In a span of a few decades, the video surveillance industry has seen substantial core technology changes — from traditional analogue and closed-circuit cameras (CCTV), to today’s digital and artificial intelligence-powered technology. The use of video technology is only going to accelerate, with Mordor forecasting a growth rate of 15.41% in the global market for video surveillance by 2023.
In Singapore, the smart city movement has propelled the use of video technology to solve urban problems and create quality living spaces. During Prime Minister Lee’s National Day Rally last year, he touched on the Smart Nation Sensor Platform (SNSP), in which artificial intelligence would be used alongside technologies such as video to detect anomalies and predict situations. As video technology advances beyond traditional security surveillance, many of these sensors will be non-visual, feeding information into Video Management Software (VMS) and working alongside video.
“In less than four years, we predict at least 50 percent of the streams feeding into our VMS will come from non-visual devices.”
Indeed, modern video technology is fundamentally changing the way we live and work. From checking in at airports with a biometric scan of your face, to aiding the search for missing children — video has come a long way from being a mere tool for security.
Here are some exciting new uses of video technology that will continue to change the game in 2019 and beyond.
Video as a trusted, lifesaving, crime-solving tool
Video has long been used as a crime-solving and prevention tool since the inception of CCTVs in banks and retail stores to deter thieves. Recently, the use of dashboard and body cameras by police and special law enforcement agencies has also been on the rise — further proving video’s worth as an indispensable tool in criminal surveillance.
Today, video is taking a step forward in terms of its ability to track individuals and determine suspicious activity. In Hartford, Connecticut, USA, local law enforcement were able to harness video technology to hone in on a drug house based on the suspiciously high volume of traffic to that particular house. Rather than spend a large amount of resources on stakeouts in cars or on rooftops, detectives were able to garner sufficient evidence for a warrant to raid the house in a matter of minutes. The department was also able to save 32 man-hours in the process, proving the technology’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Video as an intelligent marketing tool
Retailers can also look towards video beyond its security capabilities. With artificial intelligence and analytics, video surveillance technology can identify age, gender and even read the mood of customers. Leveraging data from the technology, retailers can make personalised recommendations based on what the best-selling items are for a particular demographic, as well as optimise retail displays and in-store promotional materials to better appeal to customers.
Video can also help track customer behaviour through heat mapping. The technology tracks a customer’s path through the store and what products they’re looking at, allowing businesses to identify product display hot spots and visualize customer traffic patterns. As a result, retailers can enhance their store performance by changing layouts or implementing marketing promotions for certain products.
Going a step further, video can introduce unique out-of-home advertisements that can captivate consumers’ attention. Last year, Paramount Pictures ran a digital billboard campaign which used video technology to promote its blockbuster movie Transformers 5. Video cameras, together with video management software and analytics were integrated to identify certain makes and models of cars. Upon recognition of a target vehicle, the technology delivered a responsive advertising message which incorporated the car make and model, for example — Attention, Your Honda Civic is an Autobot!
Video as a tool to improve healthcare quality
Video can also be used as a tool to provide better healthcare, as deep learning infrastructure and algorithms become increasingly available to the video surveillance industry.
With modern video management systems being able to collect massive amounts of data in the form of moving images and sound, artificial intelligent (AI) systems are only set to become smarter as they receive more data for analysis. Deep learning, one of the fastest growing fields in AI, can augment video technology as systems begin to train themselves.
As AI-powered video and deep learning algorithms get more adept, there is the potential for every industry to benefit tremendously. Medical imaging, a key part of diagnosis that requires the recognition of patterns, will become a more accurate and less time-intensive process as systems can be trained and can train themselves to recognise and analyse anomalies. In turn, this can result in better quality of care and a faster recovery period for patients.
The limitless potential of video technology
The future of video is laden with possibilities. With AI and deep-learning enhancing video technology’s capabilities, there are countless applications for video beyond security. From its use in retail stores to improve consumer experiences, to aiding law enforcement duties and providing healthcare assistance, once organisations begin to explore video technology’s full capabilities, it is only a matter of time before they will see the benefits.
By Benjamin Low, VP APAC, Milestone Systems
 Market Research Future, Body Worn Camera Market Research Report- Global Forecast, September 2018
 All About Outdoor, New and Unique Ad Campaign for Transformers: The Last Knight, 6 June 2017