Articles by Dror Irani
Organisations are looking for ways to maximise resources and extract value from video security investment "There’s valuable information hiding within surveillance video. Extracting it can make a security department more efficient and provide a clear return on investment to their organisation." - Dror Irani, CEO and President, BriefCam - The Video Synopsis company. Challenges of video surveillance Video surveillance systems are a blessing to security. They are also a curse to those who have to justify their cost. Although video has become essential to safety and security, most organisations are still looking for ways to maximise resources, increase operational efficiencies and extract real value from their video security investment. That’s unfortunate because surveillance video is rich with information that, if properly analysed, could be applied to any number of purposes. But video review and analysis has been a painstaking task with only an estimated 1% of video ever watched – and usually long after an incident has occurred. In most cases, the raw footage is disposed of after a certain period of time. The challenge is to take that unstructured video and give it shape, much like an image search engine displays visual data. In the case of video, this can be done with video synopsis, a technology that cuts review time down to a fraction of the original run-time by detecting only moving objects that are then tagged according to clearly defined parameters, such as the time that an object enters or exits the frame, its colour, direction and path taken, size, speed, dwell-time, etc. Once indexed, they can then be called on, sorted, and presented according to parameters and hierarchies, e.g., largest vs smallest, fastest vs. largest, most red vs. least red, etc. By presenting all moving objects on-screen simultaneously, while at the same time eliminating non-moving, extraneous information, (i.e. static background), days, weeks and even months of footage can be reviewed quickly, efficiently and accurately. Video review and analysis In an investigation scenario, the purpose is to get to the desired target in the shortest amount of time. Structured video needs to be processed only once; it can then be viewed in many different ways with the most relevant results presented first. For example, if investigators have some indications as to what they’re looking for (“he was loitering in this area”), objects extracted from the video and sorted by various characteristics would likely bring up the suspect first. In many ways, it is like a search engine where we have come to expect accurate answers on the first or, at the very most, the second page of results. Analysis of Big Data over a period of time enables not only productivity but proactivity as well: with routine monitoring and alerts This form of targeted video search and review saves on time and people-power. Rapid video review provides immediate insight into an organisation’s video data, investigation time is reduced dramatically, and higher quality evidence can be discovered. With review time cut to the minimum, personnel can investigate more incidents both on-site and post-event, including those so-called “minor” incidents that generally go uninvestigated (e.g., shoplifting, false claims, etc.) because the cost of investigation outweighs the benefit. Structuring video data also allows for dual-usage, with organisations deriving value from video for both security and non-security purposes. For example, businesses can utilise video metadata extracted for optimising operations, movement, space usage, market research, etc. Moreover, analysis of Big Data over a period of time enables not only productivity but proactivity as well: with routine monitoring and alerts, users are able to discover events that previously would have gone undetected, giving them the ability to “know what you didn’t know before”. This is important specifically for large physical installations such as airports, mass transit, casinos, and the like, where continuous monitoring during off-hours and weekends is a must. There’s valuable information hiding within raw surveillance video. Extracting, organising and leveraging it can enable better utilisation of the security investment, and highlight the role of the security department in supporting the organisation as a whole.
BriefCam Syndex is a next-generation product range based on Video Synopsis technology BriefCam®, the developer and provider of Video Synopsis® solutions for the rapid review, analysis and indexing of video, announced at the Israel HLS Exhibition (iHLS 2014) a new offering tailored to the needs of government investigative agencies: BriefCam Syndex GV, to be available in Q1 2015. “Two years ago, we won the iHLS Innovation Award 2012. Since that time, our product line has matured, our client base has expanded, and BriefCam has been used and recognised for its role in major criminal and homeland security-related investigations. For all of these reasons, we’re proud to be able to announce BriefCam Syndex GV at Israel HLS 2014,” said Dror Irani, CEO and President of BriefCam. “This offering meets the needs of government agencies and was developed in response to direct feedback from high-profile users already employing BriefCam successfully in the field. These include the departments of defense, the law enforcement agencies, and the intelligence communities in North America, Europe, China, the APAC region and, of course, Israel.” BriefCam Syndex is a next-generation product range based on Video Synopsis technology. Video Synopsis is the simultaneous presentation of objects, events and activities that occurred at different times. Users can pinpoint events of interest, reach targets quickly and take action as required. BriefCam stresses ease of use, integrating user experience and intuition as a vital part of the process; the human mind and eye are always engaged. In addition to fast video review, BriefCam Syndex augments the basic Video Synopsis by providing users with a powerful set of tools for searching video according to attributes that they define: size, colour, speed, direction and location within the frame. All parameters are under the user’s control – even the order of objects displayed. Like all search engines, BriefCam Syndex ranks results in order by probability to ensure the most relevant events of interest are presented first. BriefCam Syndex is also offered as a standalone product intended mainly for law enforcement and individual security investigators (FS) and for investigative teams (FS+), or as an integrated/embedded product within the VMS environment for medium-sized enterprises (EP) and large/growing ones (EP+). New features incorporated into BriefCam Syndex GV include floating licenses so that cameras can be assigned and reassigned among authorised users, mobile (thin) client support, in/out zoom, and multiple video source capability that enable processing of video input from the agency-owned VMS as well as from imported external video footage. “As security cameras proliferate, more and more investigations are crowdsourcing video from the public for intelligence gathering and post-event investigation,” Irani noted. “More evidence is a boon to investigators but also means hours, days and even weeks of video are collected – that’s where rapid video review is absolutely essential. Crowdsourcing also increases the need for greater control over privacy.” In line with the trend, BriefCam Syndex GV’s enhanced collaborative investigation tools include permissions limitations so that camera access is restricted in accordance with the individual investigator’s viewing rights. BriefCam is presenting BriefCam Syndex at Booth #82 at the Israel HLS Exhibition, November 10-12, 2014 at the Israel Trade Fairs Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.
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