Updated on: Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 07:06 PM IST

Year-ender 2021: Video analytics, surveillance emerge crucial tech for businesses, authorities

With billions of cameras placed all over major cities, the usability of video analytics tools is nearly limitless/Representative image | Twitter

With billions of cameras placed all over major cities, the usability of video analytics tools is nearly limitless/Representative image | Twitter


In the nearly two years since the pandemic outbreak, the world has witnessed a lot of changes, supply chain disruptions, healthcare challenges. However, at the same time, there has also been a lot of technological evolution. The way we work and socialize has changed, and in many areas, this transition is expected to be permanent.

In this new normal, video analytics and surveillance has become a crucial technology for the businesses and authorities alike. There is a greater need for proactive security and operational insights which have helped the users adapt to the changes in 2021.

The integration of AI with conventional video surveillance facilitated by Cloud Computing has come across as a better, faster, and precise source of analytics for optimization. Businesses are now expected to further expand and diversify the usage of video analytics and achieve better growth in the year ahead.

With billions of cameras placed all over major cities, the usability of video analytics tools is nearly limitless. As authorities build smart-city grids to overcome various urban challenges such as traffic congestion, crowd control and management of law and order, conventional CCTV surveillance is no longer adequate. Similarly, private businesses such as retail, or services such as healthcare and education are increasingly relying on AI and deep learning tools to understand public behaviour and fine-tune their services.

Today’s video analytics technologies have highly enhanced capabilities that can be used in a diversity of situations to deliver accurate results. A world-class AI video analytics solution can now perform tasks such as:

• Human Action Recognition

• Anomaly Detection

• Contextual Understanding

• Emotion Recognition

• Wilde Area Surveillance

• Video Search & Summarization

Data analytics in decision-making is not new, but with the cutting-edge accuracy of video analytics, it is estimated that nearly one-third of all global businesses will be deploying analytics tools to make business decisions. Video analytics will not only be the facilitator of insights that help in the decision-making process, but it will continue to provide operational insights to facilitate continuous optimization and decision support.

The best part is that the process of generating insights is nearly automated, but, effective. For instance, a retail store management can use video analytics insights to understand in-store behaviour of their customers, identify the best-selling products as well as the reasons why some products sell less. Similarly, they can understand customer pain points as well as the impact of in-store promotions. All these learnings eventually help in improving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

In 2021, video data analytics has been used to perform various tasks, but, one of the biggest impacts in the post-pandemic scenario has been in the field of healthcare services. We saw video analytics solutions being used by hospitals for monitoring the COVID-19 wards remotely. These advanced systems can identify and report on a number of parameters such as someone trying to venture out of isolation areas or people loitering in areas where they are not permitted. Similarly, mask adherence, contact-tracing through facial recognition of infected people or their contacts is made possible by the technology.

Even if the video analytics platforms are a much niche market as of now, and compare only a small portion of the overall video surveillance systems, they are definitely the future. The Cloud and edge-computing acceptance is growing, and with higher internet speeds, it is only a matter of time when users across the verticals switch from the inefficiency of passive surveillance to the near real-time preventive abilities offered by video analytics solutions.

AI-video analytics is helping urban management authorities track the movement of suspected personnel, manage crowds in public places and transportation, and even identifying traffic violators who jump signals or drive above the speed limits. In a business establishment, such technology can proactively monitor the perimeter and raise intruder alarms.

It has been found that even if there is a monitoring of live-video feed from a network of CCTV cameras, the personnel watching tend to miss out seemingly minor details or actions such as people not wearing masks properly or a person holding a weapon in a crowded place. However, video AI technology is trained to detect such anomalies and it can do so without fail, round-the-clock. Thus, it offers proactive alerts and response support.

In 2021, end-users started taking note of the technology and its potential. In 2022, we anticipate much wider adoption of the AI video analytics platforms by users across verticals.

(Abhijit Shanbhag is President and CEO, Graymatics-cognitive media processing company)

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Published on: Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 07:06 PM IST