Generating Intelligence from Video SurveillanceBy Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 08/05/2020 - 08:25
Q: What solutions do you provide to your clients?
A: Firstly, we offer the latest camera, radar and other monitoring technology. Secondly, we create applications that can use these devices to generate actionable intelligence. Axis Communications created the first internet protocol (IP) video system, which allows clients to access and act on surveillance material gathered in real time. Before, CCTV cameras were almost solely used for prevention and safety. We thought, why not use them for other purposes that can bring more value to our clients? For example, a retailer can use CCTV cameras to count the number of people in line, see where most people gather, determine the gender and age of clients and more. This can be used by marketing or sales departments to adapt the store layout and sales strategy to be more effective. In a warehouse, you can use cameras with our applications to identify where the bottleneck is in the operation. This can be the way people are handling merchandise, for example. In manufacturing, you can detect when a spot is left empty by an employee, causing a delay. Multiple applications can run through one camera. We provide the collected data in an easy-to-read format. The business chooses how to act on it. Our systems can send real-time alerts to our clients. Client can then act according to their internal protocol. Our alerts can come through a message on a computer or a phone message, whichever the client prefers.
Q: How long have you been active in building these smart applications?
A: We have been active in this for at least a decade. Overall, tech has improved dramatically, in terms of processing capacity, network bandwidth, artificial intelligence, IoT and more. The advantage for our clients is that you can actually implement our solutions with the existing camera infrastructure they have in place. Apart from cameras, our radar systems can detect a moving object and direct a camera to focus on the location. This can save on camera usage. Whatever the information you need, we go and create an application that will collect it. Think of face recognition, license plate recognition or detection of loose objects. Anything can be detected. We usually provide a standard application and then customize it for the client.
Q: What opportunities does the Mexican market provide for your smart applications?
A: Mexico is a very interesting market. We are present in every major industry, from hospitality, to retail, healthcare, manufacturing, city surveillance, defense and others. We work a lot with the government in different areas, such as city surveillance. They are using poles with a speaker and a panic button for interaction with citizens. A command center is watching, listening and speaking to the citizen. For defense, we are providing site safety measures in the area of national security.
In the private sector, we are quite successful in retail, whether that is convenience stores, supermarkets or luxury stores, where surveillance is used not just for loss prevention but also business intelligence. We work with Liverpool, for example, or Farmacias San Pablo. In the area of manufacturing, we help to optimize the assembly line. We work with many automotive companies, such as Kia. In the oil and gas sector, our cameras provide security surveillance but we can also observe if workers are wearing safety gear.
Q: What level of competition is there?
A: I can think of at least a dozen players that are active in our area. What differentiates us is our focus on innovation. At least 12 percent of our revenue goes into R&D. Our competition puts around 3 to 5 percent into R&D. We continue innovating to provide cameras with more functionalities, as well as other types of monitoring technologies. For example, we have launched a wearable body camera for individuals that can gather information. Our products are very well known in the market because of their quality and endurance. This makes the total cost of ownership very attractive. In the area of cybersecurity, we have a complex system that is very hard to hack, protecting every individual camera.
We also offer Axis Communications’ experience centers across Latin America, where customers can visit and see our technology in action. Our commitment to Latin America is long term and we continue to open new facilities in the region. We have local people working for Axis Communications, which allows us to be close to our customers.
Q: How can your solutions help companies adapt to the new normality?
A: We launched a line that we call “new normal solutions,” which will make life easier for any company. This includes systems such as access control through face recognition. We can also detect whether someone has used sanitizer liquid or washed their hands in a designated location. We offer cough detection that can send an alarm if something comes up. We can monitor social distancing. This can be used to avoid crowding at retail stores, for example. All these systems will make it easier for our clients to return to the new normal. Face recognition is one area that is becoming more important right now, not to identify the individual but to determine whether people are wearing a face mask. If a customer or employee is not wearing a mask, our system will send an alert to the client.
As the market leader in network video, Axis is leading the way to a smarter, safer, more secure world — driving the shift from analog to digital video surveillance. Offering network video solutions for professional installations, Axis’ products and solutions are based on an innovative, open technology platform