Do Video Analytics Work?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 01, 2008

Manufacturers say video analytics work.  Customers and integrators often say they do not.  Are manufacturers simply lying? Are customers simply uninformed? Who is right and why does this gap exist?

Key Points

  • What works is always relative to what one wants to do
  • For some applications, some video analytics work well
  • In general, most manufacturers overestimate how well analytics work relative to what customers require
  • This results in low customer referrals and repeat business
  • Market projections and expectations fail to be met

At the heart of this matter lies a deep truth that underlines and impacts the introduction of new technologies.

Manufacturers generally have a significantly lower standard for determining what works than customers or integrators.  This is not an accident yet it is generally not an issue of malice.  Most manufactures, especially at the senior management level, possess little domain knowledge, resulting in routine underestimation of the needs of their customers.

So when the question of "Does it work?" arise, manufacturers are generally willing to answer affirmitively if a product can withstand basic demonstrations and tests.  To the contrary, a security manager, with very detailed and specific circumstances to address, generally demands far higher and more particular standards.

Take for example, perimeter violation.  A manufacturer might assess the analytic to work if a person crosses the perimeter and an alarm is generated.  However, a security manager may demand that the analytic generate no more than 3 false alarms per day even if 10 cameras are being used.  The security manager may also demand if face a variety of weather and lighting conditions.

This contrast struck me as I interviewed more than 100 industry professionals over the last 3 months, including a dozen video analytic manufacturers.  The consistent theme I heard from the manufacturers were that their analytics did work (many went so far as to say their analytics required no configuration - a claim that rarely is achievable in the field).  The question then arose to me, "Am I being lied to or do these people truly believe this?"

I believe that most truly believed what they were saying but that their positions reflect a lack of experience in real world security operations.  The average manufacturer comes from a background in promotion (i.e., marketing) or development (i.e., CS or EE).  I rarely talked to individuals with any experience in security integration or security management.  Most companies do have people with security background but they are usually in field sales or services roles and have minor influence in product design decisions.

ASIS is soon and we will inevitably be faced with the question of "What video analytics do work?"  Bosch has already announced that it will again run its misleading video analytics demo that I critiqued a few months ago (true challenge for video analytics). Unfortunately, it seems that the show will encourage shallow and risky portrayals of what makes video analytics work.

Nonetheless, I am encouraged by an increasing number of public case studies of video analytics (including Phoenix IVS for public schools and ioimage's for the Israel legislature). If your analytics work, prove it with public case studies that security managers can verify.  This is a far healthier and better way for the industry to evolve than to continue to rely on shallow demos. Feel free to reference other case studies available online in the comments.

1 report cite this report:

City Wide Mesh Wireless and Analytic Claims Examined on Nov 02, 2009
At a recent ISC West panel discussion, presenters discussed the strength of video analytics technology being able to mimic the self forming, self...

Related Reports

False Advertising: Hikvision USA Deep Learning on Feb 23, 2018
Hikvision USA is conducting a false advertising marketing campaign for their deep learning system. Hikvision USA's claim violates US FTC Truth In...
Directory of 30+ LPR / ANPR Providers on Feb 21, 2018
License Plate Recognition / Automatic Number Plate Recognition are a type of video analytics software that can identify and match license / number...
Hikvision DeepInMind Tested Terribly on Feb 15, 2018
While Hikvision is heavily marketing deep learning and 'AI' as their next big thing, new IPVM test results of their DeepInMind NVR shows their deep...
Favorite NVR / VMS Manufacturers 2018 on Feb 12, 2018
There is a new integrator favorite VMS. In 2016, 2 VMSes were effectively tied for top choice. One of those VMSes favorability was stable while...
Motorola Targets Chinese With Avigilon Acquisition on Feb 09, 2018
Motorola joins the growing list of companies taking aim at Chinese manufacturers. Recall, last week it was Hanwha: Chinese Products Damaged...
Top ISC West 2018 Booth Moves on Jan 23, 2018
ISC West spending frequently signals market expansion and trend shifts. In 2016, the surge of Chinese exhibitors underscored the race to the...
Directory Of 92 Video Analytics Suppliers on Jan 04, 2018
This directory provides a list of video analytics providers to help you see and research what options are available. Video...
2018 Top Sales Interest For Integrators on Dec 20, 2017
130+ integrators answered: This is a key question, especially for manufacturers, as it impacts what areas to focus more on and what...
Failed Retail Video Analytics Startup Analyzed on Dec 19, 2017
Most manufacturers in this industry try hard to cover up failure. But an industry startup backed by Silicon Valley's most prestigious accelerator...
Axis Network Radar Tested (D2050-VE) on Dec 19, 2017
Axis is expanding into a new market - radar. The company has released their D2050-VE Network Radar Detector, claiming to minimize false alarms, in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

False Advertising: Hikvision USA Deep Learning on Feb 23, 2018
Hikvision USA is conducting a false advertising marketing campaign for their deep learning system. Hikvision USA's claim violates US FTC Truth In...
Favorite Integrator Sales Quote Software (Statistics) on Feb 23, 2018
What application do integrators use the most to issue sales quotes? Nothing? Spreadsheet? MS Project? Online software? Of the many offerings out...
Aruba Networks Profile on Feb 22, 2018
Aruba Networks' presence in the video surveillance market has historically been limited. With a company focus on Wi-Fi first and switching...
US Army Base Specifies 70+ Outdated Hikvision Cameras on Feb 22, 2018
A US Army base has specified 70+ Hikvision IP cameras, a month after the WSJ reported a different Army base removed Hikvision IP cameras. While...
Directory of 30+ LPR / ANPR Providers on Feb 21, 2018
License Plate Recognition / Automatic Number Plate Recognition are a type of video analytics software that can identify and match license / number...
New Whole Foods Installs Hackable Access Control on Feb 21, 2018
Whole Foods has built a reputation for high quality. And their 2017 Amazon acquisition has increased that, plus added deep pockets for buying...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 21, 2018
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2018, with more and more users relying on mobile apps as their main way of operating the system....
Visio For Video Surveillance Design on Feb 20, 2018
Many integrators have standardized on AutoCAD for camera layouts but new users may be overwhelmed by its learning curve. Microsoft's Visio...
Health Care Insurance Integrator Benefits Statistics on Feb 20, 2018
How common and how much healthcare coverage is typically provided by security companies? 150+ integrators explained how their companies provide the...
Hikvision Deletes Genetec Support on Feb 20, 2018
There will be no peace between Hikvision and Genetec. A year after Genetec expelled Hikvision (and Huawei, citing Chinese government control...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact