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Needed: Attention-grabbing technology in an emergency

Published on 9 July, 2014

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” So said Herbert A. Simon, American Political Scientist, Economist, Sociologist, Psychologist, and Professor.

I heard that quote at the Avigilon presentation at IFSEC, repeated by Ian Povey, Avigilon’s director of product marketing and product management. He used the quote to support the need for more (accurate) video analytics. In other words, without analytics, there is so much video information that the operator’s attention is lost within minutes, so an end user’s whole security stature breaks down.

It certainly relates well to video analytics, but what a great quote for so many things in our modern world! Aren’t we all flooded every day with more information than we can ever process? In the security market, there are more cameras than ever, more alarms, more data points, more security threats, more, more, more. 

No surprise therefore that we turn to companies like Avigilon to help us out. Their presentation at IFSEC told how they do just that. In addition to new video analytics capabilities (a consequence of their acquisition of Video IQ earlier this year), Avigilon also promoted the idea of an end-to-end system that can help security end users deal with the “wealth of information.”

The fast-growing manufacturer touted new, closer integration between their new Access Control Manager (ACM) product, which they embraced (and then rebranded) with their acquisition in 2013 of Red Cloud Security. The browser-based system, available in Enterprise, Virtual or new Professional versions, now allows access control alarms to be associated with video and managed either within the ACM system or inside the Avigilon Control Center video software. How alarms are managed is completely configurable and customizable between the two systems.

In addition to greater functionality, Steven Lewis, Avigilon’s ACM senior product manager, also offered an economic argument for use of an end-to-end solution from one manufacturer:

“Since it’s all our products, we don’t charge extra to bring them together. Many manufacturers have a fee associated with connecting with another manufacturer’s system, whether it’s access to video or video to access. When you use our products, there isn’t any additional fee for integration. It’s even less expensive and works better than those other integrations are ever going to.”

About functionality, he continues: “You can choose how you respond to events. The reality is we have hours and hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Something happens, what do I do? You need there to be a process that you know what to do. You don’t have to think. It pops up and tells you, it gives you the data, it gives you the instructions, and then you respond to that. When something happens, then people respond and they’re not trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do.”

That’s a good way to get anyone’s attention.

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