Organizations have started realizing the importance of data. They are capturing data from different sources like transactions, customer demographics, social media, customer behavior etc. Insights drawn from the data obtained through these sources is enabling enterprises to take better business and strategic decisions. Businesses are trying to explore new sources of information which can be used to benefit the business so as to move ahead in this era of cutthroat competition. One of such ubiquitous sources of information which is often neglected is video data obtained primarily through CCTV Cameras. If we can extract some valuable insights from camera feeds, we gain access to a new range of use cases such as object recognition, automatic surveillance etc. A recent study by Mckinsey & Company forecasts that video analytics will be of high importance in domains like retail, city and worksite settings by 2020.
Video Analytics is basically computerized video footage analysis that uses algorithms to differentiate between object types and identify certain behavior or action in real time, providing alerts and insights to users. Some of the emerging use cases of video analytics are:
1. Sentiment Analysis: Although video analytics is primarily used to track individual customer movement by retail stores it can also be used to analyze facial expressions and reactions along with the body language which can help retail stores understand what drives customers to take decisions in the way they do. This real-time analysis of customer behavior helps organizations to gauge which type of actions cause positive reactions in customers. In this way, they can change their strategies according to the customer behavior.
2. Special Incidence Detection: Video analytics can utilize video footage obtained from CCTV cameras to detect unusual activities like accidents, machine breakdowns, bad operating conditions, workers loitering in restricted areas etc.
3. Crowd control and people counting: Video analytics can be used to detect overcrowding and aggressive behavior. In some places there is a very high likelihood of a crowd, such as in and around a cricket match or a protest March in such a scenario video analytics can detect and flag unusual congregation of people which can help authorities to plan for various eventualities. Moreover as this is analysis is provided in real time the authorities can review what has triggered the unusual incident. Video analytics can also provide real-time crowd estimation, identify dominant patterns and statistics of the crowd and find out suspicious unknown and other hidden information.
4. Security and Surveillance: Although this is the most common use case of video analytics it is still one of the most important problems which can be resolved by it. Working like a pair of human eyes, video analytics scan a scene for movement and triggers alarms based on irregular behavior without the need of human supervision. Video analytics triggers an alarm while filtering out movement created by weather conditions, regular traffic patterns, animals or even a tree blowing in the wind. It can also point out suspicious individuals wanted by law enforcement authorities.
5. Video Analytics in healthcare: One of the ways in which video analytics can help healthcare businesses is in setting checks to ensure patient satisfaction remains high it can be achieved as video analytics system can alert a staff if a patient has been left alone beyond a specified amount of time. It can also help determine the percentage of patients who arrive at a particular entrance needing assistance and alert operations to set up someone for assisting the patients which eventually leads to shorter wait times.
One of the emerging areas where video analytics is being deployed in the healthcare sector is in conjunction with patient wearable monitors. For instance ‘If it turns out that an elevated heart rate, measured by your wearable device, correlates with a change in the patient ’s behavior then that is a strong indicator that perhaps a doctor needs to visit the patient immediately.
6. Increasing operational efficiencies in the manufacturing sector: Manufacturing operations can leverage video analytics to create a safer workplace for employees where video surveillance cameras can be deployed in areas with moving vehicles, machinery. Some do not cross lines can be created in the camera’s field of view so the camera can create an alert when a worker crosses the virtual line near machinery or moving vehicles. Cameras can also be deployed at loading docks which can alert operational teams when a delivery truck arrives or departs, allowing teams to be prepared for new deliveries and alerting workers to be vacant for incoming deliveries
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