Advancing 24/7 video surveillance

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Focusing on relevant data, Bosch adds video analytics as standard feature in all cameras

Rapid technological progress drives the video surveillance industry into the era of Big Data. Higher resolutions, higher frame rates, excellent dynamic ranges and better light sensitivity are key when it comes to capturing images that can distinguish individuals or objects for irrefutable evidence around the clock.

At the same time, the amount of data is getting larger by the minute. More than 30 million surveillance cameras operating in the US alone (NBC) – adds a wealth of valuable data to security and non-security applications. What's more, surveillance video now accounts for 65% of all global Big Data available for analysis. But here lies the problem. To translate this data into real security benefits all this data requires evaluation. Keeping an eye on relevant signals is an increasingly tall order for system operators, especially because the average security operator can miss 90% of activity after viewing a screen for only 20 minutes. And according to a recent report by Big Blue, over 90% of all collected data is never analyzed or acted upon, although large amounts could potentially be relevant.

To make sense of this flood of data, security operators and users should be enabled to focus on what’s relevant for their video surveillance application. In response, the industry sees the rise of intelligent devices embedded with Video Content Analysis (VCA) software. A rapid growth segment expected to reach $1303.8 million by 2019 (IHS), Video Content Analysis software helps extract relevant information from increasing feeds of data – and sound the alarm whenever customized triggers occur.

A paradigm shift: Relevant data instead of Big Data

Responding to this trend, Bosch makes a long-term commitment to relevant data. Known as a pioneer of advanced camera technologies – including light-sensitive (low light) starlight cameras, 4K ultra HD technology and dynamic ranges up to 120 dB – the company will continue to deliver the resolution, light sensitivity, frame rate, dynamic range and form factors that suit customers’ needs.

But to fully support security and non-security applications in the era of Big Data, Bosch is also committed to adding sense and structure to data by implementing video analytics at the edge– pre-loaded into cameras – as a standard feature starting in June 2016.

It's a paradigm shift driven by an essential insight: The industry's focus on image quality is no longer enough. Users also need the ability to focus on relevant data and easily extract relevant information from it – and do so in a way that suits their applications. For Bosch, adding video analytics at the edge as standard, with no extra investment or license fees, is the way forward.

Clear image, actionable data

First introduced in 2012, Bosch starlight cameras deliver the highest quality video surveillance under extreme low-light conditions. Starting in June 2016, the starlight portfolio is enhanced further, with a new generation of cameras offering higher light sensitivity and dynamic ranges, as well as video analytics as built-in standard. It’s the perfect combination of powerful hardware and the latest achievement in Video Content Analysis (VCA). And for the first time, this state-of-the-art level of security is also available at the mid-range: The new DINION IP starlight 6000 fixed box cameras and FLEXIDOME IP starlight 6000 dome cameras come factory-loaded with Essential Video Analytics capabilities.

Bosch starlight technology – making darkness totally visible

Looking at the complete Bosch starlight portfolio, users can choose from a variety of form factors fit for a range of applications: from fixed cameras to fixed or moving dome cameras, all the way to explosion-proof cameras or highly ruggedized moving cameras for tough conditions. All latest starlight models – including the DINION IP starlight 6000 and 7000 and the FLEXIDOME IP starlight 6000 and 7000 – live up to the starlight name by penetrating darkness like no other cameras.

Bosch starlight cameras offer sensitivities of 0.00825 lux in color and 0.00275 lux in monochrome at 1080p resolution. In other words, they provide full-color images where other cameras go monochrome, and are still capable of delivering detailed monochrome images where other cameras fail to show any image at all. This capacity – yielding detailed images from the lowest-light conditions – is matched by the capacity to select relevant information from terabytes of video data thanks to built-in video analytics.

Coming in June 2016: Video analytics at the edge as standard feature

Reinforcing the strategy of “fully supporting security and non-security applications in the era of Big Data at the product level”, Bosch will offer video analytics at the edge as a standard feature, rather than an option, in the next 12 months, also at the mid-price range. Users can choose from two types of Bosch video analytics at the edge: Essential Video Analytics and Intelligent Video Analytics.

Essential Video Analytics, firstly introduced in the DINION IP starlight 6000 fixed box and FLEXIDOME IP starlight 6000 fixed dome cameras as standard, can be used for advanced intrusion detection, as well as enforcing health and safety regulations (e.g. parking in a restricted area or a blocked emergency exit). However, it also possesses business analytics capabilities for retail environments, such as people counting and crowd detection.

Taking capacities a step further, Intelligent Video Analytics features all the capabilities of Essential Video Analytics, plus specifically designed functions for the world's most demanding environments. It delivers the required level of accuracy for mission-critical applications such as perimeter protection for airports and critical infrastructures, as well as traffic monitoring.

What makes Intelligent Video Analytics stand out is its ability to differentiate between genuine security events and known false triggers caused by challenging conditions such as weather effects (wind, heavy rain, snow), water reflections, and substantial shaking of the camera, thereby minimizing costly false positives.

Empowering users

While only five years ago, these video analytic capabilities were the domain of cutting-edge applications, Bosch midrange cameras from IP 4000 to IP 6000 will be equipped with Essential Video Analytics over the next 12 months. It's all part of empowering users to define their own (security) rules and triggers for their individual application needs (see use case scenarios).

In the bigger picture, adding ‘smart’ cameras to networks around the world is only the beginning: By using Bosch’s Interactive Application Learning, users can teach video cameras to support a wide range of security and non-security processes.

For example, cameras could be taught to detect empty parking spots in parking space management applications. Or cameras could automatically trigger an alarm when cars are parked incorrectly. Currently, a variety of civilian applications for Interactive Application Learning already deliver next-level business intelligence, for instance retail metrics.

Security scenarios: Video analytics in action

As security enters the era of big data, video analytics at the edge help substantially reduce the margin of error that comes with time-consuming 24/7 human surveillance. Bosch's Essential Video Analytics and Intelligent Video Analytics both offer the same intuitive interface to help users configure rules based on applications and security needs. Here are some use cases:

Perimeter security
When it comes to securing the perimeter of buildings and vital infrastructure, commonly used alarm triggers include movement and behavior patterns near a fence line, as well as objects left in the vicinity. Intelligent Video Analytics automatically triggers an alarm (for example if someone climbs a fenceor leaves behind an object) and also allows for intelligently tracking moving objects.

Retail environments
Video analytics at the edge not only wards off shoplifters and detects unwanted behavior. Smart video surveillance also unlocks critical data sets on performance in retail environmentsby counting customers, tracking times of day with the most footfall, and analyzing behavior.

Traffic management
Perfect for parking garage operators and to monitor access roads, video analytics solutions are able to count traffic, detect cars stopped at the emergency lane, and trigger alarms for cars parked in restricted areas.

Crowd control
Count people, monitor irregular crowd activity in protected areas or assembly of crowds in critical zones.

Forensic search
By automatically adding metadata to recorded feeds, both Essential Video Analytics and Intelligent Video Analytics can provide event recognition during playback of recorded video, even for events not originally set up as alerts. With forensic search, users can simply review archived footage using new detection criteria.

Outlook

As the number of cameras – and the demand for more detail – continues to increase, video surveillance needs to advance into the era of Big Data. Bosch focuses on delivering relevant images through the ideal combination of light sensitivity, dynamic range and form factors – for various applications, under the most demanding conditions. In order to future-proof our customers’ investment in video surveillance solutions, we’ll be offering video analytics at the edge as a standard feature to help keep video data usable and manageable.

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