Using Video Analytics for Building Automation

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 13, 2008

Using video analytics beyond security may be the most important trend in video analytics.  While marketing and business intelligence applications have received the most attention to date, a growing interest exists in using video analytics for building automation.

ObjectVideo is the most vocal proponent of using video analytics beyond security.  Today, they released a brochure overviewing the business case for building automation. This report examines their positioning and explores the potential for this.

Benefit of Video Analytics for Building Automation

The core benefit claimed is that video analytics does a better job identifying when no one is occupying an area so that electricity and other utility use can be minimized. The ObjectVideo brochure focuses on the electricity reduction, estimating that the use of video analytics can save $1,100 USD per year in a 20,000 sqft facility by being more accurate than conventional motion sensors.

Can it Work?

One of the strongest benefits of video analytics in non-security areas is that the demand for accuracy is lower.  Using analytics for perimeter violation demands near perfect levels of accuracy.  However, for people counting or lighting regulation, 95% or 97% can provide material benefits.  Plus, these applications are indoors, far easier to achieve good results than the common fenceline deployment.

What's the business value?

The electricity benefits seem modest but material.  Let's take the $1,100 figure (OV uses $0.08kWh USD which is actually low given electricity prices in many places). Since this is for 20,000 sqft, you will need a number of cameras to achieve this.  It obviously depends on the layout of the building but I would estimate 10 to 20.  That results in savings per camera of $50 to $100 per year. However, if the layout has lots of open spaces (like a warehouse), the savings could be significantly more.

Because the savings are modest relative to the cost of the camera, you would need to use the building automation savings as part of a comprehensive package of benefits that video analytics can provide. The savings are not significant enough to deploy cameras by themselves.  This should not be a big problem because most facilities use a fair number of indoor cameras today.

ObjectVideo spoke with me and is promoting the use of low cost sensors that incorporate their video analytics.  To the extent that sensors (non video, like a motion sensor) are used, the cost could drop dramatically relative to using cameras.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

How Can I Make this work?

  • You need to run the analytics on the video.  This means either smart cameras or running this on a server (if you have existing analog or dumb IP cameras).
  • The video analytics system will need to be capable of sending messages indicating when activity has both started and stopped.
  • You need to send messages from the camera to the building automation system.  This will likely take time for different systems to add support for OV or other companies that might offer this.
  • You do not necessarily need any intervention from your video management system.

What Does this Say About the Future?

While I think this while take a few years to reach common usage, this is a good indicator of the multi-functional world that video analytics will evolve to in the next few years.  To the extent that video analytics can provide modest but real benefits to a number of business activities, the stronger the case will be for the technology.  It will also simultaneously help to reducethe concerns many have in its use for security.

What do you think about using video analytics for non-security uses like building automation?

Related Reports on Video Analytics

Top 2017 Trends - Cyber and Analytics on Nov 09, 2017
The 2 clear top 2017 trends, according to IPVM integrator statistics are: Cyber Security Video Analytics This is a change from 2016...
Deep Learning Tutorial For Video Surveillance on Oct 17, 2017
Deep learning is a growing buzzword within physical security and video surveillance. But what is 'deep learning'? In this tutorial, we explain...
Startup Turing Video Segway-Based Security Robot Profile on Sep 13, 2017
If security robots can not replace guards, perhaps the next best thing is a robot the guard can actually ride.  Turing Video has raised $5...
BBC Featured Deep Learning Face Recognition Analyzed (Digital Barriers) on Aug 30, 2017
The UK's largest broadcaster, BBC, recently featured Digital Barriers (also based in the UK) on a segment highlighting face recognition technology....
Nvidia For Video Surveillance Examined on Aug 23, 2017
Nvidia is making a big push into the security market, claiming more than 50 partners, investing heavily in industry events, positioning their GPUs...
Healthy Skepticism for Deep Learning Is Prudent on Jul 26, 2017
The hype for deep learning in video surveillance is accelerating. Between the race to the bottom and dearth of a 'next big thing', certainly pent...
Hikvision Launching Deep Learning Recorders on Jul 20, 2017
Hikvision has become a common choice for super low cost NVRs. Now, Hikvision is aiming to move up market, with deep learning NVRs that claim far...
Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...
Deep Learning Surveillance Startups Deep Problem on Jun 23, 2017
The undeniably good news for the video surveillance market is that we are seeing the rise of more startups than in many years. The cause of this...
Avigilon Announces RADAR-Based Presence Detector on Jun 22, 2017
RADAR is gaining momentum within physical security. Two months after Axis announced a network radar detector, Avigilon has announced a RADAR-Based...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Dahua Hard-Coded Credentials Vulnerability on Nov 20, 2017
A newly discovered Dahua backdoor is described by the researcher discovering it as: not the result of an accidental logic error or poor...
Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
PoE UPS Tested (Energy Reconnect) on Nov 15, 2017
In security, backup power is important, but most often requires UPS systems or extra cabling to devices for low voltage power. Now, some have...
Axis Commits To Long-Term Firmware Support on Nov 15, 2017
With the rise of cyber security awareness, and a general increase in hardware reliability, "software warranties" may prove more valuable than...

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