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

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...
PureTech Video Analytics Examined on Apr 21, 2017
PureTech's analytics were chosen for a US border protection system (see related post), which the company claims no other analytics vendor was able...
US Border RVSS / Video Analytics System Examined on Apr 21, 2017
US Customs and Border Protection has been rolling out a video analytics-based detection system along the US/Mexico border, with detection ranges...
Best and Worst - ISC West 2017 Show Report on Apr 10, 2017
IPVM went to Las Vegas, examining what vendors are showcasing and what is new. Attendance was up, according to the show, and was certainly well...
Deep Science - Active Threat Cloud Monitoring Startup on Apr 03, 2017
Deep learning for $2 a day for a system that automatically detects guns and masks, alerting the police to robberies and threats? A US startup is...
ObjectVideo Acquired by Alarm.com on Mar 14, 2017
Once potentially the most recognized name in video analytics, ObjectVideo has effectively been sold for pieces. Alarm.com has now acquired what...
Hikvision People Counting Tested on Mar 09, 2017
People counting has historically been a difficult task, requiring specialized cameras, expensive software, and careful camera placement. But in the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision H.265+ Bullet Tested (2035) on Jul 24, 2017
Continuing our tests of Hikvision's new low cost Value Plus line, we bought and tested the 3MP DS-2CD2035FWD-I, now including H.265+. We shot the...
Sports Stadium Security Design Recommendations on Jul 24, 2017
Sports stadiums pose many challenges for designing security systems. The facilities vary from being mostly vacant, to packed with tens of thousands...
Competing Against Convergint on Jul 24, 2017
No integrator is more aggressively expanding than Convergint Technologies. Owned and funded by private equity firm KRG, Convergint has acquired...
Security Robots Are Just Entertainment on Jul 21, 2017
Great entertainment, no real security value.  That is the happy (or sad) state of security robots in 2017. Knightscope robot's drowning, the...
Wireless Burglar Alarm Sensors Guide on Jul 21, 2017
Wireless sensors for burglar alarm sensors are an increasingly common option for the historical labor intensive wired alarm systems. However,...
Competing Against ADT on Jul 20, 2017
ADT is one of the biggest players in the security industry, with ~$4 billion revenue. In 2017, they were acquired / merged with Protection...
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...
PR Campaign Exploiting Manufacturer Cybersecurity on Jul 20, 2017
Manufacturers increasingly have a bulls-eye on their back. As cyber security solutions providers grow, they realize a great way to get publicity...
Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We bought and tested...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide on Jul 19, 2017
This 120 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our 20 manufacturer favorability rankings and 20 manufacturer...

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