with intrusion detection technology such as video with license plate recognition, could be the answer.

Video can augment human personnel and guard services, helping offset hiring and labor shortages while adding the benefit of early warning—giving personnel more information for a better, more efficient response.

In a retail setting, video can pair with the supply chain distribution system to assess product quantities for ordering or restocking. In warehousing, cameras can assist logistics in tracking packages or monitoring quality control.

At quick-service restaurants and gas stations, video with point-of-sale prevents, detects and investigates fraud and theft incidents. On construction sites, video analytics can ascertain compliance to hard hats and other safety policies while tracking and evaluating project status.

Analytics can detect face masks, smoke, fire, moisture, flooding, flow of traffic and visitors. It can identify peak business hours, erratic behavior, long lines, theft and more.

With intelligent video, a systems integration business can expand into robust, full-service solutions, incorporating access control, audio, building management and more—for a higher level of security, accountability and facility control.

Header image by Shutterstock / Phonlamai Photo.

About The Author

O’MARA writes about security, life safety and systems integration and is managing director of DLO Communications. She can be reached at [email protected] or 773.414.3573.





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