Cameras are all around us. They are in public places, shopping centres, buses and so on. Despite companies and governments spending significant amounts of money on cameras & the supporting infrastructure, the video recorded often is of little use.
The main business proposition was that cameras are preventative security solutions. Use cameras to deter crime. However, more often than not, cameras are usually only used in a retrospective manner, i.e., when something has already taken place. Sure, there thousands of people sitting in control rooms remotely monitoring video. However, the number of cameras monitored in real time comprises only a tiny overall percentage.
Sure, real-time analytics such as perimeter intrusion detection are useful but deploying real-time analytics across all video streams can be prohibitively expensive. That’s not to mention the number of potential false alarms across large camera installations. Real-time analytics certainly have their place but what infrastructure owners must remember is that they can’t use them to detect all potential events across all cameras. Therefore, post-event analytics is essential.
What are post–event analytics? Well instead of analysing camera feeds in real-time you retrospectively examine the video. In theory, any analytics tool developed for real-time analysis can be used post-event, but in practice, this is usually not an option. Either the analytics tool is not set up to access or process the video in this way, or it is incompatible. This is the reason you need to find a post-event analytics solution which is set up to interpret, analyse and catalogue video for operation business initiatives.
So how can I make use out of post–event analysis? So let’s have a look at some examples:
Who did it? If you have had a theft in your organisation, it could be that the act was caught on camera or at least the potential perpetrator was caught on camera entering or leaving the scene. Instead of sitting down and watch 10 hours when something might have been taken use post-event analytics to search and analyse the video. Applying a region of interest filter around the area where the item was stolen or damaged can isolate anyone who might be the perpetrator.
Are your business premises being used effectively?
How is a premise being used is a critical factor in retail and many businesses? Whether you are analysing a staffed office space or customers in a shopping centre, it is essential that your premise maximise the operating benefits for you and your business.
One analysis tool is a heat map generated from activity detected by a video analytics algorithm. Video can be imported and analysed, tracking people around a premise and show where they go using heatmaps. One of the benefits of heat maps is that you can view how people use space over time and does not focus on an individual, avoiding any GDPR issues.
How I manage peak times and customer service?
This one is typically an objective of transport or public infrastructure providers. Ideally, you don’t want all customers trying to use your service at the same time, which results in overcrowding and dissatisfied customers. So, one option is to analyse your video over time as outlined above and highlight how busy your premises is at any given time. Density analysis or people counting algorithms are perfect for this. The information generated by these algorithms can create detailed graphs depicting times of high and low traffic across days or weeks. By sharing this information with your customers, they will be encouraged to visit or alter their travel plans accordingly.
Do I have an issue with Sweethearting?
Sweethearting is a term used to describe when cashiers give away items to a customer (friends, family, fellow employee) by the fake scanning of merchandise or indeed when there is no merchandise passing hands but processing a void or return and pocketing the money instead.
Although video analytics can be deployed in real time for this purpose the cost of the infrastructure required is often prohibitive. The use of post-event analysis is an efficient and cost-effective solution for such cases.
If you are wondering how video analytics or post-event searching might solve a problem for your business, contact us today to discuss your requirements. We offer both software solutions and services.