Video Analytics at the Edge: Intelligent Solutions Revolutionizing Businesses

For the past 2 decades, the video surveillance market has seen a swift migration from analog and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras to Internet Protocol (IP) cameras. Today’s IP cameras are cheaper, more powerful, and have greater intelligence than legacy cameras, providing significant value to security departments and business units. Now a staple in commercial surveillance, video analytics extends beyond its historical home in security departments. Thanks to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and edge computing, customers can leverage a new and improved form of this technology, often called intelligent video analytics. Intelligent video analytics software leverages AI and Computer Vision (CV) to detect objects, people, activities, etc. This is a game-changer for businesses, as it transforms their camera platforms into data-gathering Internet of Things (IoT) devices that send alerts and notifications, which can then be turned into actionable insight.

As the chart below depicts, the Asia-Pacific region is, by far, the biggest adopter of surveillance cameras and, therefore, the most significant market opportunity for smarter video analytics platforms. This is due to the Chinese state having an enormous surveillance apparatus.


Get More Free Charts

How Can Intelligent Video Analytics at the Edge Benefit Enterprises?

AI-based smart cameras with built-in video analytics software provide organizations with huge benefits that positively affect both their security apparatuses and operational efficiency. Some of the biggest benefits of intelligent video analytics at the edge are listed below.

  • Fewer False Alarms: Technological breakthroughs in edge AI have decreased false alarm incidences, which have historically been a prohibiting factor to purchasing video analytics software solutions.
  • Predictive Intelligence: Cameras with on-device AI software capabilities can more accurately recognize various objects, such as people, animals, and cars at the edge. Companies can then use this video intelligence to better anticipate incidents, rather than reacting passively.
  • Reduced Streaming Costs: With advanced video analytics at the edge, video streams can be analyzed on the camera device itself. This means businesses don’t have to worry about the relatively high costs associated with transmitting high-resolution video streams or metadata to on-premises or cloud systems.
  • Fewer Computing Needs: Instead of having to increase compute capacity on servers or in the cloud, intelligent video analytics at the edge enables the data analysis to occur at the device level. This keeps compute storage costs down.
  • Automation: Smart, AI-based camera systems can gather valuable insights from video feeds and then activate workflows, such as alarms or visual alerts, automatically without the need for human intervention. Automated video intelligence not only eradicates the need for security teams to manually watch footage for hours on end, but it also benefits other organizational departments that place a high value on real-time customer and employee behavior (e.g., marketing and operations).

Intelligent Video Analytics Applications for Businesses

The following sections discuss some of the most common applications and use cases for intelligent video analytics software in business enterprise operations.

People Management

Intelligent video analytics is employed in this application to monitor individuals' movements, providing valuable insights to businesses regarding customer interactions with their products or premises. Companies can accurately track entry times, waiting durations, and customer gatherings by using features such as people counting, queue monitoring, and dwell time measurement. This intelligent analytics application is especially relevant in industries where monitoring people's flow and engagement is essential for understanding customer spending habits and satisfaction levels. Examples include retail, hospitality, healthcare, sports, and entertainment.

Employee Health and Safety

Health and safety monitoring has become increasingly popular for advanced forms of video analytics software. By using camera feeds in worksites and industrial plants, companies can employ features like hard helmet detection and safety vest detection to ensure employees adhere to safety regulations. Additionally, certain solutions can identify specific human behaviors that may indicate distress, such as detecting if a person has fallen. The COVID-19 pandemic further emphasized the importance of health and safety applications, with solutions like distance monitoring, medical mask detection, and temperature-sensing cameras effectively safeguarding employees against the spread of the virus. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, oil & gas, and healthcare find this application particularly relevant.

Quality Assurance

The manufacturing industry is the primary audience for this video analytics application. AI-based smart cameras equipped with Computer Vision (CV) technology can automate inspection tasks on the factory floor by executing surface checks on products and detecting defects/anomalies. AI models embedded with Deep Learning (DL) further enhance this video analytics use case as it allows companies to train smart cameras to recognize a company’s specific product design—and identify faulty products before they go through inspection. These advanced video analytics software solutions will potentially be transformative for the manufacturing sector as they become more intelligent and tailored to the end user.

Inventory Management

Advanced video analytics technology can also enable companies to keep their eyes on inventory as it flows through the supply chain. If goods are transported from a cargo ship to a logistics warehouse, various camera streams will pick up this information. For example, Vaxtor’s video analytics solutions save companies from incorrect insurance claims by reading vertical or horizontal International Organization for Standardization (ISO) container codes and then uploading video recording sequences to Video Management Systems (VMSs). Moreover, intelligent video analytics software can read the license plates of transport vehicles, as well as record railway wagon numbers to chronicle their movements. While this application is practical for businesses in any industry, the consumer e-commerce domain is the biggest beneficiary.

Intelligent Video Analytics Applications for Security

Now we will review some of the best ways that intelligent video analytics can be applied to security operations.

Object Tracking

Object tracking is now a standard video analytics software feature in most smart home security cameras, but advanced DL-based object detection solutions enable enterprises to distinguish between humans, animals, and different types of vehicles. These reliable distinctions allow businesses to effectively monitor their property, reduce false alarms, and protect valuable objects like museum artifacts or identify abandoned items, such as suitcases at airports, prompting an appropriate investigation through alerts.

Behavior Detection

Intelligent video analytics solutions that can identify humans also have the capability to detect specific behaviors that may indicate a potential security threat. For instance, loitering analytics software can monitor the duration of a person's presence outside a building. Other video analytics platforms can recognize abnormal positions, such as bending over or identifying altercations between two individuals. Other solutions can even detect when somebody is holding a gun.

These advancements in video analytics enable surveillance cameras to proactively predict criminal activities, rather than simply observe them, making this security application particularly valuable for companies with valuable assets or equipment, as well as for city services like law enforcement and public safety officials.

Vehicle Detection

A significant segment of the video analytics market focuses on the monitoring and classification of vehicles. License plate recognition, a widely adopted video analytics application, is used in law enforcement, municipalities, industrial sites, and entertainment centers. Advancements in AI/DL technology enable high-speed identification of license plates and differentiation between cars in different lanes. Some software solutions can track vehicle movement and generate alarms if a vehicle enters unauthorized zones or exceeds speed limits. Intelligent vehicle detection solutions play a crucial role for numerous municipalities and law enforcement agencies globally.

Biometrics Detection

Facial recognition software, a highly debated technology, is the most contentious application of video analytics in security, particularly in the context of biometrics detection. Despite ethical concerns in various regions, companies and governments worldwide view facial recognition as an essential tool for property security and citizen monitoring. This application also intersects with employee health and safety, as biometric-reading cameras can identify elevated skin temperature and help prevent the spread of illness within buildings. Governments, airports, and retail vendors have all used and derived benefits from biometrics detection, although its use continues to be a topic of debate in many parts of the world.

Challenges Linger

The intelligent video analytics market faces challenges in terms of computing power, compatibility across camera brands, and ethical concerns regarding AI-and-DL-based recognition capabilities. Moreover, the emergence of cloud-based solutions offers higher computing power and flexibility, potentially overshadowing advancements in smart cameras. Additionally, controversies surrounding certain edge-based AI camera manufacturers and growing public skepticism of tracking software pose further obstacles to the more widespread use of intelligent video analytics. To advance the market further, vendors must address these challenges and ensure the effective use of video analytics for business intelligence and security purposes.

To learn more about all the latest market swings surrounding intelligent video analytics and strategic recommendations for video surveillance vendors, read the Commercial Video Analytics Market Sizing and Expectations Research Highlight. This content is part of ABI Research’s IoT Networks & Services research coverage.

Related Blog Posts

Related Services