While most businesses in the UK have some kind of security system set up, these are still fairly basic at least when it comes to analysing the footage recorded by the company’s CCTV cameras. Even though most modern systems have motion detectors within their cameras, this can still result in hundreds of hours recorded per month. All this data has to be dealt with in the right manner to get the most out of the commercial security system installed.
Our Current Methods
These days, footage is sent back to a DVR or PC where it is stored and later looked at. For larger companies, this will all be sent off to a central facility where the footage will sit, untouched, on their servers until a day when it is finally needed.
The problem with this process is that this footage takes up a lot of hard disk space. This is especially true since the video taken must be of sufficiently high quality so as to make out exactly what has happened, who was involved and what the results were.
In some cases, we’re storing this footage for even less than that. Businesses can utilise their CCTV footage to determine when someone entered a certain zone, how long they stayed for, etc. Again, this is an awful lot of data to be stored without really being worth it in terms of information being provided.
A Brighter Future
Fortunately, technology is being developed to help us deal with this flood of data in a more efficient manner. Instead of sending the raw CCTV footage from our office security systems to the central facility, the cameras themselves can analyse the data at the source. With smart programming, we can train these devices to record the following information about the important parts of the video being taken:
What time did the person enter the shot?
Which way were they facing?
Were they standing, sitting or lying down?
Where did they move to afterwards?
As you can see, these details take up a smaller amount of data than raw footage while still supplying a great deal of information about what happened onsite. While this probably won’t be useful for legal proceedings after break-ins, industrial espionage, etc., what it is good for is commercial research and development.
Analyzing the Data
Once the smart chips have gathered these snippets of information, they can then be sent to the central processing facility where they can be stored and analysed without taking up hundreds of terabytes of space. They can also be used to measure staff or customer movement throughout the premises without infringing on the privacy of these individuals. In this way, the company can gather information about trends in their business and save themselves a lot of hassle with regards to both digital storage space and the confidentiality of their employees and clients. With the advancement of smarter CCTV cameras, this type of technology should be seen within businesses all over the world within the next few years.