Artificial Intelligence and the revolution in cloud physical security

Aug 2, 2022

Edge-based processing, analytics, cloud connectivity and the internet of things (IoT) have helped to revolutionise the physical security industry in the last decade. Advances made already in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are pushing the capabilities of network cameras and sensors to a new level, leading to improvements in security, and also more broadly in business intelligence. Interest in such solutions is prompting decision makers to seek the most effective tools to meet their requirements. Yet, deciding on the right technologies and determining how to set them up for optimum performance requires a greater understanding of how these solutions might be best utilised.

Insights for superior security

More accurate video surveillance is enabled by using network security products that incorporate advanced analytic capabilities, either server-based or built into the camera technology itself. With the potential to deploy a range of situation-specific cameras and sensors, in addition to using process automation to trigger a series of measures to deter a criminal event, the SOP is simplified and leads to faster resolution.

The latest AI enhancements can lead to greater accuracy, for example, when used for the counting of people or object identification, or when part of a system to monitor traffic flow and control parking, based on advanced analysis of vehicle movement. In addition, the technology improves the detection of people and vehicles approaching the perimeter of a site, where network cameras combined with radar or thermal technology can lock-on and track suspect parties with IP-audio speakers configured to sound alerts or alarms to deter and challenge.

Behaviour-recognition using AI

AI-driven analytics can also be used to identify and react to a range of human behaviours in real time, rather than forensically, providing actionable insights to help businesses understand more deeply how people interact with each other. Such systems can be trained with more and more data over time, improving the capabilities of the system to recognise and respond to a number of different scenarios, and resulting in safer environments for staff and customers.

As an example, a network camera that is capable of detecting and analysing raised voices near an ATM can alert security personnel to a potential incident before it escalates. Elsewhere, physical security technologies connected to a building’s management system can be used to automate a sequence of events in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or terrorist attack, and control the movement of people. Here, doors and lighting are automatically controlled and the illumination of ‘green lanes’ can direct people to designated safe exit points; a lifeline in a situation where panic or confusion in the event of an incident could lead to injury or even loss of life.

AI to improve emergency response

The speed with which action is taken in the event of an emergency is critical; the quicker teams respond, the more likely that assets are protected and lives saved. Video analytics using AI are now revolutionising the fire safety industry, not as a replacement to current equipment, but to complement it. Where smoke detection devices have traditionally had to make contact with smoke or dust before the alarm sounds, cameras can now detect the very first outbreak of smoke or fire, enabling faster, smarter responses backed by real-time visuals on the nature of the incident.

As physical security evolves and AI plays a bigger part, businesses will seek solutions with applications beyond security to fit their industry-specific challenges. In turn, they will need providers who understand physical security, the benefits of cloud platforms and the capabilities of networks, systems and software. The convergence between physical security and IT is transforming our industry, giving businesses more of what they need to operate smarter and more securely. Innovative technology, partnership and collaboration, therefore, hold the key to helping businesses face their challenges now and in the future.

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Business Intelligence