Using Video Analytics for Building Automation

By: 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 Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

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.

Related Reports

Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going...
The Future of H.266 For Video Surveillance Examined on Aug 17, 2020
First H.264, now H.265, is H.266 next? H.266 was recently announced amid...
Verkada Speaks On Disrupting Security Sales Channel on Aug 28, 2020
Verkada's fast growth has taken the industry by storm and their enterprise...
Dedicated Vs Converged IP Video Networks Statistics 2020 on Sep 10, 2020
Running one's video system on a converged network with other devices can save...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
Verkada Access Control Tested on Sep 09, 2020
Verkada raised $80 million earlier in 2020, expanding from video into access...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used...
Cisco Meraki Unlocks IP Cameras With RTSP Tested on Jul 06, 2020
Meraki opened up its cameras to 3rd party NVRs/VMSes by offering RTSP...
Video Surveillance Business 101 on Mar 30, 2020
This report explains the fundamental elements of the video surveillance...
Indoor Robotics Presents Tando Aerial Drones on May 20, 2020
Indoor Robotics presented Tando indoor autonomous drones at the May 2020 IPVM...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Embedded Logix Thermal Temperature Detection System Examined on Apr 08, 2020
Embedded Logix has been producing thermal temperature measurement systems for...
Low Voltage Nation Wants to "Help You Carve Out A Fulfilling Career" Interviewed on Jul 06, 2020
It is difficult to make your way in this industry as there is little formal...

Recent Reports

Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
Today is your last chance to save $50 on registration for the Fall 2020 Video...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...