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When video surveillance fails: how to avoid failures with a video security system

How to avoid video surveillance fails

It’s typical that security solutions web pages and magazines list numerous case studies that demonstrate how happy people and businesses are to have a video surveillance system. It pictures a fairy-tale image similar to ones from yogurt commercials where everyone is laughing and smiling at each other. And it is true that video surveillance systems can help leverage many “pain points” and achieve many goals from monitoring camera video for unwanted activity in or around territories thus reducing or even preventing security incidents, to recognizing patterns and providing visual evidence of or alerting to anomalies. But like in probably any serious business, success is not guaranteed, it must be built brick by brick.

Sometimes video surveillance fails and leaves users disillusioned as to what they had hoped to get after reading those dominating success stories. Just like in the infamous case of a chain of USA libraries where after installing video surveillance, branches came to realize that it doesn’t achieve what they had high hopes for. Or, video surveillance frequently “fails” in large-scale systems with hundreds of cameras where the decision-making management opted for a simple VSS with no video analytics and it turned out that security officers simply don’t have the capacity to watch over video feeds in real-time to “catch” security incidents in time.

So is every picture-perfect case study on video surveillance solutions web pages a lie? Is a video surveillance system bound to become a failure from the very beginning?

The answer is, No. Video surveillance is a tool – it might be easy or hard to understand, it might be simple or loaded with video analytics functions – but if you don’t know what to do with it, how and why use it, it might all go very wrong. It’s like a fork – it’s easy to learn to use it, it helps with the food, but it’s useless or even harmful if used to drink water or open bottles.

Let’s take the libraries case as a cautionary example. Tracking back the reason this video surveillance system had failed, it turns out that there had been a lapse in fundamental things like strategic planning, lack of policy and understanding of the system capabilities and requirements. When not through through thoroughly, video surveillance can let you down in many ways – from not having the video episode you’re looking for, to not doing the goal it was created for (example: not deterring graffiti sprayers or vandals).

If you are planning a video camera system, you of course make sure that your video surveillance never fails you with a little planning and insight into the whys, the hows and the whats of video surveillance.

Avoiding failures in a video security system
The whys
Why would you want or need a video security system? Do you have “pain points” you’s like to get rid of? Getting rid of ganging in or around the guarded territory, graffiti or theft, loitering or littering. Or the “problem” might be a positive incentive: automate and improve business operations, provide better strategy outcomes, provide safer workplace environment to increase productivity, etc.

Here’s just a few of things that video surveillance can help with nowadays:
• Provide video evidence of incidents for internal investigation or forensic uses;
• Live situational awareness (police body-worn cameras, cameras in a bank with panic button);
• Proactive deterrent of potential violations (on a psychological or physical level);
• Creating safer environment for workers and customers that encourages more sales and effective work;
• Proactive video analytics that helps prevent accidents (behavior patterns recognition) or engage urgent help (slip and fall detection + notifications);
• 24/7 strategic analysis of the target audience (reports on unique visitors, satisfaction level, demographics);
• Automation of routine tasks (for example, work with sensors in IoT/smarthome systems)
• Road safety and automated detection of traffic rules violation, integration with fee imposing systems;
• Estimation of staff productivity in various industries;
• Creation of promo or tutorial videos from live streams;
• Automation of access control (recognition of faces, vehicle types and license plates, double authentication);
• Aid in compliance with anti-pandemics regulations (masks detection, in-store stay time tracker, etc.)
• Tracking equipment work and condition;
and many more!

Whatever it is, make a list of the tasks that the video cameras need to pursue, and find a solution that can do that.

In the future, when the video surveillance system is already up and running, don’t forget to check back from time to time to see if the video security system still aligns with the plan.

The hows
How will you buy, install, maintain the system? For large corporations it’s essential to assign personnel in charge of the system operation, and develop a sustained policy of using it, including matters on cooperation with the police. Look for live customer care to guide you through the routines the security personnel will be using ranging from intelligent search through generated video feeds, highlighting security breach incidents, or remote assessment of business operations and performance.

The whats
What to choose from a plethora of video surveillance solutions?
Video surveillance comes in many forms – from analog cameras and digital CCTV recorders to sophisticated Cloud services. The choice of form will have a great role in deciding whether a video security system will be a failure or a success. See more

To avoid video surveillance fails you need to take the requirements seriously too. For example, quality video analytics (like Emotions Recognition or Crowd Detector) often requires a proper positioning of a high definition video camera to provide reliable accuracy rate; otherwise the results might be unstable and – consequently – useless. Make sure to comply with best practice recommendations and your video surveillance will not fail you.

Video surveillance failures Having a plan will help to avoid failure in transforming a noble security initiative into reality. The pitfalls often originate from mismatch of goals and selected solutions, poor understanding of security processes and requirements, and lack of management resources.

Overcoming missteps is certainly worth it: video surveillance has long evolved from being purely security-related solutions covering property, creating safer spaces, and delivering visual evidence. Nowadays, it’s an effective way to enhance and centralize business operations: analyze shoppers movement and direction of interest to create better-fitting marketing campaigns; make sure that customers get the most convenient and friendly service; improve customer experience, as well as automate routine tasks such opening more checkout stalls when a queue is getting large. One of the most universal and easy-to-manage solutions for fail-proof video surveillance systems is Xeoma video surveillance software. Xeoma is made by surveillance professionals and at this moment has over 100 features from simple intrusion detection to video analytics for businesses.





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16 August, 2021

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