Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
June 27th, 2017

How quality of video analytics impacts quality of life in Smart Cities

This blog was originally posted by our partner Genetec at 

Too often when we think about video analytics applications, we immediately jump to how video data can optimize security. With the transition from analog to IP video systems and dramatic improvement in video quality, insights derived from video are becoming invaluable for urban development and planning, and access to video analytics is fast becoming a key competitive differentiator for cities moving forward.

Smart Cities are ones that utilize video data to improve residents’ quality of life, optimize municipal operations and, of course, secure the environment. Cities require an easy way of measuring the efficacy of public infrastructure, transportation services, and urban landscape. While the value of video surveillance is clear, often cities cannot capitalize on their investment in video, because they lack the tools to take advantage of the huge amount of video data collected.

A real competitive edge for Smart Cities is the ability to review volumes of video quickly, gain a full scene understanding, analyze both moving objects and background, classify objects, investigate interactions between objects, categorize behavior of objects, and on top of it all, generate statistical information.

Delivering the promise of video analytics

Video analytics based on Video Synopsis® enables reviewing hours of video in just minutes, converting large amounts of video data into useful information that cities can effectively act upon. By accelerating the monitoring of city operations, municipalities can oversee processes, evaluate them and deploy more efficient solutions to increase resident satisfaction and attract new residents to the city.

It is clear that video surveillance is an essential component of any Smart City strategy, but how is the extracted data used, in practice, to improve the quality of life within these cities?

One major application is security. Collectively, crime, vandalism, and noncompliance with city regulations can negatively impact the day-to-day experience of living in an urban setting. With the proper tools and data resources, cities can optimize their daily operations while providing a safe environment, by:

  • Accelerating response time
  • Detecting loitering and trespassing
  • Minimizing vandalization of public spaces
  • Controlling and monitoring crowds
  • Managing events proactively

From safe to smart

Video is the richest sensor in a city environment and by leveraging its rich content cities can transition from safe to smart. Video data can be used for optimizing municipal operations, providing insight for predictive city management and enabling several practical applications.

For instance, the city can monitor vehicular traffic and easily note where and when congestion occurs. Armed with this information, the city could design more efficient traffic patterns, plan to expand high-traffic roads or even increase public transport options.

With proactive video analytics, cities can monitor and enforce additional services, such as public parking, to easily see where parking is available and whether residents are breaking parking regulations. They can quickly learn when cars are moving in restricted directions or evaluate heat maps to see where garbage is being disposed improperly.

The city can also provide useful data to its main stakeholders, such as large enterprises, hospitals, and universities, to help streamline their operations as part of increasing city-wide efficiency and efficacy. The combined effect of these small details can have an impact on overall quality of life for residents, and the ability to proactively prevent them and respond to them is critical for Smart Cities.

The growing need for reliable video analytics solutions that add value beyond security transcends industries, verticals, and geographies. And as the use of GPU expands, advancing deep learning analysis, data can more effectively be analyzed at a lower cost. These developments will progress video analytics capabilities to new heights, with data aggregation enabling the prediction of future activity and potential threats, truly delivering the long-awaited promise of big data in the video space for Smart Cities and beyond.

To learn more about the integration of BriefCam Video Synopsis technology within the Genetec Security Center unified platform, read Genetec’s partner tech note.