Why AI-powered Computer Vision has redefined surveillance

Our CEO, Salman Chaudhary, talks to International Security Journal about how Computer Vision (CV) Artificial Intelligence (AI) is leading the charge toward a utopian vision of a safer future.

Applications of Computer Vision are no longer limited to structured, repetitive tasks. Latest solutions are more adaptable, meaning they can process more information and have an improved ability to function in semi- and unstructured scenarios and within increasingly complex environments.

Computer Vision works by detecting, recognizing, counting and tracking objects and people within video data and then issuing an alarm when unusual patterns are detected. These benefits make the technology highly suited to many diverse applications, such as counting people entering an event, monitoring transport interchanges and maintaining social distancing, through to improved safety and security of staff within businesses environments.

Once in place, Computer Vision captures data from CCTV to model and analyse semantic content. The AI aspect ‘learns’ to identify normal activity within the video content and also to pick up on unusual events in a particular context. For example, at a large gathering it can identify when a person opens a security door within the venue, indicating either a security threat or unauthorised access. In this example, CV works more effectively than human observers, who can be distracted or become less effective over time due to boredom. At the same time, it can track the offender whilst intervention arrives, something that is difficult for people to do in large crowds. In simple terms, continuous monitoring is difficult and tiresome for humans, but is an area where CV AI excels.

The real benefit of Computer Vision is that it automates repetitive tasks, enabling security staff to focus on more important duties – such as being the ultimate decision maker on the actions taken. Ultimately, CV removes the need for humans to do repetitive, low-value task such as assessing video content. The ability of Computer Vision AI to recognize objects and ‘see’ patterns in images by assigning metadata has huge potential. It can help to quickly identify an object such as dangerous weapon in an image or detect when a human is in a restricted area. The point about CV AI is that it processes or identifies objects more accurately, consistently and at a faster rate than the human eye. For instance, if a would-be intruder tries to evade detection and CCTV only picks up part of an arm, Computer Vision is still able to ‘recognise’ it as a human form and sound an intruder alarm.

In addition, heatmaps generated by CV solutions such as our WorkSafe Analytics show exactly where people density is highest, so measures can be taken to change access routes or open/close turnstiles. This can be particularly important in large venues where there is a real possibility of crowd crush. At the same time, CV detects when appropriate PPE such as facemasks aren’t being worn, so, in the short term at least, can help venues open up sooner if relaxed rules allow access by customers wearing facemasks.


Computer Vision Artificial intelligence is giving CCTV digital brains to match their visual capabilities, allowing them to analyse live video content far beyond the capability of humans. That is positive news for public safety and security because it provides early identification of suspicious behaviour, traffic issues, and management of crowds.  By integrating into smart cities, events, public spaces and social venues, CV has revolutionised security monitoring systems.

The widespread deployment of CV AI and subsequent high quality surveillance data installed in public spaces, manufacturing businesses, educational institutions and commercial buildings has transformed how these spaces are managed.

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