Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
October 25, 2021

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The Video Surveillance Report 2021

IFSEC Interviews

“We’re making AI practical for video surveillance” – Dean Drako on Eagle Eye Networks acquisition of Uncanny Vision

After announcing the acquisition of AI specialist Uncanny Vision, IFSEC Global got the chance to sit down with Eagle Eye Networks CEO, Dean Drako, to explore the reasons behind the move and what it means for its customers.

Dean Drako, Eagle Eye Networks CEO

Despite a challenging couple of years, cloud-based video surveillance system specialist Eagle Eye Networks has grown by almost 100%, explains its CEO Dean Drako as we catch up over a video call. We chat shortly after the company announced its major acquisition of AI provider Uncanny Vision – a move that adds new software capabilities and a 60-strong research and development team based in Bangalore, India to Eagle Eye’s portfolio.

Uncanny Vision’s team are described as experts in artificial intelligence (AI). Crucially for Eagle Eye, its expertise lie in applying AI to video surveillance applications, which Dean notes was the key driver behind the move.

“The development in AI over recent years has led to a significant growth in providers, but a specialism in video surveillance isn’t quite as common. After evaluating ‘Uncanny Vision’ surveillance-based AI applications, it became clear to us it was the leader in the market,” says Drako. “Its technology is already deployed across thousands of locations, including Fortune 500 customers.”

Uncanny has initially focused its AI in two key areas, which will be available to users of Eagle Eye’s software immediately. The first of which is ANPR (Automatic Numberplate Recognition), and the second is search functionality, whereby users will be able to search for specific objects in the environment through streams of footage. If searching for a ‘blue car’, for instance, the AI would automatically filter all sections of recorded video and pull these events up, without the operator needing to sit through hours of footage and manually spot cases.

The acquisition is set to provide additional opportunities for installers and resellers, providing more value to Eagle Eye’s cloud-based video management solution and potentially increasing their recurring revenue.

“We’re making AI practical. With Eagle Eye’s software all cloud-based, there is no requirement for physical hardware installations which could be very costly and space-consuming for users, and may have prevented them from adopting AI-based applications previously.

The provision of Uncanny’s AI solutions to Eagle Eye software should also be an extremely smooth process, thanks to this move. Resellers may simply need to provide initial support in tuning the business logic to work how customers would like – what should the system do after a licence plate has been read, for instance.

“While, as an open platform, we already have (and will continue to have) hundreds of partners for analytics and integrations based on open APIs, we wanted to be able to offer customers pre-integrated AI functionality,” adds Drako.

What makes this acquisition different, it seems, is the decision to purchase a specific AI provider – rather than one in the video analytics field.

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Often considered to be very similar, Drako explains that there are some key differences. “AI is simply more powerful and accurate, but it does require much greater computing power and storage is required – something which the cloud is ideal solution for.”

“We’re making AI practical. With Eagle Eye’s software all cloud-based, there is no requirement for physical hardware installations which could be very costly and space-consuming for users, and may have prevented them from adopting AI-based applications previously.

“Eagle Eye customers can now utilise AI at a click of a button. There is no need to buy more computers or physical hardware which an AI solution would usually require – it’s all managed in our cloud network to make the process as smooth as possible.”

The adoption of cloud-based surveillance solutions continues to grow – Eagle Eye’s growth and acquisition of Uncanny Vision provides another example of this – though barriers do remain. Despite many organisations being quite happy to move their documents and HR processes to cloud platforms, Drako highlights that transitions in the security sphere have understandably been a little slower.

“Security professionals are, by very definition, risk reduction professionals. They’re risk averse and any change involves an element of risk – they’ve got significant experience of protecting physical assets, whereas moving video surveillance to the cloud requires a step-change.

“However, we believe we have now passed the tipping point in the video surveillance industry’s adoption of cloud video, as businesses of all types and sizes have realised the advantages of a true cloud solution.”

Catch Eagle Eye at IFSEC International in London on 17-19 May 2022 and find out more about its solutions and AI capabilities.

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Discover the latest developments in the rapidly-evolving video surveillance sector, directly from the people at its heart. We surveyed over 400 professionals working in the field to bring you the 2021 Video Surveillance Report. Responses come from installers and integrators to consultants and heads of security, as we explore the latest trends in the sector including video analytics; the use of surveillance outside of security operations; cloud-based storage solutions; integration; the impact of COVID-19; the market outlook and more!

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