Articles by Al Shipp
It is more complicated to search through video compared to text-based data Since the launch of Google’s search engine in 1998, Internet search has grown and expanded from desktops to mobile devices, generating over 3.5 billion searches of text, images and videos per day. One likely reason for this popularity is the search engine’s ability to immediately produce relevant results based on search criteria. The security industry, in contrast, has not always taken advantage of such innovations in search. The right search technology exists to help loss prevention and fraud investigators find security video evidence of criminal activity. Yet today, most investigators are watching endless hours of video instead of leveraging specific criteria to pinpoint the moment an event of interest occurs. Why can’t security video search perform like Google? Challenges with searching relevant video footages Consider a large bank with locations around the globe and 150,000 cameras monitoring these locations. With just one hour of recorded video per day per camera, the bank is generating over 50 million hours of video per year. Yet the fraud team staff is comprised of only 10 full time reviewers. With 2000 work hours per year, this team is only capable of reviewing 20,000 hours of video per year, or just .04 percent of what is being captured. This example illustrates a common problem in security today. Most investigators conduct linear timeline searches, meaning they either watch live feeds of specific cameras or recorded video from a specific day when an event occurred. This often requires downloading the entire day’s video from a central storage server and then watching countless hours of video to find events of interest. As in the global bank example, there is simply too much video to watch for this approach to be successful. Not to mention the toll this can take on the corporate network, with bandwidth heavy video downloads interfering with critical application performance. "Businesses can leverage videodata to learn about customerbehaviour, improve operationsand enhance other importantdata sources" Although video is the fastest growing type of big data today, it is more complicated to search video compared to text-based data. Keywords and descriptions of videos must be either automated or entered manually in contrast to text-based data that inherently includes keywords. Visual data such as video is complex, with layers of information and context about how people behave and interact. Software can deliver an unbiased analysis of this behaviour whereas humans will naturally insert bias when searching and viewing video. All of these factors make it more challenging to efficiently search video footage. VMS for effective and efficient video search Today’s explosive growth in the amount of video data is driving demand for more effective and efficient video search. Recent advances in video management systems (VMS) are now making it possible to leverage surveillance video data for both loss and fraud prevention, as well customer insights, such as in-store buying habits and trends. Leading VMS solutions include the basic store and record functionality plus a plug-in framework for analytics, enterprise search and case management, all in one system. A more effective search capability allows investigators to quickly search vast volumes of video and find relevant evidence in minutes by using specific criteria such as facial surveillance, license plate recognition and object tracking analytics. Many VMS products also include context integrations that can correlate video footage with Access Control, ATM or POS transaction data. Leading businesses are now taking advantage of this same technology to analyse video data to better understand customer behaviour and operational metrics. Analytics such as people counting, dwell patterns, demographics and directional heat maps can be used to improve the customer experience, optimise staffing levels, increase conversion rates and analyse performance across locations. Forensic search capability In one example, a commercial parking firm had been relying on cameras recording the number of cars parked in their facilities to ensure this matched the tickets issued at the entry gate. Even with this video recorded, employees were still required to walk the garages every night to manually record every car by colour and license plate to accurately charge those cars that were left overnight. Once the facility switched to a newer VMS that included a more efficient search capability and license plate recognition analytic, the system was able to automatically capture all license plates that entered the garage. So if a customer loses their ticket, they can simply provide their license plate number so customer service reps can run a search and verify how long the car has been in the lot. This enables the company to accurately charge customers, preserve revenue, and save countless employee hours of walking the garages every night. A more effective search capability allows investigators to quickly search vast volumes of video and find relevant evidence in minutes This type of forensic search capability has also helped to reduce employee theft and shoplifting investigation times for a major retailer. The company had a team of five loss prevention managers working at maximum capacity to investigate activity at over 1200 stores. By implementing a more effective video search solution, they were able to reduce investigation times from one week to 20 minutes and reduce shrink by 60%. The newer VMS solutions are also so cost effective that this company achieved a return on investment in less than 10 months. Simplifying business administration via analytics In addition to improvements in security, businesses can leverage this same video data to learn about customer behaviour, improve operations and enhance other important data sources such as POS or ATM and teller transaction data. Retail stores are leveraging video analytics to more accurately measure in-store traffic, analyse associated traffic patterns (including demographics) and conversion rates to improve product placement and compare store performance across locations. Queue management analytics can help businesses improve store operations with more efficient staff planning. Merchandising management can also benefit from a better understanding of accurate conversions based upon day and time to manage inventories and product placement. For businesses that are ready to consider an upgrade to their security and surveillance system, and take advantage of these new capabilities to improve loss investigations and better understand customer behaviour, be sure to evaluate different solutions using the following VMS checklist: Handle the basics of store and record Deliver LP and BI leveraging one platform Enterprise scale and capabilities Analytics and context integration platform Advanced search architecture Multiple deployment options (hardware, software, on-premise, cloud) Easily configured and administered By choosing a VMS that meets these criteria, businesses can experience video search that parallels the Google experience.
Identiv, Inc, a global provider of physical security and secure identification, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 3VR Security, Inc., a video technology and data analytics company. It is anticipated that this combination will provide Identiv with a full range of technologies to deliver its vision for secure, pervasive yet frictionless premises security, situational awareness and business insights. 3VR’s video intelligence solutions provide a single platform for real-time security and customer insights, enabling organisations to protect employees, customers and assets as well as improve store operations and shopping experiences. 3VR’s open, pluggable platform leverages existing customer infrastructure and allows customers to expand their systems’ capabilities seamlessly. 3VR serves customers in the financial services, retail, hospitality and other industries. Video intelligent solutions “We are advancing our global strength in the premises security industry, particularly in the attractive and fast-growing video segment,” said Jim Ousley, Chairman of Identiv’s Board of Directors. “This accretive acquisition is part of our communicated plan to grow both organically and inorganically. Overall, we believe 3VR takes us closer to achieving our long-term model and becoming an at-scale growth company.” Steven Humphreys, CEO of Identiv, stated: “Customers are looking for integrated solutions for access, video and analytics. The acquisition allows us to address this demand by including video security as part of our overall premises security and technology platform. Since access control and video management go hand-in-hand, we believe 3VR is a great fit from a technology, strategic, and financial perspective. The combined companies’ breadth of solutions across our Hirsch Access Control, 3VR video surveillance, real-time analytics, our access readers, RFID and identity cards would represent a complete solution for customers to adopt an entire physical security platform that’s extensible into real-time people and item tracking, consumer experience enhancement and business optimisation.” Security and business intelligence solutions Al Shipp, CEO of 3VR, commented: “The 3VR team is excited to be joining the Identiv team who shares our passion for innovation enabling a new level of security and business intelligence solutions. This combination offers greater scale that will accelerate that innovation, creating more value for customers which has been a core tenet of 3VR’s since our founding.” Mark Allen, General Manager, Physical Access of Identiv, said: “Our DNA has always been to build trusted relationships with our customers and partners. Our companies’ vertical expertise and anchor customer strengths reflect our shared strategy as a trusted advisor to our customers. Since the video industry has arrived at the point where everything is digital — from the camera to the screen — the focus now is on usability. The combination of Identiv and 3VR not only makes sense but when we integrate 3VR’s video technology into our Hirsch PACS platform, we anticipate creating a seamless user experience. Today, Identiv is substantially deepening the scope of the solutions and bringing these benefits to the physical world of people, places and things.” Investments towards premises segment revenue Identiv expects 3VR to add between $10 million and $11 million to the company’s premises segment revenue in fiscal year 2018. Identiv also expects 3VR to contribute a mid-term target non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 10% post synergies. Identiv’s acquisition of 3VR is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close no later than February 20, 2018. The total consideration at close is expected to be $6.9 million, comprised of $1.6 million in cash; $2.0 million in subordinated promissory notes; and $3.3 million in shares of Identiv common stock. Additionally, in the event 3VR achieves certain significant shipment targets in 2018, Identiv would be obligated to issue additional earnout consideration in shares of Identiv common stock, and in the event that 3VR generates certain additional gross margin concerning a supply arrangement, Identiv would pay a portion of the additional margin as consideration, as further described in the definitive agreement.