How to efficiently review surveillance footage

If you have surveillance cameras at your business, you understand how good it feels good to know that your business is secure at all times. If something concerning happens on the premises, you can review your security camera footage to identify the source of the problem.

However, it's tedious to have to review surveillance footage for hours to search for a suspicious incident. Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue. Today's security cameras offer features that make it very easy to review surveillance footage without having to monitor or review every frame.


The benefits of security camera footage

When a boat dealer in Tampa, Florida experienced vandalism, the company wanted an ADT security system, says Mark Ion, ADT Regional Commercial sales manager for the Southeast. ADT installed cameras on the property's perimeter fence, which notify the business owner immediately if anyone climbs over—or gets close to—that fence.

Video footage is then sent to a monitoring center, which will quickly dispatch police to a "verified alarm." Such cameras can also be set up to trigger a recording that plays a deterring message: "Intruder, step away from the fence."

How to analyze surveillance data

Video surveillance systems have evolved into intelligent, effective systems that are quick and easy to check.1 But, once you have the information, how do you analyze it?

Ion recommends Avigilon to clients, identifying it as one of the leading security software service providers. "They are on the cutting edge of facial recognition, different analytics and artificial intelligence and such in their proprietary software," he says.

Avigilon's Appearance Search uses sophisticated, deep-learning AI search engine for video, which allows clients to search for a person or vehicle by physical description or description of his or her clothing. The software moves through the video quickly, cutting down on watch-time.2

"In a school setting, for instance," says Ion, "you could do a search for someone wearing a yellow jacket by typing a description into a search setting, as opposed to having to sit down and watch the video. You can also go back and search for the same thing over various days and weeks."


Find what you're looking for quickly

Avigilon also offers a thumbnail search, which creates a number of small, still images of the area being recorded. Each image represents a unit of time, so if you are looking for something that changes—say, an item that is suddenly missing, or a person coming into an area—you click on the thumbnail representing the section of footage where the change first appears. Then you can review the relevant video without having to watch a quiet room for hours just to find a couple minutes of activity.3


Maximize your business's security

ADT also offers cameras equipped with motion sensors that switch the camera on only when the system detects movement within the camera's field of vision, meaning you don't capture hours of unnecessary footage. You can program the system to send suspicious footage directly to your smartphone.

Some systems use low-resolution screening until they pick up something that's preset as being of interest and then automatically switch to high-res for a much clearer picture. "It's the same if your camera is pointing at street level, for instance, where there are lots of people moving. It can limit bandwidth until say a window opens," Ion says.

Cameras can also be equipped with radar technology that senses someone moving and can send an alert or notification without anyone having to review your security camera footage. "It knows what it's looking for," Ion adds.


The future of surveillance technology

"The technology has changed so quickly," says Ion. "Even in just the last three or four years. " Facial recognition is "definitely the future in terms of surveillance," Ion theorizes. "In terms of being able to identify someone on a watch list or somebody who shouldn't be in an area. It's very hard to hide your face in a public area and not have people be suspicious of you."

The future is bright for surveillance technology—and security for businesses can be so much more efficient because of it.

1. Uzialko, Adam C. "How to Choose a Video Surveillance System for Your Business." Business News Daily. January 05, 2018. Accessed July 02, 2018.
2. "Avigilon Appearance Search Technology | Avigilon -." Avigilon: A Motorola Solutions Company. June 27, 2018. Accessed July 02, 2018.
3. "Avigilon Control Center | Avigilon -." Avigilon: A Motorola Solutions Company. July 03, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2018.