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Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and significant advances in machine learning, video analytics for video surveillance applications have improved dramatically in recent years. These recent improvements in both video surveillance hardware and video surveillance software have been game-changing for a variety of intrusion and access control applications, including counting people at events, automatic license plate recognition, intrusion detection and much more.

We'll cover six of the top video analytics for video surveillance systems available today.

1. People counting

People counting video analytics offer a variety of benefits to the user, depending on the application. The technology is typically used by retail stores for customer analytics purposes, queue management, building management and to address security challenges related to the movement of people. This type of analytic can help organizations with crowd management, providing an estimated crowd count in real time and trigger an alert when a threshold is reached or surpassed.

Other uses can include:

  • Counting the number of people passing by a specified area daily
  • Determining the normal flow of people according to the day of the week and time of day
  • Generating alerts in cases of unusual foot traffic, such as long lines, an unexpected uptick or decrease in pedestrian activity and potentially dangerous situations involving large crowds

2. Vehicle direction detection and counting

Vehicle direction detection and counting analytics have several relevant applications that provide high value to a user. Highly useful applications include metered parking lots, parking garages and major thoroughfares or highways. Users can detect if a car is entering a gated parking lot in the wrong direction or count how many cars come in and out of a parking garage. Cameras with this video analytic can also detect if a car is driving the wrong way on a highway or measure traffic congestion in real time at any point during the day.

3. License plate recognition

The license plate recognition video analytic can detect, read and store video of a car's license plate. This feature can be used to monitor traffic in parking lots and gated security entrances. A common application for this is for touchless access control in parking structures and lots. A camera placed at the entrance gate can automatically record an approaching car's license plate and compare it to a database of approved visitors. If the recorded license plate is listed in the database, the gate opens and allows the car to enter.

Other important applications for this video analytic include:

  • Enhancing physical security for protected and off-limits areas, such as research facilities, military bases and business operations that involve high-value, sensitive and/or potentially hazardous goods and materials
  • Tracking a known suspect's vehicle
  • Finding a stolen vehicle or identifying a vehicle that has been involved in a crime
  • Conducting parking enforcement activities

4. Facial recognition

Facial recognition, a way to identify or confirm an individual's identity using their face, can be used in a wide variety of situations and settings. Law enforcement can compare a person's face to one or more recognition databases in order to identify suspects or criminals. Airports can use this video analytic to identify travelers for both security purposes and to reduce wait times. For retail businesses, this feature can be used to identify when a known shoplifter or an individual with a history of fraud enters the store.

Other uses can include:

  • Tracking student attendance at schools or employee attendance in offices
  • Locating missing persons
  • Border control
  • Access control for government buildings or corporate offices

5. Intrusion detection

With intrusion detection, the security camera is able to recognize when an intruder enters a secured space. It can then send an alert to notify the operator of a breach. This feature may allow the user to apply a pre-selected zone in which it can detect human movement entering and/or leaving the zone. This feature can detect suspicious activity during day or nighttime hours, in indoor environments with poor or inconsistent lighting conditions, and during any type of weather.

6. Object detection

This type of video analytic focuses on detecting non-human objects. This feature can be used to detect if an unwanted or suspicious object is left behind within a certain zone or pre-defined area, such as suspicious baggage in an airport or an out-of-place backpack at a major sporting event. Recognition algorithms can also be set to detect if a specific object has been moved or completely removed from the defined area — such as a painting on a wall in a museum. This analytic has many additional uses depending on the application and setting or environment.

With a video surveillance setup that includes the right combination of cameras, monitors and video recorders, you can provide your customers with advanced video analytics solutions that can be extremely useful for their real-world applications.

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