What is video analytics in CCTV?

What is video analytics in CCTV?

We’ve all heard of CCTV, but what exactly is video analytics in the context of surveillance? If, when thinking of CCTV, you picture security guards sitting at a desk looking out for any thieves or suspicious activity on screens, well, it’s not exactly that anymore. 

As the years have gone by and we’ve moved into a digital age, so has CCTV. Video analytics uses clever algorithms to automatically detect key categories viewed via CCTV surveillance video images. 

What can video analytics detect?

So, what can they detect? This intelligent technology enables the automatic detection of people, vehicles and other objects. This type of system can also detect advanced events, such as an object removed or left, something moving across a line, a direction of travel, as well as loitering. And it can alert Remote Video Response (RVR) to trigger a response, depending on the pre-programmed instructions. With video analytics or VMDs (video motion detectors), you can programme them to detect specific behaviours within a scene view of the security camera, like:

  • An object being removed, for instance, a painting off a wall
  • An object placed or left behind by a person
  • A person going in a specific direction (like towards an exit)
  • A person entering or leaving a defined detection zone
  • Loitering behaviour
  • A person, vehicle, or object stopping
  • Automatic autonomous PTZ tracking of a detected, moving object, person or vehicle
  • Fence trespassing 

Diving deeper into the technology

With video analytics, there are two basic types: one that has a specific algorithm to detect specific behaviours, and the other uses no algorithm, it uses AI (artificial intelligence). 

By using artificial intelligence, technology starts to ‘learn’ what normal behaviour is within the view of a security camera. It starts to understand certain events like we do, such as how certain times of day will be busy, when the rush hours are, night versus day, quiet periods, and how normal traffic moves, and so on. 

The more analytics learns what is normal, the better it is at detecting abnormalities. For instance, a pedestrian entering through a vehicle exit gate will signal an abnormal action/detection, or if a person walks across with a weapon, then the system will recognise something completely out of the ordinary to sound an alarm. 

Other detections could be a fight breaking out, someone carrying something peculiar, an out-of-place gathering or something we may not even think about. As the video technology advances and keeps learning, it will get even smarter to detect unwanted behaviour or actions worthy of alarm, and triggered responses can work quickly and efficiently, more so than humans.

Different types of CCTV analytics

  • Camera (EDGE): Edge recording, also called local storage or on-board recording, is when a camera records video directly onto an SD or memory card in the camera, instead of a separate NVR or storage device
  • Video server: As opposed to edge-based analytics, where the camera or encoder is processing the image and creating metadata, with server-based analytics, video streams are sent to the server and processed there, independently from the cameras

Understanding CCTV and why it’s crucial for business

As you can imagine, this kind of technology is important for many businesses. It isn’t just retail shops that gain so much from CCTV systems. Car park management systems, offices, warehouses, leisure centres, supermarkets, theme parks, banks, hotels and so many other businesses detect and prevent crime all the time. It’s thanks to systems like these that enable us to be safer, wherever we go and visit, consume, shop or spend time. 

Not only is CCTV and video analytics helping to keep us all safer and reducing crime, but they also help with important investigations or internal affairs. Footage can help police solve cases, insurance companies pay out to the right people, and employers get to the bottom of any internal investigations. And if you are thinking about installing a CCTV system, make sure you read up on where best to place CCTV cameras for guidance.

Do get in touch with our knowledgeable team for any help. It’s always better with the professionals. Contact us today to see how Expert Security UK can help your business.