Smart Surveillance: Video, AI Team up for Better Public Safety

AI-based video analytics systems enable operators to gain more intelligence from the scene in the camera frame. It automatically monitors objects, determines potential risks, and notifies operators in real-time, upping security while saving valuable time and storage resources.


Image credit: Ipsotek

The use of digital video surveillance systems is increasing as businesses aim to improve safety and protect against crime. US government buildings and transportation hubs must maintain video surveillance systems to protect employees and passengers from potential bad actors.

This bodes well for video analytics software developers that integrate artificial intelligence in their systems. Ipsotek, acquired by Atos last year, has been successful in the international market, with video surveillance deployments at 80+ international airports and many major and iconic sites including the London Eye. Atos aims to grow its US market presence by working with Arrow Electronics.

“We look for brands that are trying to drive innovation forward, and that’s exactly what this does,” says Roland Ducote, director of supplier programs with Arrow’s Intelligent Solutions business. “It brings technology forward through system integrators to the end users in a way that helps Atos scale and also helps those integrators scale.”


AI Sees More

VISuite, the Ipsotek solution, addresses physical security needs through computer vision and artificial intelligence. It uses a patented rules-based engine to identify objects within the camera field of view and associate specific attributes to those objects.

Using technologies like motion detectors, artificial intelligence, tracking, and deep learning algorithms, VISuite can track up to 256 objects in each camera field of view and notify the operator where it came from and where it’s going, all in real-time using the patented Tag and Track technology.

“We can tie those analytics to those assumptions using rules-based logic,” says Anthony Valle, a senior presales engineer at Ipsotek.

You Can Count on It

For example, VISuite tracks how many people enter and leave the building to help ensure building security, notifying operators of occupancy rates or people lingering after hours. It also can detect fire, smoke, and even human casualties.

More detailed information is also identifiable, which is particularly useful in high-security environments, such as airports or prisons. VISuite supports license plate recognition technology to track vehicles entering and leaving the property. It also can monitor people anonymously (or not, depending on the country and privacy laws). The software uses facial recognition technology to detect people based on their characteristics, including body shape or clothing. In the US, VISuite uses attributes to monitor people, but it does so anonymously to adhere to privacy laws.

One example addresses security risk of taxi drivers waiting for fares often leave their vehicles unattended. VISuite monitors those drivers, noting where they go, so security personnel know the threat level of those cars is low. That capability enables VISuite to differentiate between a person buying a cup of coffee or setting off a national security breach.

“Those could be considered abandoned vehicles,” Valle says. “We can track the driver to a vehicle. I don’t know anyone else who can ID the car, the driver, and where they went, as long as they are within [view of] the camera. That technology is unique to us.”

The Case for Surveillance

Other uses are to ensure airline passengers don’t go down restricted hallways or to identify baggage that has been abandoned rather than left momentarily by a passenger who is shopping or eating nearby. Retailers can monitor for theft and uncover shopper analytics. Buildings can monitor for violent visitors and firearms and automatically notify police while providing staff extra time to lock down the building.

Image credit: Ipsotek VISuite License Plate Recognition

VISuite was a game-changer for a major UK retailer, which operates a chain of petrol stations in the UK. They wanted its gas stations to remain open during the pandemic, but restrictions decreased staffing levels. They worked with Atos to build an automated attendant solution to bridge the gap.

This VISuite solution counts people and cars at the station and provides fire and smoke detection. It can determine when people are filling their tanks or loitering after hours. The initial project was so successful that the major retailer deployed the solution at more than 400 gas stations, even after the pandemic’s peak.


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