When it comes to video surveillance tools and services, the industry has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. That’s not to say there hasn’t been progress providing innovative cameras, IP video feeds, and security monitoring and detection — but the next big era is already on the horizon.

With the onset of IP cameras and cloud-enabled technology, video surveillance has been changing rapidly over the last decade, leading to new capabilities that improve system performance as well as provide specific solutions to current surveillance challenges. And yet there is still more ground to cover.

For instance, video surveillance cameras create hundreds of petabytes of data per day. On an individual organizational scale, that much video footage would be impossible to watch and analyze with any accuracy and timeliness. And even if such a task was possible, the costs would prove too high for human monitoring alone. Yet in all of the video footage often lies valuable information with potential operational and financial impact to an organization.

Fortunately, we’re at a tipping point of a new era of video surveillance — one that offers sophisticated automation and predictive analytics. The most significant impact, however, is possible only with advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As of this month, we’re pleased to unveil some of what that solution looks like thanks to a new technology alliance with IBM, the global technology company and leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With IBM Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) Plug-In for VideoXpert, we’re able to seamlessly integrate IBM’s deep learning analytics into Pelco’s video management system (VMS).

With this plug-in, IBM Analytics will be able to generate metadata on live video footage for live alerts meaning faster identification and response to potential risks or opportunities. Additionally, the analytics can quickly search through huge volumes of archived video to identify people and objects of interest — as well as patterns of movement and behavior. In other words, we’re now in the position to dramatically decrease the time needed for rapid responses to criminal activity, traffic snarls or accidents, and video forensic analyses for investigative follow-up.

Exciting advancements on the horizon

You might be wondering how this would translate in today’s society. Or maybe you aren’t even aware but will be the recipient of its benefits to larger society. For the record, the potential impact of AI and deep learning on video surveillance is massive. There have already been giant leaps in processing power, cloud-based storage, advances in camera monitoring quality thanks to 4k technology. Now, blend in Pelco’s unmatched ability to customize solutions to the way a given company operates with the unwavering, watchful eye of IBM Intelligent Video Analytics Plug-In for VideoXpert, and you have an unparalleled opportunity to provide heightened levels of security and efficiency to a complex world.

It means safer schools for our children, better security when passing through airports, and greater protection and control for various public and private facilities. For instance, imagine being able to search through a database of footage for a red vehicle that is linked to a crime and conducting a search for person(s) of interest who are wearing a blue shirt, glasses and a hat. Or airports that can begin their safety checks as soon as a vehicle turns on the road to the terminal, and covers an entire airport from baggage claim to airport tarmacs. The value of the IBM IVA plug-in has the potential to touch a wide range of industries: city traffic, oil and gas, health care, retail, transportation hubs like ports and far-flung railroad networks, among many others.

The most eye-opening statistic of all? Only 3% of video cameras in use today possess intelligent or AI capabilities. There’s a massive opportunity to drastically advance our ability to identify and predict potential problems in the moment they require action, to secure our transportation networks, to make life more secure and efficient citizens more around cities. The list goes on.

Pelco’s collaboration with IBM is what will make this possible, and we couldn’t be more excited!