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IoT and Video Provide Real Benefits For Now and The Future

Written by  Guest Contributor: Sam Marks - IoT Expert Feb 07, 2020

According to a recent report published by Gartner, there will be 5.8 billion enterprise and automotive Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints in use by 2020, which represents a 21 percent increase over 2019.

Of these endpoints, the research firm forecasts that more than 20 percent will consist of physical security devices, which include video surveillance cameras that have always been a big player in the market of installed connected products worldwide.

High-definition IP video equipment is readily available and affordable these days, that have developed in leaps and bounds in recent years.

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Todays World of Video Intelligence

Probably the main selling point of IP cameras today, is the level of intelligence that organisations can gain from their use, which simply wouldn’t be possible without the IoT architecture in which they are now deployed. Facial recognition may be a controversial at the moment with serious privacy concerns, there are a myriad benefits of contemporary video surveillance technology. Networks of cameras can be leveraged by organisations for a wide range of applications, security and otherwise.

While the primary purpose of most camera deployments remains after the event analysis of security incidents, many end users are broadening the scope of their systems to provide analytics such as people counting to improve operations. With most cameras being IoT-enabled, this information can be easily filtered through an analytics dashboard to give end-users a real-time view of their business to determine where more resources need to be deployed. Instead of being seen as a cost with minimal benefits, they’re now becoming a business enabler by helping other departments within the organisation perform their jobs better.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another factor when looking at the way forward, machine learning has opened a whole new world of intelligent data that cameras can deliver. Though there’s currently a lot of marketing hype in the industry about the capabilities of advanced video analytics, the fact is these systems can identify and classifying objects with incredible accuracy, which will only improve as the technology develops.

Also see: How IoT Could Impact Our Working World

Security Beyond Video Forensics

On top of the wealth of data and advanced functionality that surveillance cameras can provide on their own, they can also be combined with other physical security systems, such as access control and intrusion detection that are also now making their way to IoT, to provide capabilities that have not been possible before. In fact, there has been an increased emphasis of late in leveraging video combined with card readers to provide enhanced identity verification at various access points that require an additional layer of security. In this type of application, users can present their access credential to the reader as they normally would while a camera running facial recognition in the background verifies their identity.

Some organisations are also combining cameras with other IoT sensors to address the problem of tailgating. Access readers combined with AI-powered cameras can provide end-users with alerts when an unauthorised entry in these locations is detected so the incident can be quickly dealt with. The threats posed by data theft make this type of capability essential for organisations of any size.

The Bigger Picture For IoT Surveillance

The proliferation of IoT devices also means that video surveillance has a much bigger role to play in the overall smart cities and buildings landscape. For example, many cities either have or are working to combine roadway sensors and lights with cameras to improve the flow of traffic. In addition to traffic control, cameras have also been integrated with some instances with environmental sensors, such as rain gauges, to monitor water levels in flood-prone areas.

When it comes to building automation, cameras are also playing a pivotal role, working in conjunction with things like HVAC and lighting systems to intelligently adjust the environment based on occupancy. Given the increasing push for organisations to “go green,” the ability to reduce energy consumption is a major initiative within today’s environmentally conscious businesses and IoT security devices are helping them achieve this goal.

There is Much More To Come

IoT potential is only at a very early stage in its development. New technologies like Lidar (light detection and ranging), which use lasers to measure reflected light off objects to create a 3D image, are already being combined with video to improve perimeter security at critical infrastructure sites. Developers are also now using license plate recognition (LPR) and video surveillance to provide smart cities and even private businesses such as shopping centres with the ability to give drivers real-time information on parking and traffic conditions and even assign parking spaces. As such, the role of video surveillance in the IoT will only grow in popularity and importance in the future.

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