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If your CCTV system runs 24/7 – as most do – your security team is capturing literally hundreds of hours of footage every month. With that much footage, the task of searching through it can for actionable information becomes overwhelming, especially if your security team is trying to investigate an incident.
Now, multiply that by the number of cameras a site has installed or the number of areas requiring video surveillance. There are workplaces in Alberta that could easily capture thousands of hours of CCTV footage from all their combined cameras. West Edmonton Mall, the University of Calgary campus, refineries and mills in and around Fort McMurray and Athabasca…it doesn’t take much to imagine work environments that collect thousands of hours of CCTV footage as a matter of course.
There are software applications, like the Avigilon Control Center, that can make reviewing this amount of surveillance footage significantly easier. For more information on how, Contact Us or just keep reading.
What is the Avigilon Control Center?
The Avigilon Control Center, or ACC, is a video management software designed to help security personnel use CCTV systems more efficiently. Its open platform design allows it to easily integrate with existing CCTV systems and access control systems so that businesses won’t have to invest in a suite of new equipment. The intent of the ACC is to focus on detection – of people, vehicles, and potential incidents – so your security team can focus on response and investigation.
You can get a quick overview of a few of the ways the most recent software version (ACC 7) does this, or you can keep reading for more details.
Search Tools That Come with the Avigilon Control Center 7
Classified Object Motion Detection Search
Classified Object Motion Detection allows your system to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant objects. If you’re trying to monitor an outdoor site, like a private parking lot or vehicle yard in the Edmonton area, this can be very valuable. If a particular (class of) object like a person or a vehicle, moves past a motion detector, a record is created. Security system operators can be notified of that motion or jump to that record when investigating an incident or jump to the camera feed to observe it in real-time. However, if the object is irrelevant, (like a piece of garbage or an animal) no record is created.
When paired with features like Appearance Search and License Plat Recognition, Classified Object Motion Detection can even be tailored to create a record when a specific person or vehicle enters a camera’s field of view.
Consider what this means for security personnel monitoring complex locations, like the parking lot and multiple floors of Royal Alexandria Hospital in Edmonton. Rather than spending hours monitoring the feed from cameras in the parking lot, security staff would be notified when any vehicle, or a particular vehicle, entered. However, if a stray animal or a piece of trash moved past the motion detector, there would be no notification because there would be no cause for concern. This feature could also send a notification when an individual entered through a secured entrance, or simply got too close to one.
Unusual Motion Detection
Avigilon’s Unusual Motion Detection is a tool designed to remove the need for security staff to monitor all security feeds for extended periods of time. In a nutshell, Avigilon’s video analytics allows the software to learn (among other things) what kind of movement is typical for a given environment. The Unusual Motion Detection feature provides value by flagging any movement that doesn’t line up with what normally occurs on-site and making a record of it.
Unusual movement can be anything from a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road to a vehicle or person loitering in or near a restricted area. Having records of this atypical (but not immediately alarming) activity can be a useful tool for security personnel who are looking for clues.
For example: Imagine there was an automobile accident at the entrance of an Oil Sands mine or a Fort McMurray refinery because somebody was driving on the wrong side of the road. Usual Motion Detection will have made a record of that behavior, allowing investigators to quickly confirm what happened, determine who was at fault and act accordingly. Similarly, if a person was loitering for a prolonged period of time near the scene of an incident, Unusual Motion Detection would make a record.
This feature isn’t limited to people and vehicles, either. If debris, like snow or ice, were to fall off an Edmonton overpass, Unusual Motion Detection could capture the movement. Upon reviewing the footage, security personnel could inform Edmonton Public Works of the potential hazard so it could be handled before an incident occurred.
Appearance Search is essentially what it sounds like: a tool that allows security personnel to search for a specific person or vehicle based on their appearance. Rather than examining the feeds from dozens or hundreds of CCTV cameras, this tool can search through all of them extremely quickly. By simply grabbing a still frame of the person or vehicle in question, security staff can use Appearance Search to find all instances of that subject appearing throughout the facility or facility grounds.
Watch the video below to see a step by step example of how this feature works.
Being able to track down an individual person or vehicle so quickly is an ability that would benefit security objectives, regardless of the industry.
License Plate Recognition
License Plate Recognition is a quick and easy way to search for a vehicle by its unique license plate. While Appearance Search would give security staff the option to search based on vehicle color, type and so on, this feature allows users to be very specific. What’s more, it allows you to organize lists of license plates into categories, or Watch Lists, so your team can immediately determine whether a vehicle is authorized to be on-site, unknown to site personnel, or banned from entering the premises.
Avigilon’s provided a demonstration of this feature at ISC 2019. You can watch that demo below.
These are just a few of the search tools that can make video surveillance easier to use and more effective as a security tool. That effectiveness can translate into faster response, more thorough investigations, and more informed security policies as your system collects information, day after day.
If you’d like to start a conversation on making Avigilon’s search tools a part of your security system, Contact Us. Our Account Managers and Service Technicians are here to answer all your questions and set you up for success.
Tridon is a full solution Telecom Systems Integrator with CSA certification and licensed by APEGA. Our Engineering, Service and Tower Divisions collaborate with customers to build engineered solutions including communications systems design, tower inspections, and co-location, wireless broadband, fiber optic cabling, site security, and two-way radio communication.