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FCW : May 15, 2014
of the architecture. In smaller-scale environments, videos might be housed on digital or network video recorders. Organizations that need the scalability to support vast amounts of video can invest in network-attached storage or storage-area networks. The demand for such storage is growing rapidly. In Feb- ruary, MarketsandMarkets estimated that the global market for video surveillance storage will grow from $4.9 billion in 2013 to $10.4 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 16.3 percent. Furthermore, the report notes that the prices for hard disk drives are going down. Consequently, the declining cost of storage could encourage the growth of the video analytics solutions that rely on them. Camera prices are also drop- ping. Brown said thermal imag- ing cameras, which once cost tens of thousands of dollars, have declined sharply in the past 18 to 24 months, with the price range for some devices dipping to $1,000 to $2,000. Brown said the lower prices make thermal imaging a more cost-effective option relative to other perimeter-protection tools, and those cameras can be enhanced by using video analytics. The hurdles The volume of available video — and the time it takes to ingest and process it — is an important limitation. “Working with a large number of images is a big-data problem,” Yang said. “The majority of the images, we can’t touch them.” “It’s...time-consuming but also nowhere near an exact science,” Kuhn said. The sheer amount of video complicates activities such as content tagging to facilitate searching. “Tagging is too labor-intensive for humans to do, and there are also prob- lems with tags since a word can never adequately represent an image,” Kuhn said. The LSVA project seeks to harness the power of high- performance computing — specifically the Gordon super- computer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Gor- don can analyze large video archives, but human experts supplement its work. For instance, when the computer searches a video archive, researchers verify the results. Another ongoing challenge involves recognizing and matching objects recorded on video. Even facial recog- nition, which is considered fairly mature, still stumbles on occasion. For instance, rec- ognition systems mainly focus on the front view of faces, but many of the faces recorded in surveillance video are in pro- file because people tend not to stare directly at wall- or ceiling- mounted cameras. “The side of the face is much harder” to match, Yang said, noting that the profile recog- nition issue has yet to be fully resolved. Matching also proves diffi- cult in the case of transform- able objects, said Gregory Pepus, managing partner and founder of Flex Analytics. Cars and buildings, for example, typ- ically don’t change shape, but that’s not the case for people and animals. A person can stand upright or contort into a yoga position. Flex Analytics taps technol- ogy from companies such as piXlogic to address that prob- lem. Pepus said that with PiX- logic, “we are very far along” in solving the issue of matching transformed images. The piXlogic technology segments video into smaller pieces to identify more and more granu- larity, he added. Analyzing video generated by mobile cameras is another challenge. Brown said most algorithms assume that the camera isn’t moving, so video analytics providers must start from scratch on new algorithms. Mobile cameras of all kinds, including those integrated into unmanned aircraft systems, are becoming an impor- tant new source of video, and Yang was optimistic about the evolution of video general. “It creates a lot of new challenges and opportunities,” he said. ■ 30 May 15, 2014 FCW.COM ExecTe c h The future of video analytics Experts say video analytics technology is likely to evolve in the following areas: • Unmanned aircraft systems. Apply- ing analytics to UAS video has yet to emerge in a significant way, but it is on the horizon. • Better computer vision. Research- ers continue to battle the fundamental problem of image quality, which is at the mercy of the camera’s capabilities and lighting conditions. • Cloud computing. Products such as Dropcam’s Wi-Fi home-and-business video-monitoring service, which offers the ability to store footage in the cloud, could point the way to a big- ger future role for cloud computing in video analytics. — John Moore
April 30, 2014
May 30, 2014