May 29, 2024


Technology and Age

Cloud and AI: The biggest trends in personal and SMB video surveillance

Presented by SpotCam

The global pandemic has put a spotlight on personal safety and security, so it’s unsurprising that the video surveillance market is surging as well. Globally, it hit $45.5 billion this year, while AI technology, which is being integrated into video surveillance products at every price point, will hit $100 billion by the year 2025.

Both consumers and small- and medium-size businesses are increasingly looking for solutions to manage the safety and security of homes, businesses and assets. More importantly, they’re in search of solutions that incorporate sophisticated new video analytics, AI and cloud-based storage technology. Manufacturers are racing to meet the demand, according to a report by IFSEC Global. This trend will grow as the impact of the global pandemic continues to make itself felt for both employees working alone at home and the companies with empty offices.

The growth of AI-powered surveillance

Video surveillance system capabilities are increasing in power and value, as new ways to gather, analyze, share, and store digital data are developed. Democratization of the technology means they’ve become affordable for both residential and small- and medium-size business (SMB) customers.

Systems backed by AI have a number of important new features and abilities. That includes lowering the incidence of false alarms, a major priority for most security companies. Standard systems are sometimes unable to distinguish between people, account for environmental changes, or recognize a harmless animal visitor.

AI has vastly improved accuracy detection, as analytics software are less likely to raise false alarms and algorithms are more and more able to identify age group, gender, and even clothing colors. AI software can also detect loitering and identify patterns of suspicious behavior.

For SMBs, especially in retail environments, algorithms can analyze footfalls and collect data around patterns of customer browsing behavior as well, including how store layout can improve or discourage browsing and buying behavior.

Smart cameras are adding facial recognition technology as well, which is a popular option among businesses where security and access control is a high priority. The technology is under some scrutiny, with privacy and data security issues becoming increasingly prominent, as well as raising questions around the underlying bias these algorithms are often built on.

The increase in cloud solutions

Traditional video surveillance relies on network video recorders (NVR) for storage, but cloud solutions are on the rise, increasing by 13% from last year’s IFSEC report as more businesses and people start to adopt cloud-hosted services in a variety of other arenas.

The vast majority of cloud adopters are using it for storage – over 70% — the report says, while the rest use it for analytics. Cloud means that businesses no longer have to host physical storage servers, which can be a challenge for larger companies.

For smaller companies and residential services, cloud is opening up major opportunities for video surveillance as a service (VSaaS). With cloud, vendors can offer an end-to-end solution that is automatically maintained and updated on their customers’ behalf. VSaaS dramatically reduces or even eliminates upfront costs for a system, which is particularly attractive to smaller businesses and residential customers.

Companies like SpotCam offer services like human tracking and cloud recording for free for residential customers. The company is launching its latest series, SpotCam Eva 2 and SpotCam FHD 2, in late November, and will remain the only brand in the market that provides continuous cloud recording “for free forever,” it says. It’s also the first company to offer AI services such as face recognition, virtual fence, and fall detection by monthly or yearly subscription.

SpotCam Eva 2 is a smart pan/tilt camera while SpotCam FHD 2 is a neat fixed type cube camera, and both provide full HD 1080P high resolution video, plus mobile and web alert and schedule functions. The cameras integrate into most popular smart home platforms including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, and Conrad Connect. The company plans on launching an SMB solution in the near future.

Data in the cloud is often safer than on-premises data as well, less vulnerable to cyber security attacks by being harder to trace, and cloud servers are able to add more robust enterprise-grade security precautions for smaller customers.

The cloud also opens up the possibility of edge analytics, where the raw data processing is done on the camera side, significantly reducing bandwidth and storage size requirements.

Dip deeper: Learn more about SpotCam and how cloud and AI are changing the way video surveillance is done.

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