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March 11, 2021

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Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

VMS in the cloud

What’s behind the global growth of cloud-based video surveillance?

Rishi Lodhia, Managing Director EMEA at Eagle Eye Networks, examines the reasons behind the growth of networked video surveillance systems.

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Rishi Lodhia, Managing Director EMEA at Eagle Eye Networks

Demand for IP connected solutions is growing, as organisations look to utilise cloud-enabled video platforms that generate benefits which go beyond that of simple surveillance alone. The worldwide video surveillance camera market is expected to almost double by 2025 compared to 2019.

According to analysis, much of this growth is being driven by the increasing adoption of smart camera systems and analytical software that enables video surveillance cameras to be utilised in an ever-widening arena of use cases.

Indeed, the benefits of cloud-video surveillance are proving to have a high appeal for customers looking to achieve operational cost savings, initiate remote maintenance and access programmes, gain in-the-moment live operational intelligence, or generate live metrics and data that enables them to work in a more responsive and timely way.

Coronavirus stimulates new demand

Recent work-from-home restrictions, combined with the need to protect employees and the general public, have combined to provide significant impetus to a market that has seen a surge in video surveillance deployments.

Delivering the efficient real-time monitoring of people, places and things, video surveillance systems are fast becoming a top requirement for commercial and public organisations that want to maintain compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.

Top use cases that emerged in 2020 include monitoring physical distancing and occupancy levels, ensuring personnel are wearing appropriate PPE, and contact tracing to reduce the risk of infection spreading in the event of an outbreak. Many of today’s systems are now capable of identifying who an infected employee has spent at least 15 minutes with so they can be notified and self-quarantine.

Improving the situational awareness of organisations and boosting their ability to respond should COVID-19 compliance violations occur is just the start. Organisations are also using smart video surveillance to proactively redirect foot traffic, prevent pedestrian traffic bottlenecks occurring in public spaces, and identifying locations where cleaning teams need to be deployed to immediately sanitise areas.

Smart cities flex their know-how

Governments around the globe have big ambitions when it comes to making cities smarter, safer places for citizens and visitors. Utilising data aggregated from multiple sources, they are using networked cameras and sensors to monitor everything from traffic and public transport networks, to temperature and humidity.

By connecting all these data silos, they are making it easier for citizens to live their lives. Using real-time data flows, cities are able to address incidents that might disrupt the free flowing movement of people and vehicles. In terms of managing the impact of commuters on public infrastructure, they are able to optimise parking management by directing drivers to predefined zones or predict peak demand times and coordinate public transport services accordingly. All while monitoring air pollution levels to protect the health of residents and workers.

Smart cities are also deploying intelligent video surveillance to enable emergency services to respond more effectively in real-time, or to spot potential incidents and manage these to reduce the incidence of crimes. That includes detecting sounds in public spaces that may indicate a criminal activity or public disorder offence, or the visual monitoring of people loitering or acting in a suspicious manner.

While the concept of the holistic smart city is still in its infancy, cities like Mexico City, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Seoul, Dubai, Tokyo and Adelaide are already striding ahead of the pack where smart city projects are concerned. Where these cities lead, others are determined to follow.

The Indian government has already announced ambitious plans to build 100 new citizen friendly and sustainable smart cities by 2023. Meanwhile, countries in the Asia Pacific region are expected to be the fastest growing regions in the video surveillance market as heavy investments in smart city projects designed to boost the security of citizens proceed. Typical technologies being deployed include vehicle number plate recognition, facial recognition, people counting, retail management and remote asset management.

Emerging markets focus and growth for Eagle Eye

Alongside its continued growth in Europe, where the company has made several new hires in Germany (Malte Hollung), France (David Le Bellu), Spain (Carlos Angeles), Portugal and the UK (David Barr) recently, Eagle Eye Networks has added Hadi Rayess as Senior Regional Director and Mike Matar, Senior Sales Engineer to launch divisions in the Middle East and Africa. In addition, Lynette Pon joined the company as Managing Director South East Asia and BK Yeoh as Senior Sales Engineer for the region. The news comes not long after the business announced a $40million investment from venture capitalist firm, Accel.

It has also witnessed an expansion in its internal marketing team, which Eagle Eye says will “better support and enable its customers to successfully grow their security operations”. The move comes as a result of a “growing demand for cloud” offerings – one that Eagle Eye is in an ideal position to provide with its cloud-based Video Management System.

In an article earlier this year, the company outlined what it believed to be the key reasons for customer shifting to cloud-based VMS systems, which include: cost savings, heightened data security, remote access and management, flexible storage and retention, scalability and disaster recovery.

AI-enabled video analytics boost market growth

As we’ve already seen, government bodies are actively investing in video systems to monitor traffic congestion and oversee smart energy metering. Other AI-video analysis solutions include analysing live or recorded video streams to monitor and track behaviour patterns and predefined objects to proactively identify incidents and trigger alert systems.

Utilising real-time event detection is helping to minimise crimes, thefts, terrorist attacks and other criminal activities to enhance safety for citizens, businesses, and visitors alike. Meanwhile, AI-enabled video analytics are being used to gain a deeper understanding of crowd behaviours, which can then be used to inform the design of critical infrastructure. Optimising, for example, the safe movement of people into and out of spaces – like metro stations, schools and airports.

Businesses are making operationally smarter decisions

No longer confined purely to security and safety applications, video surveillance systems are increasingly being adopted by enterprises to generate business intelligence. In retail, for example, AI powered video systems are being used to monitor POS wait times and activity at product displays to improve sales and boost shopper experience. Using footfall and shopping pathway analysis, retailers are able to optimise store layouts and aisle design, deploy staff appropriately to reduce waiting times, and evaluate in-store promotions, product positioning and displays.

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In manufacturing, video surveillance is being utilised to monitor processes and production systems to minimise downtime and accidents. By studying the flow of people and products through the plant, firms are able to identify areas where small changes could generate significant improvements in efficiency. Plus, they are able to utilise technologies like thermal imaging to highlight potential issues, such as the overheating of parts or bottlenecks, to act ahead of a failure.

Using these insights, they are able to design more stable and secure processes, optimise supply chains and the deployment of staff resources while minimising risk to workers. As more and more manufacturers shift to fully automated 24/7 production environments, AI systems are being deployed to accurately detect failures that can reduce wastage on the production line.

Looking to the future

Surveillance systems are being increasingly utilised in a variety of environments, governments, enterprises, financial institutions, and a host of other sectors are gearing up to deploy a variety of security and monitoring measures.

The recent integration of cloud, analytics, and the Internet of Things have all helped to propel the growth in IP video surveillance. The development of smart cities is set to further increase opportunities as cities grapple with real-life challenges like parking and traffic management, public safety, and the growing challenge of addressing the causes and impact of climate change.

The increasing proliferation of video surveillance in our workplaces, education institutions, public spaces and even homes means that the issue of privacy will move increasingly to the fore, with people weighing up how much of their privacy they are prepared to sacrifice.

As cities around the world increasingly look to build back better, post the global epidemic, the cities of the future will be looking to boost intelligence and ways to share insights with citizens and private companies via data sharing platforms that will solve real-life problems. Balancing innovation and risk will be the key to ensuring that video surveillance continues to remain a positive force for creating a smarter, safer and more secure world.

 

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