Articles by Stephanie Weagle
Large event venues spend significant resources on physical security, and the vast majority invest in video surveillance systems as a way of monitoring public areas such as parking lots, garages and seating, as well as “backstage” areas such as loading docks and offices. Even though the camera footage is often preserved for investigating incidents, for the most part, video footage goes untapped because – realistically – security staff cannot constantly and efficiently monitor cameras in real-time or review the high volumes of archived video. Video analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence Increasingly, event venues are overcoming this challenge and maximising this video data by investing in intelligent video surveillance. In this article, I will explore how the combination of traditional surveillance and groundbreaking video content analytics enables event venues to not only optimise physical security and safety, but also improve customer service, streamline operations, and gather valuable business intelligence. Deep learning and artificial intelligence-based video content analytic systems detect, identify, extract, and catalog all the objects that appear in video footage based on classes and attributes such as gender, appearance similarity, color or size. This – along with behavioral detection, such as object interactions, dwell times, and navigation paths, as well as face and license plate recognition – enables searchable, actionable and quantifiable analysis of video. The technology makes it easy for users to accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights from video data. Accelerate post-event investigations, improve situational awareness, and derive critical business insights Accelerating investigations Where there are crowds, it’s not uncommon for medical or criminal incidents to transpire. In the aftermath, security teams must quickly understand the scene and, by making video searchable, video analytics helps them efficiently gather information or evidence from multiple camera. Whereas a manual search of video footage would require hours, if not days, of valuable time and staff resources – while being subject to human error – a video content analytics system enables effective multi-video search using a variety of filters, so that post-incident investigations can be focused and, thereby, accelerated. For instance, if witnesses claim that a man in a yellow shirt caused a disturbance and then drove away in a blue pickup truck, security could filter video to review instances where people or vehicles matching those descriptions appeared, and then focus their investigation on relevant video evidence. For the same example, if the perpetrator was still at large in the venue, security managers would want to track the person’s movements and, ultimately, apprehend him. Using the same cataloged metadata that drives video search, intelligent video surveillance accelerates real-time response to developing situations from threats and suspicious behaviors to emergencies, or even any behavior that requires closer monitoring or intervention. Something as mundane as an unwieldy queue forming at a concession stand can alert logic that increases operators’ situational awareness and ability to effectively intervene. By understanding developing situations in real-time, they can respond more quickly to prevent or solve a problem. Rule-based real time alerts Users can configure rule-based real-time alerts, based on specific scenarios – such as when people counts in the defined space next to the cashier are higher than the specified threshold, indicating a queue, or when vehicles are detected dwelling in a no-park zone or sensitive security area. In the case of the offender in the yellow shirt, security could configure alerts to notify for appearances of men in yellow shirts or blue pickup trucks within the event complex. If they’re able to extract the perpetrator’s face or license plate from the video search, security officers can also identify and track the specific person and vehicle of interest. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” Object recognition is helpful for tracking specific, identified threats, but it can also be leveraged for locating missing persons or vehicles or offering VIP services to guests who comply. Intelligent video surveillance users can compile “watchlists” – that include persons of interest, such as past agitators, recognised criminals or terrorists, missing persons or VIPs – to be alerted when matches for these faces appear in video. Face recognition can also be used to differentiate recognised employees from visitors that are not authorised to be in certain spaces in order to prevent security breaches. Because camera conditions aren’t always optimal for “in the wild” face and license plate recognition – where lighting conditions or camera angles don’t always allow for a pristine face or plate capture – it is critical to have a comprehensive video content analysis tool for triggering alerts based object classifications and non-personally-identifiable parameters. Optimising operations based on business intelligence While having real-time situational awareness is crucial for proactive intervention to developing situations, understanding long-term activity and trends can be equally important for an events venue or stadium. With video analytics, video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence, trend reports, and data visualisations for operational intelligence. This capability transforms video surveillance from a siloed security tool to an intelligence platform with broad value for business groups across the organisation. Marketing departments can gain visitor demographic information for targeted advertising and product placements. On-site retailers can uncover how visitors navigate their stores and the products or spaces that draw the most attention. Property management can follow heatmaps demonstrating where visitors dwell and the durations they stay at certain exhibits or areas, to base rental and leasing fees on actionable and quantifiable intelligence. Operations managers can more effectively plan and hire staff for events, by analysing visitor traffic trends, entry and exit points and occupancy statistics. Video surveillance data can be aggregated over time to generate statistical intelligence For these reasons and more, event organisations that already rely on CCTV networks should consider how to better leverage those existing investments to deliver substantial value across the organisation. By making video searchable, actionable and quantifiable, intelligent video surveillance empowers event managers to enhance public safety and physical security, while also streamlining operations and improving customer service.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is improving everyday solutions, driving efficiency in ways we never imagined possible. From self-driving cars to intelligent analytics, the far-reaching impacts of Deep Learning-based technology empower human operators to achieve results more effectively while investing fewer resources and less time. By introducing AI, solutions are not merely powered by data, but they also generate valuable intelligence. Systems which were once leveraged for a narrow, dedicated purpose, can suddenly be engaged broadly across an organisation, because the previously under-utilised data can be harnessed for enhancing productivity and performance. Video analytics software When it comes to physical security, for instance, video surveillance is a standard solution. Yet, by introducing AI-driven video analytics software, video data can be leveraged as intelligence in previously inaccessible ways. Here are some examples of how diverse organisations are using AI-based video intelligence solutions to enhance security and performance with searchable, actionable and quantifiable insights. The video intelligence software processes and analyses video to detect all the people and objects that appear Law enforcement relies on video surveillance infrastructure for extracting investigation evidence and monitoring people and spaces. Instead of manual video review and live surveillance – which is prone to human error and distraction – police can harness video content analysis to accelerate video investigations, enhance situational awareness, streamline real-time response, identify suspicious individuals and recognise patterns and anomalies in video. The video intelligence software processes and analyses video to detect all the people and objects that appear; identify, extract and classify them; and then index them as metadata that can be searched and referenced. Maintaining public safety For law enforcement, the ability to dynamically search video based on granular criteria is critical for filtering out irrelevant details and pinpointing objects of interest, such as suspicious persons or vehicles. Beyond accelerating video evidence review and extraction, police can leverage video analysis to configure sophisticated real-time alerts when people, vehicles or behaviours of interest are detected in video. Instead of actively monitoring video feeds, law enforcement can assess triggered alerts and decide how to respond. In this way, officers can also react faster to emergencies, threats and suspicious activity as it develops. Video analysis empowers cities to harness their video surveillance data as operational intelligence Empowering law enforcement to maintain public safety is important beyond the benefit of increasing security: A city with a reputation for effective, reliable law enforcement and enhanced safety is more likely to attract residents, visitors and new businesses, exponentially driving its economic development. Furthermore, in cities where law enforcement can work productively and quickly, time and human resources can be reallocated to fostering growth and building community. Video surveillance data Video analysis empowers cities to harness their video surveillance data as operational intelligence for optimising city management and infrastructure. When video data is aggregated over time, it can be visualised into dashboards, heatmaps and reports, so operators can identify patterns and more seamlessly detect anomalous behaviour. A city could, for instance, analyse the most accident-prone local intersection and assess the traffic patterns to reveal details such as where cars are dwelling and pedestrians are walking; the directional flows of traffic; and the demographic segmentations of the objects detected: Are cars lingering in no-parking zones? Are pedestrians using designated crosswalks – is there a more logical location for the crosswalk or traffic light? Do vehicles tend to make illegal turns – should police proactively deter this behaviour, or should the city plan new infrastructure that enables vehicles to safely perform these turns? Finally, does the rise in bike traffic warrant implementing dedicated biking lanes? With video intelligence, urban planners can answer these and other questions to facilitate local improvements and high quality of life. By leveraging the video insights about citywide traffic, public transit organisations can make data-driven decisions about scheduling and services Enhancing situational awareness Insight into traffic trends is also critical for transport companies, from public transit services to transportation hubs and airports. By leveraging the video insights about citywide traffic, public transit organisations can make data-driven decisions about scheduling and services. Analysing video surveillance around bus stops, for instance, can help these companies understand the specific hours per day people tend to dwell around bus stops. Correlating this information with transactional data for each bus line, bus schedules can be optimised based on demand for individual bus lines, shortening waiting times for the most popular routes. Similarly, the traffic visualisations and activity heatmaps derived from the video of major transit hubs, such as international airports and central stations, can be beneficial for increasing security, enhancing situational awareness, identifying causes of congestion, improving throughput and efficiency and, ultimately, solving these inefficiencies to provide a streamlined customer experience for travellers. Large education campuses Much like a city, large education campuses have internal transportation services, residential facilities, businesses and law enforcement, and video content analysis can support the campus in intelligently managing each of those business units, while also providing video intelligence to these individual groups. Campus law enforcement can leverage video data to increase situational awareness and public safety Campus law enforcement can leverage video data to increase situational awareness and public safety, driving real-time responses with the ability to make informed assessments and accelerating post-event investigations with access to easily extractable video data. When campuses are expanding or developing additional infrastructure, they can plan new crosswalks, traffic lights, roads, buildings and entrances and exits based on comprehensive video intelligence. By understanding where pedestrians and vehicles dwell, walk, cross or even violate traffic laws, the campus can inform construction projects and traffic optimisation. Countless business operations Finally, the campus can leverage video business intelligence to justify leasing pricing for different retailers across campus, demonstrating property values based on traffic trends that can be correlated with retailer point of sale data. Whether its empowering security, productivity or decision-making, the insights generated by AI-based technology can drive significant optimisation – especially when data is fused and cross-referenced across smart sensors and systems for even deeper intelligence. The campus can leverage video business intelligence to justify leasing pricing for different retailers across campus In the case of AI-backed video analytics, diverse organisations can harness video surveillance impactfully and dynamically. Whereas once video technology investments could be justified for their security value – with the introduction of AI capabilities – procurement teams can evaluate these solutions for countless business operations, because they offer broadly valuable intelligence. And video surveillance and analytics is merely one example of AI-driven solutions’ potential to disrupt business as we know it.
An innovative technology is changing the way law enforcement agencies combat crime and ensure public safety. Footprint, a web-based situational awareness software, aggregates, analyses and monitors data from multiple video monitoring systems and other sensors in one intuitive platform. The tool enables law enforcement to solve cases quicker using data-driven decisions, while minimising manpower and driving down costs as a result. Copp Integrated Systems, a Dayton, Ohio-based security systems supplier, is one of the licensees of Footprint and introduced the product to the global market. Bill DeFries, CEO of Copp Integrated Systems, says Footprint is a game changer for law enforcement agencies of any size. Footprint provides a 21st-century crime data and video analytics infrastructure that is easily deployed and visually useful" Deterring and preventing crimes “For the first time, law enforcement has total situational awareness,” said DeFries. “Footprint provides a 21st-century crime data and video analytics infrastructure that is easily deployed and visually useful. By leveraging crime data and using predictive analysis, Footprint users can deploy resources more efficiently, catch criminals faster and deter and prevent crimes before they happen.” Developed in partnership with the University of Dayton Research Institute’s (UDRI) Software Systems Group, Footprint is at the forefront of ensuring the highest level of public safety. Seamless video analysis experience “Footprint is a force multiplier,” said DeFries. “It brings together any number of disparate data sources, including public and private video, CAD 911, RMS and arrest records, and visualises it all on ESRI heat maps. Because Footprint can be accessed via smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices, it allows law enforcement officers to rapidly gather critical information at the scene of a crime.” With the Milestone integration, Footprint can ingest and store live and recorded video from multiple sources and locations" Footprint combines several industry-leading technologies into a single operating platform. In partnership with video management solutions provider, Milestone Systems, Footprint provides a seamless video analysis experience. Jeremy Scott, Strategic Alliance Manager at Milestone Systems, said, “With the Milestone integration, Footprint can ingest and store live and recorded video from multiple sources and locations, including CCTV footage. The open platform software operates with many different brands of access control, analytics and IoT devices as well, making it a flexible tool for law enforcement.” Video content analytics platform Footprint’s extensive video content analytics capabilities are provided by BriefCam, which enables users to review hours of video surveillance footage in minutes and rapidly search and identify people or objects of interest. BriefCam’s video content analytics platform saves law enforcement agencies precious time and resources, said Stephanie Weagle, Chief Marketing Officer at BriefCam. “BriefCam takes raw video content and transforms it into actionable data that is searchable, actionable and quantifiable. Video surveillance footage has never been more valuable with the ability to efficiently and effectively review and analyse its content to accelerate investigations, attain situational awareness and derive operational intelligence,” she said. Integrated for seamless user experience It is projects like Footprint that help foster collaboration between multiple platforms for best-of-breed solutions that make a real difference"Because BriefCam and Milestone are deeply integrated for a seamless user experience in the XProtect Smart Client, the partnership with Footprint was a natural fit. As Scott explains, “It is projects like Footprint that help foster collaboration between multiple platforms for best-of-breed solutions that make a real difference. This illustrates the power of what we can do together with a third party such as Footprint.” One law enforcement agency that has deployed Footprint is the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) in Defuniak Springs, Florida. Dave Markham, President of Copp Integrated Systems, has been working closely with WSCO on the implementation of the crime-fighting software. “I have seen first-hand how the implementation of Footprint has become a force multiplier and enabled WCSO to maximise their resources and focus on keeping all their citizens safe,” Markham said. Higher level of situational awareness Footprint could be used to deliver a higher level of situational awareness and public safety in any populated environment such as hospitals, airports"He added, “With Footprint tightly integrated with both Milestone and BriefCam, WCSO can now work closer with their local community in a private-public partnership analysing video crime data from both WCSO cameras as well as independent owners’ video feeds.” While Footprint was initially developed with law enforcement in mind, the technology can also be adapted for other environments, said DeFries. “Since Copp Integrated Systems first introduced Footprint to the market, it has garnered attention from national and international state and countrywide public safety agencies,” he said. DeFries added, “Beyond law enforcement, Footprint could be used to deliver a higher level of situational awareness and public safety in any populated environment such as hospitals, airports, arenas, stadiums, office or school campuses and military bases.”
BriefCam, the provider of Video Content Analytics and Video Synopsis solutions, announced that its extensible video content analytics platform has again achieved certification with Milestone Systems’ XProtect video management software (VMS). BriefCam works seamlessly with third-party products, providing partners and end-users alike with freedom of choice, while delivering a disruptive, scalable and easy to use video content analytics platform. BriefCam, a Milestone Platinum Technology Partner, also announces its participation in the newly launched Milestone Marketplace, a digital community platform for channel partners to leverage when designing intelligent end user solutions. Real-time alerts for situational awareness BriefCam’s video content analytics solutions have been an integral part of the Milestone XProtect VMS environment since 2009BriefCam’s video content analytics solutions have been an integral part of the Milestone XProtect VMS environment since 2009, enabling users to review hours of video in minutes, pinpoint objects of interest, derive quantitative insights for operational efficiency and data-driven decision making, as well as provide real-time alerts for situational awareness. This certification reinforces the companies’ long-standing interoperability, ensuring that current and new customers benefit from the highest level of functionality and performance. “We are pleased to have achieved certification with Milestone for our v5.3 platform,” said Stephanie Weagle, CMO, BriefCam. “Our ongoing work with Milestone provides the partner ecosystem with an extremely powerful, and validated integration of BriefCam’s breakthrough video content analytics platform.” On-demand and real-time operation “We continue to be excited about the value that BriefCam brings and has brought to our community of partners and customers these last 10 years,” said Jeremy Scott, Strategic Alliances Program Manager, Americas. BriefCam’s v5.3 video content analytics platform is now available through the Milestone Marketplace“BriefCam is deeply integrated with our solution, offering both on-demand and real-time operation, as well as seamless access within our XProtect Smart Client user interface. As both of our companies continue to develop our offerings, I am excited about where our technologies will take things next.” Also announced today, BriefCam’s v5.3 video content analytics platform is now available through the Milestone Marketplace, a digital hub, virtual showroom and meeting place for technology partners to connect with system integrators on a global scale. Instructional information and reviews The Milestone Marketplace presents innovative partner applications, hardware and services, accompanied by instructional information and reviews. Helping to untangle increasing scope and to simplify complex choices, it will be a source of inspiration and opportunity, connecting all the pieces of video management around the open platform. BriefCam is a diamond sponsor of the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium (MIPS) being held February 25-27, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. BriefCam will deliver a keynote at MIPS on Wednesday February 27th at 11:00 AM Central Time, “Video Analytics in an Intelligent World: A Paradigm Shift.” The presentation will include a discussion on the history of AI and analytics in the video surveillance industry and the disruptive capabilities of video analytics today.
Five leading manufacturers specialising in secure technologies have teamed to provide safety and security at the 72nd Annual Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS) for the players, coaches and fans. For the first time BriefCam and Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company are joining Axis Communications, Lenel and Milestone Systems to provide video surveillance systems, access control and network connectivity for the 10-day tournament. The five technology providers have come together to develop a comprehensive security strategy for the 16 Little League Baseball teams and worldwide fans participating in the World Series from August 16-26, 2018, in South Williamsport, Pa. The Little League International officials strive to promote a fun, exciting experience for players and fans, while ensuring the highest level of security during the games. BriefCam’s groundbreaking video content analytics platform detects, tracks, extracts and identifies people, objects, their attributes and behaviour from raw video feedsProviding safety and security to visitors “Each year, hundreds of thousands of people come out to Williamsport to enjoy their time at the Little League Baseball World Series,” said Jim Ferguson, Little League Assistant Director of Risk Management and Safety. “Along with the safety of all of 16 participating teams, our top priority during the Little League Baseball World Series is to provide a safe and secure facility for visitors from all over the world to enjoy. Thanks to these providers, we can continue to offer all of our fans, players, and volunteers a fun and safe location to create lifelong memories and exciting experiences during their visit.” BriefCam, one of the newest contributors, is providing the company’s latest video content analytics platform to this year’s Little League Baseball World Series state-of-the-art security solution. BriefCam’s groundbreaking video content analytics platform detects, tracks, extracts and identifies people, objects, their attributes and behaviour from raw video feeds. By presenting objects that have appeared at different times within the video simultaneously, BriefCam enables security operators to review hours of video in minutes. Comprehensive video surveillance and analytics solution For the LLBWS, this means if children and parents are accidentally separated during the event, the security team will be well equipped to potentially locate and reunite related parties more quickly. Additionally, BriefCam’s solution can be used to optimise operations such as attendee and vehicle traffic flows to ensure a safe and positive guest experience. The company’s video content analytics platform aligns with Axis IP-based digital video surveillance cameras and Milestone’s XProtect video management software for a comprehensive video surveillance, management and analytics solution. The T300s—the Ruckus flagship outdoor APs—ensure top-notch performance for high-definition video over Wi-Fi, enabling every video stream to be captured “As this global event draws families from far and wide, it is important to further enable comprehensive safety, security and operational efficiencies,” said Stephanie Weagle, CMO, BriefCam. “Our technology will be on-hand to support the Little League in their endeavour to extract actionable intelligence from their video surveillance in the event that parents or family members need assistance in finding each other or streamlining operations to ensure that all involved have a great experience.” Top-notch performance for HD video over Wi-Fi Ruckus Networks, the second newest technology contributor, is providing a wireless mesh backhaul to deliver connectivity to both the scoreboards and surveillance cameras. Ruckus is deploying its T300 access points (APs), along with its SmartZone 100 management controller, to ensure seamless connectivity for the outdoor environment. The T300s—the Ruckus flagship outdoor APs—ensure top-notch performance for high-definition video over Wi-Fi, enabling every video stream to be captured. For the LLBWS, this capability allows all the video cameras in the stadium to be constantly streaming, ensuring maximum safety and security at all times. “In a digitally connected world, safety and security are critical elements that need to be part of every network,” said Bart Giordano, Vice President, Worldwide Business Development and Cloud, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company. “We are teaming with other companies to bring the most innovative security capabilities to the games so that every family can feel safer onsite. Our robust wireless technologies ensure every video stream is captured from all cameras, at all times, helping make this annual event fun and secure.” The 4K resolution provides four times as much detail as the standard HDTV 1080p resolution, improving the video quality significantly 4K resolution for improved video quality Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, has been a technology provider with Little League for nine years and is providing AXIS Q6128-E PTZ Network Camera, a compact, outdoor-ready PTZ dome, offering 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, 12x optical zoom and autofocus. The 4K resolution provides four times as much detail as the standard HDTV 1080p resolution, improving the video quality significantly. Both of these cameras will be integrated into the scoreboard in Lamade Stadium. "Each year we look forward to evolving the security system by leveraging the newest technology in the industry," said Robert Muehlbauer, Senior Manager, Business Development Partner Ecosystem, Axis Communications, Inc. "The total solution provides a comprehensive system to help keep players and fans safe so they can enjoy America’s favourite pastime, baseball. We are proud to collaborate with all of the companies involved and to continue our work with Little League Baseball.” OnGuard access control platform and XProtect VMS For the 20th consecutive year, Lenel, a provider of advanced security systems, will provide its OnGuard access control platform. Players, coaches, officials, staff and vendors are all enrolled in the system and receive a photo identification badge providing access to predetermined areas. The system is integrated with the Axis surveillance cameras so when someone presents a badge at one of the access card readers, live video and the cardholder’s photo are displayed on a nearby monitor, allowing a guard to authenticate the identification. Technology provider Milestone is providing XProtect Corporate video management software, which is installed along with a Milestone Husky M500A NVR as one of the recording servers Technology provider Milestone is providing XProtect Corporate video management software, which is installed along with a Milestone Husky M500A NVR as one of the recording servers. The XProtect Smart Client interface includes advancements in system performance by leveraging the processing power of NVIDIA GPU cards for measurable hardware acceleration, enabling more concurrent High Definition or Ultra HD video streams on high-resolution monitors. Easy access to video The LLBWS is also using the XProtect Smart Wall for viewing and sending pertinent video to monitors around the facilities, including a mobile command centre. BriefCam is embedded in the XProtect Smart Client with a dedicated screen tab for easy access to search hours of video in just minutes. “It’s truly inspiring to see the open platform community of partners coming together for this great international family event, ensuring safety through ongoing technology innovations,” said Jeremy Scott, Strategic Alliances Manager, Americas, Milestone Systems. “Every year brings new winners - on the field, in the stands and behind the scenes.”