At Ifovea, we go beyond cloud storage by offering intelligent video analytics. Cloud-based storage is useful to hold large amounts of data, but data is useless if there’s nothing to actually process and make use of it. If cloud is the future of storage, the usage of video analytics is the future of security and business.
In the most basic terms, video analytics is a type of technology that involves applying artificial intelligence onto security footage to carry out security-related functions. Video analytics are quite useful because it automates monitoring and strengthens security. To explain how video analytics work, let’s pretend that an airport security team is using video surveillance to monitor for any potential terrorists. If the airport is particularly busy, the team may have a hard time identifying suspicious activity and easily miss important details. However, if the team were also using video analytics, then the system would automatically detect that a piece of luggage has been standing idle in a crowd full of people for quite some time. The system would instantly notify the security team so that they can investigate whether or not the abandoned luggage is a bomb.
Even though video analytics were created for the intention of improving security, they’re now being used to extract consumer data. Over time, businesses began to realize that security cameras do not just record crime; they record everything, including everything the customer does. By applying video analytics onto security footage, businesses can gain better insight on consumer behavior without having to manually collect data. Using video analytics is essentially like killing 2 birds with 1 stone because businesses are able to secure their properties while simultaneously gathering important data for optimizing operations.
Uses of Video Analytics
At Ifovea, we offer 4 different video analytics: face recognition, object detection & tracking, people & vehicle counting, and heat maps. Let’s briefly go over how each one works and how they can be applied to real-world scenarios.
If you have an iPhone, you might already be familiar with face recognition. With face recognition, the system will take your face signature (basically a mathematical formula of your facial features) and match it up to a database of faces. Face recognition technology has been used for years in the security industry. For example, some retailers may use it to be instantly notified whenever known shoplifters or other criminals enter the premises. They can even use it to spot people who have been reported missing.
Another trend now is using face recognition to recognize repeat customers. When a loyal customer enters a store, the system will recognize them and a customer profile will be pulled up. Based on the profile, the employee will be able to tailor their product recommendations and service for maximum customer satisfaction.
Object Detection & Tracking
Every object has their own set of characteristics that allows them to be classified as something. Object detection is a machine learning algorithm that enables the system to recognize different categories of objects such as pets, people, vehicles, luggage, etc. and track their movement. This technology is important because it identifies suspicious or abnormal behavior. Earlier in this post, I gave the example of the system detecting a piece of luggage being abandoned in an airport; this is an example of object detection & tracking. The system was able to identify that luggage as a piece of luggage because it had learned what luggage typically looks like and was able to sense that the luggage was not moving anywhere, which is abnormal in an airport.
Object detection & tracking is also an important indicator of consumer behavior. A sales report can tell you which products customers tend to buy, but it cannot tell you how they got to that purchase decision. With object detection & tracking, stores are able to watch how customers move through the store and which aisles they go through. It also reveals which products customers tend to look at and put back before buying something else. A sales report reveals the result, but object detection & tracking uncovers the customer’s journey that led to that result.
People & Vehicle Counting
Since the pandemic started, there has been more demand for people counting software to help businesses maintain maximum occupancies. The majority of counting software have issues with double-counting because they utilize a line-crossing algorithm which will count anything that moves past an invisible line. At Ifovea, we use our object detection & tracking algorithm to count for more accuracy. By using object tracking, the system can track the movement of an object to know when it has moved out and back into the frame. And with object detection, the system will recognize what is a person and what is a vehicle to only count those things.
People counting is extremely important for businesses to analyze foot traffic. In the past, the only way to determine foot traffic was to have someone stand in the store all day and manually count each person that comes in. Besides taking up a lot of time, this method is prone to human error. Ifovea’s people counting video analytic allows stores to automatically generate their foot traffic which is helpful for assessing store performance or the outcome of a marketing campaign. But in addition to counting people, the software can count vehicles. With the vehicle count information, city planners can efficiently allocate resources for building roads or identify the cause of traffic issues.
Heat maps is a visual technique that shows the frequency of motion. Most other cameras use motion detection, but Ifovea reduces false alarms by utilizing object detection to determine whether the motion was caused by a living or a non-living object. For businesses, heat maps is an important tool for showing which areas are receiving the most attention. It can also reveal which areas people tend to stop at and which areas they tend to move through. Based on this information, stores can adjust their floor layout and product placement to attract more sales. Heat maps also works with vehicles and can show where cars begin to cluster and traffic issues occur.
All of these applications are just a few examples of how video analytics make our lives easier. There’s no limit to how many things video analytics can be used for and some of them have not even been discovered yet. Video analytics is a rapidly growing market and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll be adapted for other uses and industries.
If you’re interested in testing out video analytics and how they can improve operations, then get in touch with us today!
Email: [email protected]