Video Analytics and Its Application in Home Security

Video analytics began in the 1970s, with simple VCR recorders. This technology allowed companies to record video camera feeds and analyze them at a future date. However, it was only when AI (artificial intelligence) was developed to a certain level that video analytics became extremely powerful. Fast forward to today, and almost all top home security systems utilize video analytics. With home analytics homeowners are able to fine-tune their security system according to previous situations and events. Despite how powerful this technology can be, many homeowners are not as informed about it as they need to be. That is why this article is going to explain exactly what video analytics is and what role it plays in home security systems. We will also provide you with some important considerations when selecting a video-analytics-capable security system, as well as some of its potential drawbacks.

What is Video Analytics?

Video analytics is a powerful technology that allows computers to analyze and interpret video content in real time. It involves the use of sophisticated algorithms and machine learning techniques to detect, track, and classify objects and events within a video stream. Think of it as a brain for your video surveillance system. Just as your brain processes and interprets sensory information, video analytics can help your surveillance system make sense of what’s happening in the footage it captures. This makes video analytics-capable home security systems extremely useful if you want to secure your home while on vacation, as the technology will monitor your home while you are away. Think of it┬álike having a virtual security guard that’s always on duty, constantly scanning the video feed for any suspicious activity or unusual behavior.

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There are three types of video analytics:

  • Artificial Intelligence learning algorithms
  • Facial recognition
  • Fixed algorithm analytics
image of a brain, representing video analytics
You can think of video analytics as the brain behind your security system.

Artificial Intelligence learning algorithms

This type relies on the AI “learning on the job” through being connected to the camera system over a period of several weeks. Throughout this period, the AI will learn what is constituted to be normal behavior and what is not. One common application of AI learning algorithms is when you want to improve home security after moving to a new home, for example. After the learning period is complete, the system is capable of identifying threats based on unusual behavior.

Facial recognition

The second type of video analytics, facial recognition, works by matching particular “face points” with samples from a database. If no match can be found, the system will create a new record that it can access on subsequent events. This can be quite important when it comes to securing your backyard from intruders, as the system will trigger an alarm as soon as it detects someone whose face it does not recognize. Furthermore, this analytics type is also capable of faceless recognition, where the system will characterize individuals based on their build, posture, and height, making it easier to identify individuals in a crowd.

Fixed algorithm analytics

While both of the two previous types rely on learning, fixed algorithm analytics rely on looking for specific behavior. You can set the system in a way that triggers alarms whenever someone does something that is not within the expected behavior parameters. An example of this includes someone moving in the wrong direction, someone picking or dropping an object, or someone that loiters for too long. Many homeowners choose to utilize fixed algorithm analytics to improve neighborhood safety, as most neighborhoods have static behavior outside of threats.

With video analytics, you can automatically detect and alert on events such as people loitering, vehicles stopping in no-parking zones, or even potential security threats. In a way, video analytics is like the Sherlock Holmes of surveillance technology. It sifts through vast amounts of data, looking for clues and patterns that can help solve a crime or prevent one from happening in the first place. However, this technology requires quite a bit of technical know-how to set up properly. Luckily, you can always rely on professionals to set up your video analytics for you. Even so, homeowners will benefit from increased knowledge about the inner workings of this technology, as that will allow them to customize the security system to changing circumstances.

hexagonal windows
Fixed algorithm analytics is all about identifying patterns.

Overall, video analytics is an extremely useful tool for any homeowner that wants to monitor and protect their home to the fullest. By leveraging the power of machine learning and AI, video analytics can help homeowners make smarter decisions and stay one step ahead of potential threats.

Video Analytics in home security

Video analytics can be a powerful tool for home security, allowing homeowners to monitor their property and detect potential threats more effectively. With video analytics, cameras can be programmed to analyze footage and identify specific types of activity, such as motion, people, or vehicles. This can enable the system to detect and alert the homeowner of suspicious behavior or activity. If you are looking to improve your home security, installing video analytics capability in your home security system might be the best idea. That said, before you choose to do so, you might want to consider the benefits of video analytics and compare them with potential drawbacks.

Benefits of video analytics

The most notable benefits of video analytics include:

  • Motion detection
  • Facial recognition
  • Object detection
  • Perimeter security
  • Smart alerts

Which features you choose to implement will depend on your specific circumstances. In other words, before you start adding video analytics to your home security system, you might want to consider home burglary statistics. Otherwise, you may be adding expensive features that might not help improve the security of your home. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what these benefits entail.

Motion detection

Video analytics can be used to detect motion and alert the homeowner if there is any movement within a specific area of the property, such as the front yard or driveway. Of course, this technology needs to be coupled with motion detection cameras and alarms, somewhat increasing the overall cost of the system.

blurred image of a person
Motion detection analytics analyze irregular movements.

Facial recognition

When coupled with cameras equipped with facial recognition technology, video analytics can identify known individuals and alert the homeowner if an unknown person is detected. In fact, facial recognition capability is one of the notable upcoming home security trends, due to the fact that facial recognition-capable cameras are cheaper than ever.

Object detection

Video analytics can identify specific objects, such as a package left at the front door, and alert the homeowner when it is delivered. Needless to say, this is a highly-sought after feature, as most people utilize package-delivering services in the aftermath of COVID-19. If you combine object detection with facial recognition features, it is possible to identify individuals and provide valuable information to law enforcement agencies, further increasing the security of your home and neighborhood.

Perimeter security

Video analytics can be used to monitor the perimeter of the property and detect any breaches, such as someone jumping over a fence or entering the property through an unauthorized access point. While this may not be a great way to burglar proof your home on a budget, it represents a considerable increase in your home security. Furthermore, perimeter security features may have an effect on lowering your home insurance premiums.

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Smart alerts

Another great benefit of video analytics is the fact that it can be used to generate alerts based on specific criteria, such as the detection of a person or vehicle within a designated zone. As you might imagine, this can be extremely beneficial when it comes to home security.

person in a parking lot
Smart alerts will trigger based on pre-set parameters.

Potential drawbacks

Even though video analytics has the potential to enhance your home security system, there are some potential drawbacks, as well. They include:

  • False alarms – Video analytics may trigger false alarms due to factors such as changes in lighting, shadows, or even animals passing by. It’s important to fine-tune the system and adjust sensitivity levels to minimize false alarms.
  • Privacy concerns – This technology can potentially collect personal data, such as facial recognition data, and raise privacy concerns. Homeowners should ensure that their system is compliant with relevant privacy laws and regulations and take steps to secure their system against potential hacks or breaches.
  • Cost – Video analytics-enabled security systems can be more expensive than traditional security systems and may require additional hardware or software. It’s important to assess the cost/benefit of the technology and ensure it fits within your budget.
  • Technical expertise requirement – Setting up and fine-tuning video analytics systems may require technical expertise. Homeowners should consider consulting with a professional installer to ensure the system is set up correctly and functions optimally.

Important considerations when selecting a video analytics-enabled home security system

As you can see, there is quite a bit to consider before installing a video analytics-capable system. With that in mind, here are the things that you will want to focus on the most:

  • Camera quality
  • Analytics capabilities
  • User-friendliness
  • Remote access
  • Customer support

Camera quality

High-quality cameras are essential for effective video analytics. Look for cameras with features such as high resolution, night vision, and a wide field of view. While you can mix and match cameras, it might be a good idea to purchase cameras of the same make and brand. That way, you will avoid any potential incompatibility issues.

camera with video analytics capability
Camera quality is extremely important.

Analytics capabilities

Not all video analytics systems are created equal. Look for a system that offers the specific capabilities you need, such as motion detection, facial recognition, or object detection. While you can definitely purchase a system that has all the possible features, it is not smart to purchase features that you will never use. Remember, video analytics can get quite costly as additional features may require specific software or hardware.

User-friendliness

The system should be easy to use and configure, with an intuitive interface and clear instructions. Therefore, before you purchase the system, you may want to “fiddle” with the settings and see if you can get the effect that you want with minimal hassle. Furthermore, you may want to look at previous system updates, as that may provide you with additional information on how your analytics provider improves the user experience over time.

Remote access

Many video analytics systems offer remote access, allowing homeowners to monitor their property from anywhere with an internet connection. Look for a system with a reliable mobile app or web portal. Luckily, almost every single home security system that has analytics capability will offer this function. However, some systems may remove the remote access functionality from their basic plans. Something to be definitely aware of, at least.

person using a mobile phone
You want to be able to control your home security system from anywhere.

Customer support

In the event that something goes wrong with the system, it’s important to have access to reliable customer support. Look for a provider with good reviews and a track record of responsive customer service. This is, perhaps, the most important consideration. Chances are that you are going to need help and support, at least in the initial stages of using the system. Your customer support will, therefore, dictate much of your user experience.

Overall, video analytics can be a valuable tool for enhancing home security, providing real-time alerts, and enabling more efficient monitoring of the property. By carefully selecting the right system and addressing any privacy or technical concerns, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of this technology while keeping their property and personal data secure. While you may need to learn some new things in the process and spend a bit more money, your home security will be better than ever once you incorporate video analytics.

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For more information on everything that concerns home security, feel free to browse and explore the rest of the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our expert articles will provide you with up-to-date information on how to make your home as secure as possible!

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