Is Analytics Still in its Infancy?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 19, 2010

The security industry has gotten to the point where direct criticisms of video analytics is commonplace. As we examined in March 2010, numerous security magazines openly criticize analytics. As such, it should not be a surprise that a Sept 2010 article claims that video analytics is "still in its infancy" and that "baby steps" are needed first. On the other hand, given that video analytics have been commercially available for more than 5 years, it is hardly an 'infant.'

The article does have a bullish tone yet notes that:

  • Camera angles can cause problems
  • Objects too close and too far can cause problems
  • Low light levels cause problems
  • Abrupt changes in light cause problems
  • Higher activity in scene causes problems
  • Weather causes problems
  • Windows that look out onto bad weather causes problems
  • Changes in scene background causes problems

As a general statement, we agree with all of these concerns. We do find it puzzling that the author does not see this as a greater practical problem. It is as if someone said they wanted to sell you a car that breaks down when exposed to sunlight, rain, going too slow or fast, traffic, etc. It's not terribly practical and not surprising why users have stayed away.

This noted, we do not believe that video analytics are in their infancy. If we are using human metaphors, 'teenager' is more apropos.

The big short term problem is that investments into analytics and analytic product development has fallen pretty significantly over the last few years. Given its poor market performance, this is understandable but if analytics are to mature into 'adulthood' it will need more investment.

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