Artificial intelligence can make cameras more accurate, which can cut down on costs while providing superior security.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a transformative innovation that has already upended much of our daily lives. The next time you open your phone with your thumb or face, ask Alexa to fire up your workout playlist, or watch the latest true crime series that Netflix recommends, you can thank AI.
That widespread use extends to the business world as well. For example, a 2019 survey showed 37% of companies have put AI into practice in some way—a figure that has likely grown since then—and a 2022 survey indicated that 80% of executives believe that AI can be applied to any business decision.
One of AI’s newest frontiers is video surveillance. This year will undoubtedly see increasing adoption of this technology in both cameras and security analytics. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of AI-driven surveillance systems and the far-reaching significance of this evolution in security technology.
The advantages of AI-based solutions in video surveillance
In 2023, more manufacturers are expected to offer AI-based analytics in cameras and video management systems (VMS) as a standard feature. With security cameras now in use in almost every setting, it’s more difficult than ever for human beings to manually monitor them all. AI-based analytics gives security professionals the tools to keep up with all the images and data coming at them. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Companies can now take a more proactive stance when responding to incidents in the moment rather than picking up the pieces after an attack has already happened. The goal isn’t so much to gather video as it is to secure data, which is a necessary tool to fight criminals. The trick is to know how to use it, both for security and operational efficiency.
More accurate cameras
Until recently, security cameras relied on motion sensors that sounded an alarm based on how often a certain percentage of pixels shifted on a screen. This led to a lot of false positives, which meant security personnel had to spend time making camera adjustments to reduce the chances of this happening. Unfortunately, while these adjustments can help stop the occasional headlight or floating leaf from setting off the system, they also create vulnerabilities as the field of view shrinks.
AI largely solves this problem because it can easily differentiate between a rogue squirrel, a falling tree branch, and a sketchy trespasser. This allows you to open up your field of vision and take full advantage of everything your cameras have to offer.
When you reduce the number of false positives, you cut down on the number of times a security team gets dispatched to an area where no crime has taken place. AI also acts as a second factor of authentication for access control systems, reducing the number of security personnel needed at doors, gates, and checkpoints—people get through faster, which means they get to work faster. Finally, AI allows real-time analysis of video as it’s recording, which dramatically speeds up response time and cuts down on costly outages.
All that sounds great, right? But how does it really work?
AI surveillance integration and revolution
Not only can AI-enhanced cameras expand the field of view and speed up video compression, but they can also help identify faces, objects, and patterns. Here are some examples:
Patterns in the pixels
Not only can algorithms reduce the number of false alarms caused by wind-blown leaves or stray cats, but they can also spot unusual patterns and suspicious actions. For example, if a camera records a single person repeatedly pacing in front of a door, it triggers an alert because it’s unusual, even though the individual hasn’t yet taken any aggressive action. Monitors can then attempt to communicate with the person and, if that’s unsuccessful, call for law enforcement or emergency services.
Next-level object recognition
Unattended bags have been the source of many criminal actions over the years, in part because motion sensors don’t easily notice them. With AI at the helm, security teams are more likely to get flagged over objects in unusual places and those that have odd shapes and sizes, whether or not they seem to be in possession of someone nearby. AI can flag suspicious protrusions or bulges from a person in the frame, as well.
While AI-enhanced cameras are able to focus on individual people or objects, they can also look for patterns in crowd movements, which can help avert potential large-scale threats. If a sizable group of people seems to be running in the same direction, for instance, it may indicate a threat like an active shooter or natural disaster.
During the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, this was helpful for maintaining social distancing, reducing crowd size in certain areas, and identifying unmasked individuals in violation of local health ordinances. On a lighter note, this same tech can be used to spot long lines at concession stands and trigger an alert that more staff is needed to sling popcorn and soda.
AI’s comprehensive facial recognition abilities are incredibly accurate (as high as 99.7% by some measurements). This has its benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, it can act as a backup to traditional keycards and passcodes. It can also recognize VIPs when they enter a building, allowing the customer service team to immediately give them special treatment.
On the negative side, there is some evidence that this tech inadvertently creates algorithms that rely on racial and gender biases. But AI also offers a potential solution—relying on behavior patterns rather than facial recognition. This allows security and law enforcement to act on actual evidence of illegal activity rather than a smart camera’s unintended flagging of an individual based on skin tone or perceived gender identity.
As you can see, AI is already bringing significant benefits to the table when it comes to security. But this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
The future of AI video surveillance
AI-based tech is growing and changing every year. Here are just a few of the innovations on the horizon:
When developers are able to adapt tech to their own needs, an industry can grow. Video surveillance is no exception, and more and more vendors are opting to publish new software that allows users to customize it any way they see fit.
IoT meets AI
There are many industries where AI-powered cameras connect to (or have the potential to connect to) a wide array of Internet of Things (IoT) devices:
- In retail, smart cameras identify which color a customer prefers and pop up an appropriate ad or recommendation on a nearby screen.
- In public transit, cameras notice the level of occupancy and notify bus or subway drivers if the vehicle is at capacity.
- In parking facilities, cameras in traffic lights and barriers recognize and authenticate license plates (and notify authorities of anything suspicious).
- In factories, cameras in alarm systems notify a supervisor if a worker isn’t wearing the proper protective gear.
This is just a small sample of the new opportunities that lie ahead for AI-enabled security systems. The future, literally, is now.
AI at your fingertips
AI-enabled cameras give security teams the flexibility to focus where they are most needed. They can dodge and counter new risks and threats, and pioneer new approaches to crime prevention.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of AI to keep your property and people safe, contact Mobile Video Guard. We can provide a monitored team of professionals who have the power of AI at their fingertips to keep your business secure. Get started today with a free quote.