5 Things to Check When Choosing Video Analytics

5 Things to Check When Choosing Video Analytics

Author: Erez Goldstein, Qognify (www.qognify.com)

Video analytics is an ever evolving domain. New technologies and advanced solutions, usually referred to as next generation video analytics or simply – video analysis, enable users to do much more with this amazing data source. Video analysis search applications have an exciting promise and great potential benefits, how do we make sure we choose the right application for our needs?

Here are five simple checks that can help in this assessment:

1.Search scenarios – what are the scenarios that do you need to address? Does the solution cover all your real life search scenarios?

  • Can you search for a suspect based on a verbal description?
  • Can you search for a suspect based on a photo (taken from a mobile phone for example)?
  • How fast can you trigger the search based on an image you see right now in your video footage?

Bottom line – search can take many forms and your application should be flexible enough to accommodate them all.

  1. Compatibility with your infrastructure – will it work with all your cameras? Will it overload your existing hardware and software?
  • What is the resolution required from your solution in order to perform well?
  • Will it work outdoor as well as indoor?
  • Do you need to replace cameras to a newer model?
  • Do you need to change the version of your VMS?
  • Do you need more servers? replace the existing?

Bottom line – you should evaluate the entire impact on your hardware and software, check if a suggested solution is agnostic to camera types and evaluate how costly a replacement might be, should one be needed.

  1. Usability – how easy is it to use your search results for real life response? How fast can this translate into action?

You have found your suspect and can now see his latest footage! great. Now what?

  • Do you know where his image was taken?
  • Do you see it on a map or other visual display?
  • How fast can you identify which are the rest of the near-by cameras?
  • Can you easily direct field personnel to find him if needed?
  • Can you understand the suspect’s route and project where he might be heading to next?

Bottom line – the way to make immediate and effective use of a successful video suspect search (or “person search”) is to be able understand all those elements at a glance and be able to share it with the field, this can be done, for example, by seeing search results on a map.

  1. Accuracy – in certain situations, many people in the crowd are dressed the same. can you still get an accurate result?
  • Make sure you are conducting real life tests of real life challenges, e.g. test the scene at a business conference when many are wearing dark suits
  • Can you include items like hat, beard or bag to the search criteria?
  • Can your system account for unique traits of the suspect’s body signature, such as contrast between the different clothing elements, or garments’ patterns and textures?

Bottom line – when conducting a dry run test run don’t get tempted to search for the obvious “red shirt”, try to see if less “unique” appearances also get detected with high success rates.

  1. Performance – are you confident in the performance you are going to get?
  • How fast is the response time of the application is real life situations? Seconds? Minutes?
  • Does it fit a scenario with average volumes of people in the scene or will it handle also extreme cases? (e.g. thousands of people per minute)?
  • Was your solution installed in similar environments in terms of traffic (people passing through relevant areas in any given time)?
  • Can you get a successful reference from similar installations in a similar environment?

Bottom line – if you want to create an impactful positive change on your security operation, make sure that you get to see how well your daily needs will be addressed, based on proved experience of other similar clients, with the video analytics search applications you are examining.

Video Analysis works, and can be instrumental when you need to find something or someone fast. If you take the time to check what you really need and appropriately assess the solution you are evaluating, you have greater chances of finding the solution that truly makes an impact.

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