Beyond Security – The Future of Video Management Software

Video management software capabilities extend far beyond traditional security systems. Neil Killick at Milestone Systems explained for the readers of International Security Journal how it is being used across a number of vertical sectors to deliver valuable, demonstrable business benefits.

Video management software (VMS) collects information from video cameras and other sources, stores and organizes it, and makes it easy for operators to monitor, manage and respond to the information it provides. Analysis of this information allows users to identify everything in a scene, learn about new items as they appear in the same scene, and even predict the behavior of individuals captured on video.

Reviving the Retail Sector

Retailers, for example, face a number of challenges, such as reducing loss, keeping employees safe and establishing a positive shopping experience for visitors. The latter is especially important given a climate in which online shopping is increasingly popular.

Not only does VMS have an important role to play with core functions such as preventing theft and protecting staff and shoppers, but it also helps retailers capture and understand valuable business data such as footfall, shopper movement, performance benchmarks, as well as product attraction and conversion.

Every element of a store’s design and layout can be captured on video then analyzed, scrutinized and combined in the video system to offer customers the best possible shopper experience, and in turn to increase sales.

VMS can help retailers understand certain customer behaviors by analyzing video and multimedia data, searching content, tagging objects and extracting information. It can even use facial recognition technology to track a repeat customer in-store. Analyzing everything from their particular facial expressions to the clothing brands they are wearing, an in-store advertisement can be displayed that will appeal directly to the individual in question.

Protecting Transportation and Logistics

The transport and logistics sectors are benefitting too. Cargo thefts from trucks and warehouses are on the rise and VMS can provide live and recorded video, real time data, analytic alerts, and capture direct video footage from the scene of an incident as it happens. It also allows the tracking of assets across all elements of the supply chain.

In transport hubs, unattended luggage that might provoke a security alert can be detected by VMS and automatically notify an operator for further action. The video system can also detect vulnerable people and, in order to combat all types of antisocial behavior, facial recognition software can be incorporated to automatically identify individuals.

There is also a huge buzz around visual augmentation and integrating it with VMS is helping to optimize the use of body-worn cameras used by law enforcement professionals. If the VMS system identifies the person confronting the officer as a known criminal, it can provide an alert.

Safe Cities

On a macro level, the world’s growing urban population is bringing new challenges to the fore in terms of how we make cities smarter and safer. Cities need innovative ways to assist with incident prevention, emergency response, and the collection of evidence and information that can make law enforcement bodies more effective.

VMS keeps people safe by ensuring that critical infrastructure is secure, pollution is kept under control, transport systems work effectively, and disasters and emergencies have minimal impact on the public.

By Neil Killick, Regional Leader Northern Europe, Milestone Systems

(This article first appeared online in the International Security Journal, July 2019.)

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