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November 29, 2017

How to Get Actionable Information from Security Cameras

Most companies that purchase security cameras do it generally for one simple reason - insurance.  The reason that they’re purchased like insurance is that they’re primarily used AFTER an event.  Maybe that event was a burglary, theft, HR incident, or some other incident that could pose a financial risk to the organization like a slip or fall.  At the end though, the purpose of the video is to mitigate the impact from some potentially harmful event.

In no way are we trying to minimize the importance of this scenario, but with all the computer power out there today and all of the “data” that resides in video, why can’t these cameras actually become an important business tool that are used every day?

That’s exactly the question we think about every day at Rhombus.  Below are a few areas where we believe we can “unlock” the information that’s been passively captured by cameras for decades.

Manage Your Security Camera from Anywhere

Now more than ever employees and managers are on the go.  They can’t be everywhere at once, but often times they would like to check in on their business or operations.  Maybe that’s to see how the manufacturing line looks that day, or how a user focus group is going, or just how much foot traffic their store is getting that day.  Whatever the reason, managers want easy access to their company to feel more connected and that’s a use case we try to make as easy as possible for these people.  Now, managers can check their operations wherever they are and share critical video clips or alerts to other colleagues.

Gather People Analytics

There are all types of scenarios where it would be helpful to know how many people are going through a particular location.  The obvious case is for retail stores that want to measure foot traffic, but there are numerous other use cases where this information is valuable.  It might be a building owner needing to know average foot traffic to help sell potential tenants, or a venue trying to understand their staffing needs, or a restaurant trying to make a connection between customer satisfaction and how busy their restaurant is.  There are all types of scenarios where knowing the foot traffic helps your company make smarter decisions.

Data on Space Utilization

Somewhat related to foot traffic, large companies often want to know how their space is being utilized or not being utilized.  Does a 20 person conference room only average small meetings?  How often is a particular breakroom used or how crowded is a particular area?  These are all questions that typically involve high-paid consultants armed with manual counters, but the reality is that your existing camera system should probably be able to answer these questions for you any time you want this data.

With this type of data always accessible (much like web analytics), organizations and businesses can make smarter decision about their business and the physical facilities that go into housing that business.

Automated Monitoring

Wouldn’t it be nice to know if someone entered your building after hours that wasn’t an employee?  Maybe they should have access, but again, it’d be great if your security system could just automatically tell you this.  Again, this is an area that Rhombus is spending a lot of time in.  Rather than having a passive video security system or a system that relies on humans to always monitor it, we’re working every day to make these systems smart and actually start working on your behalf.  This includes trying to learn who all of your employees are and then being able to alert when the system spots and unidentified person.

Conclusion

All of the above scenarios are just some of the ways we’re working to “unlock” the information that is stored in video.  No longer do we want these commercial video systems to be looked at purely as insurance, but rather we want them to be viewed as an integral part of business operations that are just as critical as doing every day business as other tools like email are.