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Robust analytics and advanced biometrics for video surveillance on the way: Hikvision exec


Hikvision biometric facial recognition cameras

The Indian video surveillance market is preparing to deepen the capabilities of biometric camera systems, according to the chief executive of one of that nation’s top surveillance vendors.

In a March 20 question-and-answer session with Dataquest magazine, Ashish P Dhakan, CEO of Prama Hikvision India Pvt. Ltd., said that artificial intelligence-supported “video analytics will be the number one game changer over the next 10 years in the video-surveillance business.”

Prama Hikvision India designs and makes surveillance hardware, including CCTV cameras and digital video recorders. It also writes facial recognition and video management software.

The company is part of the 19-year-old Chinese surveillance camera maker Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd., which, in turn, is controlled by China Electronics Technology Group Corp. The Chinese government founded China Electronics Technology and has since mandated the group to create software to identify terrorists using behaviors including individuals’ job data, hobbies, consumer traits and other information. The company recently unveiled a massive new camera-manufacturing facility just outside of Mumbai.

Analytics employed for current surveillance systems likely are attractive enough for many organizations in the Indian market, but Dhakan said it will be essential as video surveillance grows more sophisticated, offering richer insights into the information captured by cameras.

This decade, he said, will see the emergence of multi-dimensional perception, a feature it demonstrated in January at Intersec 2020. It combines radar and visible-light cameras to give depth to digital feeds.

Multiple deep-learning algorithms can run in parallel on a single Hikvision camera, capturing and analyzing structured data about faces, bodies and vehicles simultaneously. Cameras armed with these algorithms would not only gather a lot of biometric data, but would also be well-suited for use in edge-computing environments.

The new feature should make surveillance systems better at accurately detecting pressure, smoke and heat, said Dhakan. It can monitor heat signatures, enabling organizations to count people and even watch for environmental pollutants. Compared to visible light-only systems, he said, the new capabilities should cut down on false alarms. Dhakan also notes the business intelligence potential of facial recognition and other video analytics.

Deployed at traffic intersections, Hikvision systems could significantly reduce the number of cameras needed to monitor and analyze activity. Standard setups could require 10 or more cameras to manage traffic and detect vehicles and license numbers. New systems will be able to carry the same workload using just two cameras, he said.

The new facility and the government’s “Make in India” initiative give Hikvision a strong position in the local market, Dhakan says, enabling it to offer Safe City and Smart City products at a lower total cost of ownership.

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