From Campus Security Enabler to Business Intelligence Driver: Video Analytics and Surveillance for Education Campuses
Today, education campuses are becoming more data-driven, enabled by technological advances, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, among others. Intelligent video content analytics based on video surveillance, for example, are helping vast campuses monitor activity and manage operations across broad functionalities and business groups.
Video surveillance has always been a critical monitoring tool for campus law enforcement – but video content analytics are transforming video into actionable intelligence beyond traditional security use cases: In addition to enabling full situational awareness and faster emergency response, video analysis solutions are empowering campuses to maximize their video resources for optimizing business performance and operational efficiency beyond security.
Managing Campus Operations
The operational demands of campuses are wide-ranging and, by integrating video analysis software, campuses’ existing video surveillance infrastructure can be leveraged to provide visibility into activity and patterns, helping operations managers attain situational awareness and drive intelligence-based planning. For instance, as campuses grow and expand, they tend to invest heavily in construction consulting. However, video analysis could be utilized instead to uncover visitor, resident and staff movements around campus and what changes need to be made to optimize their navigation flows. With data visualizations of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on campus, construction projects can be planned based on actionable and quantifiable business intelligence powered by video surveillance.
Even for maintaining efficient campus operations for existing property, video content analytics can help pinpoint problems and formulate solutions based on actionable data. In the case of one leading university in the Asia Pacific region, the campus was finding that students were arriving late to class because of congestion in the canteens and cafes. Queues at the campus eateries were so long that students had to choose between abandoning the snack or lunch they were purchasing and arriving on time to classes. Leveraging video data to identify this problem, the university can use video analysis and data fusion to intelligently pinpoint which canteens are most overcrowded, evaluate the distribution of students and classrooms in relation to food vendors across campus and then reassign lecture halls based on class sizes, proximity to canteens and class location and timing.
Supporting Commercial Groups
Beyond educational pursuits, campuses are home to clinics, grocery stores, gift shops and food vendors, and the traffic trends revealed by video analysis software can be shared to help drive these business operations. Retailers, for example, can use video content analysis to maximize in-store layout and product placement, leveraging granular data about shopper movement and dwell times around displays and advertisements.
This same data can be used to optimally position concessions and merchandise stores throughout the campus grounds, so as to best attract visitors. From a property management perspective, the data provided by VCA systems, can also drive campus commercial divisions’ rental pricing for on-campus businesses based on qualitative, demonstrative intelligence: When renting or selling on-campus property, campuses can provide visibility into the potential ROI of each property, based on navigation patterns.
Organizing and Securing Events
Campuses often play host to mass events from political gatherings to sporting activities. Video surveillance is used by venues and stadiums to help security teams improve situational awareness and monitor the campus more effectively and efficiently. By using video analysis to understand trends, campus mass event organizers can also proactively plan for increased traffic, security threats and emergences.
Events often attract more visitors than typically circulate on campus. This means that campus traffic flows, parking availability, pedestrian navigation and even business throughput must be coordinated for the increase in activity, with sufficient staff to support it. With video analytic-powered face recognition, campuses also can monitor staff to ensure manpower is optimally distributed to serve the influx of people and prevent traffic bottlenecks and overcrowding. From directing traffic throughout the campus and parking lots to preventing long queues at food and gift pop ups, employees are critical to the positive guest experience campuses want to provide.
Face matching and detection is also critical for real-time security. With trend analysis and full situational awareness, video analytics enable campus security to detect suspicious behavior and prevent emergencies and public safety threats. When people go missing at large events on the campus, this same technology can be used to pinpoint them and reunite them with their parties. Facial recognition also can be used to detect known agitators who have appeared at past campus events. Campus law enforcement can assess and confirm a match, track the individual’s movements and, when deemed necessary, respond to threatening or suspicious behavior.
For expansive organizations with ever-growing needs, such as campuses and educational institutions, comprehensive video surveillance and analytics can be transformational. These organizations require the flexibility to scale, but often don’t realize that this can be achieved by augmenting existing solutions with complementary platforms – such as extensible video content analytics for traditional video surveillance integrations. By maximizing existing investments, organizations from vast campuses to sprawling cities to global enterprises can continue growing, while increasing safety, operational efficiency and business performance.
BriefCam is a proud recipient of Campus Security & Life Safety’s 2019 Secure Campus Award for video surveillance software. To learn more about how we’re providing transformational solutions to educational institutions worldwide, schedule a meeting with BriefCam at ISC West 2019.