Perspectives

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.