Workforce Optimization Featured Article

The Untapped Potential of Video Analytics

November 29, 2012

When most of us think about video surveillance, we think about theft and those annoying cameras at traffic lights that catch us rolling through a red light.

But video surveillance and analytics has many uses, most of which have nothing to do with violating the law. The latest analytics technology can be used for everything from customer service to workforce optimization.

Take those long lines at airport security, for instance.

“As a frequent international traveler, I spend a lot of time in airports,” wrote Illy Gruber for The NICE Security Blog, product marketing manager for the company. “If I get through them quickly, I’m happy.  If not, I, like most of the others in line with me, start muttering a range of frustrated thoughts.”

Gruber gets particularly frustrated with security lines because she knows there’s a better way: leveraging video analytics to keep the lines moving.

“NICE has a crowd detection video analytics application that works with video surveillance cameras to alert airport officials whenever crowds or queues (in security screening lines or other high traffic areas) exceed certain thresholds,” she wrote. “Airport control room operators see the alerts on a map, linked to real-time or recorded video. They instantly know when there’s overcrowding and can fix it.”

Gruber noted that such video surveillance and analytics systems already are operating in several airports in Asia and Russian. NICE has installed such a system for Aeroexpress, for instance.

In the case of Aeroexpress, Gruber explained, the system combines a situation management solution with crowd detection video analytics that integrates additional security, safety and operational systems as well as response procedures.

“The solution alerts control room operators when there is excessive congestion at exit turnstiles or when long queues form at ticket counters,” she wrote.

The payoff, of course, is a happy airport customer (or at least a less-unhappy customer, if we’re being realistic).

Using video analytics in this way also generates revenue for the airport, she speculated.

“Airports generate revenue through retail operations,” she wrote. “Long lines take away from the time that travelers can spend in the commercial areas of the airport where they would be spending money.”

And not just airports can take advantage of such technology.

With a little creativity, it is easy to see how such technology could be used to revise staffing levels in live-time, check workforce attendance or monitor for key behavior potentially.

“Video analytics isn’t just about security,” summarized Gruber. It can also “cutting long lines and wait times.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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