Video security and surveillance technology, for the average commercial consumer, once meant installing a device that would take a picture or video. In most cases, it would store that video on a tape that had to be reviewed if there were an incident, which could mean hours of watching film. Some devices had to be monitored when the event happened.
New technology, increasingly bolstered by artificial intelligence (AI), now offers novel ways of keeping property secure, protecting people and alerting emergency services early when there are signs that a potentially dangerous event is about to occur.
Smart Business spoke with John Bates, Director of Communications Technologies at Blue Technologies, Inc., about video security and surveillance technology: what’s new and how it’s helping organizations.
Who is using video security and surveillance today? How has that changed in recent years?
Virtually every organization can use video surveillance, especially as it evolves. For example, schools are one of the largest growing markets to adopt it. Hospitals are using it in their interior and exterior, manufacturers are using more security, and county and state governments are using it for many different reasons. It’s also being used to protect public spaces.
One area where there’s been significant increase in usage is with companies that have fleet vehicles. That’s because catalytic converters are being stolen at a high rate.
When the National Defense Authorization Act changed in 2019, it prohibited the use of some surveillance devices made by Chinese-owned companies, largely because of the cybersecurity risk. In response, hospitals, schools and manufacturers that have critical documents, especially those that contain personal health information, are now scrutinizing the type and brand of camera to make sure they’re in line with that new compliance requirement.
How has the technology changed?
There’s a trend toward more AI being used in cameras to assist end users through early warning notifications that can alert them when suspicious activity occurs. Organizations are leveraging the ability these systems have to monitor license plates. It’s a way to log who is coming and going. When a car isn’t in a database, AI can send alert to first responders about a strange vehicle so they can come and check it out.
During COVID, there was an increase in using these systems to monitor temperature readings of people entering facilities. By monitoring heat signatures, organizations could pull aside those whose temperature crossed a certain threshold to give them a secondary test. Manufacturers are using similar technology to detect high heat and smoke early so damages can be mitigated or eliminated, and to notify first responders who can get on site faster to protect people and property. They’re also using video security and surveillance to monitor assembly lines and stop them automatically if something happens.
Fire marshals can use the technology to identify overcrowding and step in to disburse the crowd before any problems arise. Manufacturers are using the technology to monitor assembly lines and stop them automatically if something happens.
Cloud storage is more prevalent, leading many to shift away from housing recordings on-premise. Depending on the amount of data being stored, cloud storage can be less expensive.
What should organizations look for in a provider?
Organizations that see the value in these and other innovations should talk to a provider that has been around for a while, has followed the evolution of the technology, and takes a consultative approach. A provider should do a thorough inspection of the site where the video security and surveillance equipment will be used and ask questions about the application. The provider should ask what the client wants to see, why, and what should happen when that happens. That can help guide the provider to suggest the right solution for the situation.
It’s important for organizations to do their homework before selecting a provider. Video security and surveillance technology has come a long way. There are many new tools that work in myriad situations. A knowledgeable, creative provider can guide an organization to the best application. ●
INSIGHTS Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies, Inc.