Video Analytic's Greatest Value - Storage Reduction

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 07, 2008

While video analytic promotion focuses on stopping and solving crime, the greatest value for video analytics historically and for the immediate future is reducing the cost and amount of storage. This report analyzes the top 4 potential impacts of video analytics and explains why storage reduction is the most valueable.

Many disagree with the value in storage reduction.  For instance, Milestone recently claimed about analytics: ""It's a myth . . . to think that you're going to reduce what you send back over the Ethernet. You're going to need to have the full recording." Yesterday, Bosch agreed claiming the Milestone statement was "spot on."

Here are the central claims:

  • To date, video analytics has created the most value by enabling motion based video recording, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for security customers.
  • Video analytics for alerting is 'sexy' but very hard to deliver in production.
  • Video analytics for searching has limited customer value (certainly far smaller than alerting)
  • More advanced video analytics could reduce storage costs by more than 75%, savings hundreds of millions more for security customers.
  • The rise of megapixel cameras and the expansion of managed video as a service will drive the adoption of video analytics for greater storage reduction.

Motion based video recording is such an essential part of video management that most people, even myself, do not include it as a 'video analytic.' Usually the term is applied to more exciting uses like perimeter violation, abandoned object detection, loitering, facial recognition, etc.  Nonetheless, motion based video recording does analyze video to determine when to record.

Today's motion based video recording reduces storage consumption dramatically.  While it depends on level of activity in the monitored area, the reduction can easily by 50% to 80% per site which translates into $1,000 to $2,000 in savings for an individual office or store. This is especially valuable in most facilities where activity is generally modest during the day and non-existent during the night (office building, most stores, hospitals, etc). Multiply this by the hundreds of thousands of video recorders deployed and the economic impact is tremendous.  Most people use or should be using motion based recording, unless they are constrained by regulations or are a casino where slight of hand and incidents are basically continuous.

What's especially important is that motion based video recording can be implemented fairly easily and with minimal risk of problems.  Even the simple algorithms used today err on the side of caution and record even at the slightest hint of motion.  'False matches' in motion based video recording simply reduce storage savings. In my experience, you rarely if ever lose a valid incident with most based recording but you save significantly in storage costs.

Contrast this to real time alerting where 'false matches' create a major usability issue. So while the potential value of alerting is high, the value that can be achieved in production is questionable.  By contrast, with motion based video recording, you can almost always guarantee that as soon as you turn it on you are saving thousands of dollars per recorder.

Now, let's examine using video analytics for searching.  Dr. Bob at Bosch claims that he "personally find this feature to be invaluable". The value proposition is that a searcher can instantly scan through months of video to find exactly what they want.

In practice, though, using video analytics for search offers limited value.

  1. In security, the key is stopping or preventing incidents. Solving cases is necessary but far less valuable than eliminating an event. This is the opposite of information retrieval (e.g., Google searches) where most people want the best information regardless of time.
  2. In most first world countries, the number of investigations per camera is very low (crime is simply not that common relative to the number of cameras deployed). This limits the potential value because there just are not that many cases.
  3. Most cases can be solved by a simple time search or basic motion search (e.g., super simple, the burglar alarm went off at 2:22pm or still moderately simple, someone broke in last night between 11pm and 7 am).  Very few cases need specialized analytics to be solved.
  4. This results in very few cases that cannot be solved otherwise.  And of those cases, video analytic based search may be only able to solve a fraction of them.

This is not to say that video analytic driven search can never create value.  However, it is difficult and you should carefully assess such claims.

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

Conclusion - How Video Analytics Can Reduce Storage Costs Further

As valuable as motion based recording has been, 3 major opportunies exist for video analytics to reduce storage costs even futher:

  1. Today's motion based analytics still record a lot of non-motion activity.  More advanced motion based analytics could reduce storage costs even further. For instance, 3VR is already using analytics to selectively record only faces. Apply this same method to recording people, cars, license plates, etc. The result can be near infinite storage of the most valuable evidence at almost no cost.
  2. Megapixel cameras storage demands are exploding the cost of storage. H.264, as it matures will certainly help.  Motion based analytics can have an equal impact in making megapixel cameras affordable to mainstream users.
  3. Removing local storage offers significant economic benefits for customers.  To do so, either WAN bandwidth needs to cheapen significantly or video analytics need to reduce the amount of bandwidth needed.  Video analytics is the more likely choice and a key driver in making manged video a reality.

At the end of the day, storage is simply a tax on video surveillance users.  Security managers do not feel better by having more storage.  They would gladly do with less storage as long as they could get the same results.  This pattern is demonstrated by an almost constant desire by security managers to better optimize and reduce storage costs through numerous means.

The big DVR appliance companies certainly want to sell more storage (it's one of their key profit centers).  But the IP video surveillance software companies (ironically, companies like Milestone) should be motivated to cut storage costs.  All business should commoditize their compliments because it helps sell more of their own products.

I am hoping and watching to see how storage costs can be reduced further. It definitely can be done and security managers will invariably benefit from this.

 

2 reports cite this report:

Video Surveillance Market Size and Forecast Guide 2010 on Dec 13, 2009
This guide references and analyzes publicly announced forecasts and sizing for the video surveillance market. It should provide extensive...
Top 5 Problems in Video Surveillance Storage on Dec 20, 2008
Storage is one of the most confusing and debated aspects of video surveillance solutions. Continuously rising expectations for TV or HD quality...

Related Reports

Top 2019 Trend - AI Video Analytics on Dec 10, 2018
160+ Integrators answered: What do you think the top industry trend will be in 2019? Why? AI / video analytics was the run-away winner with...
Alarm.com "AI" Video Analytics Tested on Nov 30, 2018
Alarm.com has announced what it calls an "artificial intelligence (AI) architecture and video analytics service", touting that  Alarm.com's...
Vintra "AI-Powered" Video Analytics Startup Profile on Nov 27, 2018
Vintra is a Silicon Valley startup focused on AI-based video analytics. They had booths at IACP and ISC West demonstrating their hosted or...
Genetec Kiwi Intrusion Detector Analytics Tested on Nov 27, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Intrusion Detection analytics into Security Center, aiming to simplify deployment compared to separate camera...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2018 on Nov 26, 2018
This is the 5th year IPVM has tracked manufacturers gaining and losing: Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2014 Top Manufacturers Gaining and...
Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 / Movidius AI Test on Nov 21, 2018
AI is a major trend in video surveillance with manufacturers paying significant attention to Intel's Movidius Myriad chips. Indeed, Avigilon has...
Arcules Cloud VMS Tested on Nov 19, 2018
Arcules is a big bet, or as they describe themselves a 'bold company', spun out and backed by Milestone and Canon.  But how good is Arcules cloud...
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...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 10, 2018
The 300 page, 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covers the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Multi-Factor Access Control Authentication Guide on Dec 10, 2018
Can a stranger use your credentials? One of the oldest problems facing access control is making credentials as easy to use as keys, but restricting...
Top 2019 Trend - AI Video Analytics on Dec 10, 2018
160+ Integrators answered: What do you think the top industry trend will be in 2019? Why? AI / video analytics was the run-away winner with...
AV Tech Company Profile on Dec 07, 2018
Taiwanese manufacturer AV Tech's revenue declined ~70% since 2012. Planning a comeback, AV Tech spoke to IPVM about their opportunities and...
Ubiquiti $79 Flex IP Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2018
U.S. Manufacturer Ubiquiti has released a 1080p, integrated IR IP camera, selling it directly for $79, making this one of the least expensive IP...
Infinova's Xinjiang Business Examined on Dec 07, 2018
As pressure mounts for companies to stop doing business in China’s Xinjiang region amid a severe human rights crisis, IPVM has found Infinova sold...
Akuvox Intercom Profile on Dec 06, 2018
Akuvox, a Chinese manufacturer of VoIP products, is expanding heavily into Video Intercom products with disruptive pricing targeted for commercial...
Sublethal Camera Gun Examined on Dec 06, 2018
Sublethal is a South African company that manufactures a remotely-controlled, camera-enabled gun called the Boomslang, which is Afrikaans for tree...
UK ICO Denies IPVM GDPR Complaint Against IFSEC, Decides Each Exhibitor Responsible on Dec 06, 2018
The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has denied IPVM's complaint against IFSEC for misuse of facial recognition. Each Exhibitor...
VMS Live Monitoring Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix on Dec 05, 2018
Viewing live video is the first interaction and most common task most users have with a VMS. Who does it best and worst? Who offers the most...

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