video recognition software

“Focusing their eyes”: Understanding video recognition software

by Caroline Bottger

Two weeks ago, we explored five different ways in which artificial intelligence—or AI— will revolutionize video surveillance. This week, we’ll help you understand how Patriot One Technologies’ AI-powered video recognition software (VRS) actually works within a video surveillance platform, and what buyers in all industries should know before they start exploring it as an option.

What is video recognition software?
Patriot One’s VRS is AI-powered software that works with digital video surveillance systems to detect and recognize threats. These threats can be single objects like guns and knives, or more complex crowd movements and disturbances. The software aims “not to replace [security personnel’s] eyes, but to focus their eyes,” said Matthew Carle, senior product manager at Patriot One Technologies.

How does VRS work with a video feed?
Unlike traditional systems, where security personnel monitor a number of feeds simultaneously, video recognition software analyzes the feed from a variety of cameras simultaneously. Using the video feed as “input,” the software applies several forms of AI, including deep learning and computer vision to scan for potential threats. When the software detects a potential threat object, it measures that object against a variety of parameters. The VRS then classifies the object as a gun, knife, or other threat and notifies the security team. Once their attention has been drawn, the team can respond appropriately.

What kind of artificial intelligence powers VRS?

Any AI-powered software relies on a number of methods and each one builds on the next. To start, data scientists build machine learning algorithms to automate a task, in this case analyzing images and classifying objects, based on sets of training data. The dataset—usually video and photographs—is labeled by human beings, who tell the machines which of the object’s features should be considered. For the machine learning algorithms to get better over time, the scientists have to step in anytime the algorithm makes a mistake and correct it—a time consuming and costly process.

To operate independently, VRS must harness the power of a much more sophisticated form of AI called deep learning. To achieve deep learning, computer scientists layer together multiple algorithms to form neural networks, then train those networks to work together using vast data sets. Thanks to deep learning, VRS software can determine on its own which object features are significant, and uses those to recognize weapons from a number of angles in a variety of contexts without human intervention.

Are there any privacy issues associated with VRS?
There is no facial recognition functionality built into Patriot One’s platform, and VRS isn’t a video storage system, points out Carle. Facility and security managers wholly own the data captured and analyzed by the VRS software, so there’s no risk of it being sold to third parties.

What logistical considerations should buyers investigate when considering VRS?
Security managers should have their venue’s video infrastructure and management systems closely evaluated by VRS experts before integration begins. To start, the quality of the video feed input has a direct input on the quality of the software analysis. Legacy cameras, for example, have lower resolution, so the quality of the VRS analysis will be poor. The positioning of cameras is essential too. According to Carle, “camera position is one of the primary success factors [of VRS].” Buyers should also do their best to understand the technology on its own terms and be wary of information and statistics that make the technology sound all-powerful.

How will VRS evolve?
“The real goal is to revolutionize video surveillance as a whole,” said Carle. The value is in the data that’s already being collected, he said, and demonstrating this value to facility managers is the next step. For example, as the coronavirus pandemic continues, schools and hospitals could use Patriot One’s VRS to enforce face mask compliance. But security teams will still rely on trained officers to make sound judgment calls, Carle said. “The reality is, you can’t replace people. The human is the most fundamental thing that you have.”

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