Emza Video Analytics for Remote Site Monitoring

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 05, 2009

Emza offers a remote site intrusion detection solution by applying video analytics in a very specific and optimized manner for the application. Remote sites like substations and water plants contain valuable resources yet are routinely unguarded and have limited communication infrastructure. A traditional video surveillance solution may be significantly expensive ($10,000 USD or more) while requiring significant bandwidth to access video streams.

 

Video Analytics Sensor - Not Traditional Surveillance Camera

 

What's interesting about Emza is that it is a video analytics sensor that sends image but is not a regular surveillance camera. The sensor can send stream JPEG images on demand and based on events detected by the on-board video analytics. However, it is not a typical surveillance camera that uses H.264 or MPEG-4, etc.

 

Benefits for Remote Site Monitoring

 

This design decision makes Emza less expensive, simpler and easier for deployment in remote sites for intrusion detection. Compared to smart cameras such as ioimage, Emza is up to 70% less expensive. Unlike many other lower cost video analytics (e.g, via:sys), Emza's analytics are built-in and optimized for its own hardware. Finally, for low speed networks at remote sites, sending only images is optimal.

 

Limitations on Emza's Application

 

Emza is not a general replacement for surveillance cameras with video analytics; Emza is instead optimized around identifying and recording intrusions, not people counting nor abandoned objects. If you need to record ongoing daily events for later investigations and are willing to spend additional money for recorders, networking infrastructure, etc., a traditional surveillance camera is more appropriate. Similarly, if you have existing cameras deployed, you may find it more economical to add video analytics to those cameras.

 

Product Test Results

 

I conducted an in-house product test of the Emza sensors. Here are our key findings:

  • The sensors require basic optimization. Optimization is accomplished by adjusting a few basic parameters  including depth, areas to alert and areas to exclude. Accomplishing this does require knowledge and some hands-on experience. However, it does not require complex configuration. (As a side note, I am deeply skeptical of any system that requires no configuration and consider moderate GUI driven configurations to be the current state of the art in video analytics).
  • The sensors generated only a handful of false alerts over a one week period. The sensor was able to detect events over 100 yards away consistently.  This included two periods of moderate rainfall as well as night time with street lights.
  • I did not have any periods where the sensors consistently triggered false alerts (a common problem within video analytics).
  • I was not able to test the unit in snow, heavy rain or zero light conditions. Also, the period of the test does not allow me to tell whether seasonal changes would eventually require tuning. [Emza says this is not necessary but I cannot verify]

Designing Systems Using Emza

Emza sensors communicate with a management server that record events and alarms. The management server can be deployed on-site with the sensor or at a central location. The advantage of deploying the management server locally to the sensors is that the alarms will be recorded even if network communications is temporarily lost. The disadvantage is the cost of deploying the management servers at different sites.

For monitoring, Emza offers a web browser application and a thick client. Central/remote operators can monitor and respond to alarms from either of these options. Emza is not currently integrated with any video management systems or central station software so the alarm would have to be monitored independently. Some organizations require integration with existing software so you should clearly assess this factor.

Conclusion

Targeting a niche application is a promising path for video analytics providers. Remote sites are some of the toughest and most common problems for security system designers. Emza offers a valuable option for lower cost, higher accuracy remote notification and visual verification.

Related Reports

Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...
Kogniz Silicon Valley AI Startup Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Kogniz is a Silicon Valley company that aims to bring AI analytics to security and surveillance, centering on their own smart cameras: We spoke...
Avigilon Opens Up Analytics And Cameras on Nov 06, 2018
Avigilon is opening up. The company historically famous for advocating its own end-to-end solutions and making it harder for 3rd parties to...
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Directory of Access Control and Intrusion Startups on Oct 30, 2018
This directory catalogs access control and intrusion detection startups IPVM has found noteworthy. The directory is provided for your review to...
ADT Acquires Red Hawk, Becomes Billion Dollar Commercial Business on Oct 25, 2018
With its ~7th commercial acquisition in the past year, ADT is transforming itself from a residential provider to a commercial player with now more...
ADT and Brinks Home Security Struggles Impact On Industry Examined on Oct 23, 2018
ADT and Brinks Home Security have both been struggling over the last year. ADT valuation is 50%+ less than their IPO target. Brinks Home Security,...
Huawei Admits AI "Bubble" on Oct 16, 2018
A fascinating article from the Chinese government's Global Times: Huawei’s AI ambition to reshape industries. While the Global Times talks about...
Dahua Face Recognition Camera Tested on Oct 15, 2018
Dahua has been one of the industry's most vocal proponents of the value that AI creates: As part of this, Dahua has released a facial...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

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