AST Digital Magazine July/August 2016 - Page 7

Volume 6 ALPR: A Formidable Weapon in the War Against Crime and Terror July-Aug 2016 Edition is that it can only provide evidence after the fact. As a result, the security-minded have increasingly turned to the relatively new technology of video analytics to fill the gap. Video analytics puts a computerized “brain” behind the “eyes” of security cameras. Using advanced algorithms, the computer attempts to analyze the video feed and detect objects or suspicious behaviors in the frame, alerting designated security personnel in the event that something is detected. Some examples include facial recognition and so-called “shot-spotter” technology, which is designed to detect gunshots via not only video but also audio. The Evolution of Video Analytics John Chigos, CEO of PlateSmart Technologies With any luck, most of us will never directly experience the horror of being a victim of crime or terrorism. In the United States particularly, we like to feel that we lead charmed lives that are free from the atrocities that those in other parts of the world witness daily. It is a mistake, however, to think that these dangers can’t touch us in the West; just ask the victims of San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, Orlando, or a myriad other attacks. Recent years have brought us these events, as well as school shootings, the on-air shooting of a TV reporter in Virginia, attacks against military and government facilities, and many others. These sensational media stories, furthermore, do not even begin to encompass other types of crimes against persons and property, such as child abductions. The steadily escalating nature of these threats has resulted in an increased demand for perimeter security. Traditionally, the solution to this demand has been to hire more professional security personnel. While this kind of human intelligence is certainly a necessary component of any good security solution, it is important to remember that even the best trained and most dedicated human beings have limitations. Chief among these is that they can’t be everywhere at once, which gives rise to the necessity of video surveillance. Even that, however, comes with major drawbacks, not the least of which The earliest versions of video analytics technology were usually more trouble than they were worth, the expensive systems often producing an overwhelming number of false alarms and only rarely detecting actual threats. Recent years have seen some improvement in this situation, although it has not been as dramatic as many had hoped. There is one video analytics technology, however, that stands out over the others for its reliability and accuracy. That is video analy