24/7 Home/SMB Video Surveillance
What’s the Point?

Greg Baldauf, VP Strategic Alliances

A Smart Home Report produced by iControl notes that “90% of consumers say security is one of the top reasons to purchase a smart home system”, and that 65% of consumers consider home monitoring cameras to be the most desired smart home device. IHS predicted that 2016 world market growth for video surveillance equipment would be over 7%, and recent numbers I’ve been hearing indicate the residential market is growing even faster than that. The evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with video will continue to make homes smarter. Every year, more and more IP cameras are being deployed for security and surveillance purposes in homes and SMBs. There are a multitude of reasons the cameras are used, from monitoring pets, children after school and elderly relatives (did Grandma take her pill?), to safeguarding against theft, break-ins, vandalism and other petty crimes such as stolen delivery packages or mail. Despite all the reasons listed above, I have to wonder: does anyone do anything with their recorded video footage? Busy people are the last ones on earth with time to watch video. My own family is a perfect example. Of course, I have cameras installed in and around my home. But ask me if I’ve ever watched any of the video that has been recorded and the answer is…? So what’s the point of recording all that video if I, like every other busy homeowner, don’t have the time to watch it all? Apart from making me feel more secure, it enables me to be reactive if something does happen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I have the patience to watch hours of video on a regular basis. All this changes with Video Synopsis® the simultaneous presentation of events that lets me review of hours of video in just minutes. Here’s a great example: last year, one of my neighbors across the street had a break in. The house was ransacked and a bunch of small stuff stolen. One of my exterior cameras points down my driveway at my neighbor’s home; it captured the thieves walking up to and around our neighbor’s house, as well as their car as they drove away. Using Video Synopsis, I found the getaway car within about 15 seconds, and was able to give the Video Synopsis and clips of the actual footage to the local police department, who later caught the thieves. It’s clear that security cameras for home and small business is one of the fastest growing segments, and is becoming a Connected Home safety standard. However, it can only be valuable if it the industry provides tools to make it easy for homeowners to review that video. Video Synopsis technology gives homeowners the ability to review an entire day’s video in less than a minute to keep an eye on things or to be alerted to specific incidents. At the Baldauf residence, we can review a day in a minute – something definitely worth doing for sake of our family’s safety and wellbeing. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube.

Introducing BriefCam Blogger,
Greg Baldauf

Greg Baldauf, VP Strategic Alliances

Hi, my name is Greg Baldauf. I joined BriefCam in early 2015 as VP Strategic Alliances, to bring the disruptive power and value of Video Synopsis® to the connected home and SMB markets. When my peers tell me I’m a thought leader and change agent, I take it as the best compliment. Personally, I have a mission to significantly affect how people live their lives using connected technology, and I’m passionate about developing new markets and verticals, while creating the partnerships necessary to enable a connected lifestyle. Those who know me well – and I’ve been working in these markets for a long time now – also know why I’m so passionate about leveraging the cloud to bring innovative, disruptive solutions to market in the Internet of Things (IoT) era.  Whether it’s key customer value propositions, the development of strategic partnerships or vertical market relationships, I’ve seen what has and hasn’t worked operationally within the connected home space. Joining BriefCam has allowed me to continue fulfilling both my personal and professional goals in these markets. Here’s why: We all live in an era of “fast food” information. And while we all know that IP cameras have become a critical element of the connected home/SMB market, our hectic lives never leave us time to actually review the video being recorded. Video Synopsis allows us to get the most out of all the video we record on home cameras in just a few minutes.  Finally, a technology that actually meets the connected home and SMB user needs. Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So, sail away from the safe harbor. Explore, dream and discover.” That’s just what I’m doing at BriefCam. It’s exciting. The technology is groundbreaking. It’s going to give security dealers, service providers, and camera manufacturers the ability to add real value for homeowners and businesses. It will save consumers and small business owners’ time, and give them the value they thought they were getting by connecting to IP cameras in the first place. In future posts, I look forward to sailing away together and exploring the waves created by the explosion of IoT and video data. I would also love for you to share your thoughts via our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube accounts.  

From Raw Video to Actionable Information

Tom Edlund, BriefCam CTO

The use of video surveillance by law enforcement agencies, investigators, forensics and security personnel for public safety, surveillance and transportation is constantly growing. A 2016 IHS report states that the world market for video surveillance equipment will grow over 7%: 66 million network cameras and 28 million HD CCTV cameras will be shipped globally, and the total raw capacity of enterprise storage used for video surveillance will increase by 48%. Back in 2010, Cisco was already discussing the explosion of data and the challenge of “too much video – no time for review”. The Cisco paper notes that for data to be useful, it “…must be tagged, organized, searched, combined and filtered before it can be considered information. Finally, information must be processed into a form that helps people do something productive.” Video Synopsis® is quickly being recognized as the best tool to meet that challenge. A cutting-edge technology developed over thousands of developer man-hours, it has the potential of creating a paradigm shift in video data usage. That’s because Video Synopsis turns video footage into actionable information by analyzing raw video data and separating dynamic objects from static background. The extracted moving objects are tagged according to classifications such as color, size, date, time and duration, etc., and stored in a database. The background is also analyzed, tagged and stored. This approach enables events to be called upon and replayed in a concise presentation layer: multiple events are superimposed on the background, creating a synopsis of events presented simultaneously – even though they occurred at different times. Events can be refined by various classes, for example, Video Synopsis can present only those red vehicles driving in a southerly direction or only people wearing blue walking down a particular path. In addition, for clarity’s sake, each object can be displayed with a time-stamp indicating the moment at which it entered the frame, while a “dissolve” effect ensures that even overlapping objects can be seen clearly. By using Video Synopsis, organizations can make order from unstructured video, extracting relevant data in minutes from hours of footage. Video Synopsis technology then helps users quickly locate and identify the relevant events, providing single-click access to the original video event. It’s a fast and easy packaging of video data that means decisions can be made and actions taken based – at least in part – on information from vast volumes of video that had never been available to users before.

Introducing BriefCam Blogger,
Tom Edlund

Tom Edlund, BriefCam CTO

Hi, my name is Tom Edlund and I’m the CTO at BriefCam. I know this title sounds serious, and rightfully so. I take technology very seriously; in fact, some say I approach it like an artist – with awe and respect. I joined BriefCam in 2011, and ever since have been busy with the development of innovative video and computer vision software, product management, UX/UI design, algorithms and everything in between. I rehearse (every day and all day) how to grasp the big picture in graphic detail. I’m also a lucky CTO because I’m not alone in the creation of cutting-edge technologies. Allow me to be 100% objective when I say that here at BriefCam we have an exceptionally proficient, technically skilled and highly motivated team of developers, all busy producing technology at its best. Being at BriefCam is a perfect fit for me. It enables me to utilize my accumulated experience and knowledge in the development of groundbreaking technologies, with the potential to generate a paradigm shift in the usage of video data. What more could a guy ask for? I look forward to sharing information and insights on the latest and greatest of Video Synopsis®, and the cutting-edge technology behind it. I also hope to hear from you! Feel free to chat via our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube accounts.      

How Video Synopsis for captured video captured me

Dror Irani, CEO & President, BriefCam

Let’s be brief It all started in Room 79 in the Computer Science Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Shmuel Peleg, a renowned computer vision researcher, developed the groundbreaking patented technology of Video Synopsis® – the simultaneous presentation of events that enables the review of hours of video footage in just minutes. When the technology was seen by a US Department of Defense delegation, the potential and benefit of Video Synopsis was identified and subsequently licensed exclusively to BriefCam for commercialization. Ending the year with a new beginning In the midst of the 2007 holiday season, BriefCam was co-founded by Professor Peleg and successful serial entrepreneur Gideon Ben-Zvi. A year later, the company already had partnerships with big players, starting with OnSSi and Milestone Systems, and followed by Genetec and Nice Systems (now Qognify). The Video Synopsis innovation rapidly created a buzz in the industry, particularly after winning several prestigious industry awards. Things were getting busy! 2010 is when I come in. I joined the excitement as BriefCam’s President and CEO when our sales started in earnest and we established a US-based company, BriefCam, Inc. Our technology was quickly adopted by the security, law enforcement, safe city, and transportation sectors as the de facto standard for rapid video review. The technology also starred in successful deployments, ranging from the Statue of Liberty to Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center and the New Taipei Safe City project in Taiwan. Video Synopsis was also used to expedite the investigations of the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing. From buzz to business 2013 was the year we launched BriefCam Syndex®, our flagship product that offers users the ability to not only review hours of video in minutes, but to also refine video metadata by parameters such as color, direction, size, speed and more. Yes, a real search engine for video! Why is this such a big deal (or business)? Because every day, tens of petabytes of video data are being recorded; and more and more organizations are investing petabytes of dollars on video managements systems, surveillance cameras, DVRs, storage, etc. But all they’re left with are huge quantities of video data that simply goes to waste. Our approach to video data: A paradigm shift is needed I must confess. Paradigm shifts can be somewhat bothersome... Here I am, adrift in the chaos of video analytics, video summary and video data - you name it - with the following challenges: Dealing with an industry suffering from video analytics post-trauma. Often, just uttering the words “video analytics” causes people to shut down. Convincing organizations that “all of that boring data” should not be thrown away or ignored, and can be leveraged to their advantage. Demonstrating the real and immediate benefits to be gained from the right usage of video data. So, where to now? All this has just been a prelude to the journey ahead. Sounds interesting? Follow our weekly posts to explore the What, Where and How of Video Synopsis, related industry trends and intriguing technology innovations.

Expanding Beyond Security with Video

Only 1% of Surveillance Video is Ever Watched

It's estimated that only 1% of surveillance video is ever watched -- and then, mostly long after the fact. If you've already got your video surveillance system in place, you may already know how much video is -- or isn't -- being watched. And you know how much valuable information contained in that video is simply going to waste. (more…)

Achieving Faster Time to Target

How Security Professionals are Leveraging Briefcam Syndex

More and more, video has come to play a significant part of today's investigations, criminal or homeland security related. More video needs to be reviewed and targets need to be reached as quickly as possible. Investigative teams, large or small, face the daunting and often overwhelming task of going through hours, days, weeks and even months of video. And it's even more distressing when time is of the essence and you know delays can cost lives. What if you could find the evidence faster and provides a better quality investigation? (more…)

Rapid Video Review: Benefits and Payoff

Introducing an innovative technology into the security marketplace is never easy. Security professionals by nature are a conservative lot -- and with good reason -- but sometimes a new product comes along that can help solve a major problem. In BriefCam's case, the problem is the ever-expanding amounts of video being recorded 24/7 and the challenge is to derive maximum benefit and value from all that video. How do we do it? (more…)

Safe Cities Solutions

10 Use Cases for Video Synopsis

(originally printed in Safe Cities Solutions) Oftentimes, public safety and security personnel are faced with the problem of "too much video, not enough time to for review." However, there is a technology that allows users to browse hours of video in minutes. It is now possible for all recorded video -- not just some -- to be reviewed as a matter of routine, greatly enhancing surveillance effectiveness and public safety. The provider of this Video Synopsis technology is BriefCam, whose products allow for hours of video to be viewed in minutes. (more…)

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