Technology is going beyond just recording images. For example, the Cernium High-Density Analytics Server is an advanced analytics software solution for automated monitoring of large-scale enterprise video surveillance installations.  Designed to operate within an IP-class video management system, HDAS generates and stores video metadata from every camera to allow for real-time intelligence or for mining information from recorded video.  The software incorporates an analytics engine.

Security Magazine recently conducted an interview with Nik Gagvani, chief technology officer, Cernium Corporation.

Security Magazine: What technological developments do you foresee in video security in 2008?

Gagvani:In 2008, we will continue to see the migration to IP video, with the notable addition of video analytics on every channel. Integration of analytics functionality into cameras, encoders and DVRs will significantly change the role of video in security. Embedded analytics will enable pro-active monitoring and instant response, as an incident is happening.  Additionally, video analytics technology will evolve from its current role, which is the detection of specific behaviors, into a method of extracting meaningful information from (video) data.  Essentially, this means that video analytics will begin to serve the same purpose as business analytics, albeit for security purposes.

Previously, intelligent video has only been able to tag video with a descriptor, such as “person crossing fence” or “left package.”  The next breed of technology will merge those events into “metadata” to provide a continuous narrative of the event.  Security managers will not be limited to specific pre-defined behaviors, and will be able to analyze multiple simultaneous behaviors on the same video channel based on their needs. Analytics will also become significantly easier to deploy and configure, and will be tightly and transparently integrated into video management solutions.

Security Magazine:How will new security technologies and solutions meet the needs of the business user?

Gagvani:  There is a greater emphasis on security in business environments, ranging from large distributed campuses to small businesses. Advances in technology will make a host of security technologies accessible and affordable for small businesses. In 2008, we will see the convergence of multiple disparate systems ranging from video surveillance to access control.

The availability of analytics-enabled cameras and encoders will allow small business owners to improve security at their facilities with continuous remote monitoring. Large businesses will benefit from investments in IT infrastructure that will make it easier to leverage video, access control and other sensors more effectively.  Analytics-driven video management systems will automatically monitor video, enabling video surveillance deployments with hundreds and thousands of cameras, that will actually improve security without adding manpower.

One benefit of convergence will be that an access control system can log the user’s ID code while video cameras provide simultaneous visual verification. Analytics can then be used to determine if the user is engaged in suspicious activity. Once this activity is correlated to the user ID, access can automatically be shut down before that user can cause additional damage.

Security Magazine: What is one issue in video security that businesses should approach with caution?

Gagvani: As video surveillance deployments scale to hundreds of cameras, it is no longer sufficient to simply record this video. When an incident occurs, the massive amount of video can actually hamper response times, instead of improving security. Managing and searching through thousands of video feeds over a period of weeks requires some form of intelligent tagging offered by video analytics. It can pin-point a specific channel and find the relevant incident in seconds without requiring manual scrolling through hours and weeks of video.

Given the trend toward very large video surveillance networks, a key consideration for any successful system is flexibility.  Being able to do more with the technology you have is vital to any large installation, as target behaviors and security needs can change dramatically over time, sometimes as quickly as month to month.  For instance, video surveillance cameras that only have a certain range of viewpoints or video analytics software that only has a few, “untweakable” behaviors should be avoided by security directors.

It all boils down to this: The more you can do with your existing and planned technology assets, the better off your security situation will be.