To The Rescue
Video Surveillance is a key player in solving crimes
- By John L. Moss
- Jun 04, 2012
Several months ago, I noticed a set of tire
tracks running across my front lawn. Knowing
that neither my wife nor I enjoy offroading
on our yard, I did some investigative
work. After less than two minutes with my
video surveillance system, I was able to collect
extensive video evidence of the incident
and identify the lawn-defiling culprit. Before this year, that
same process would have taken hours.
Admittedly, investigating neighborhood vandalism is a smalltime
application of the sophisticated video security solutions
available today. But it does point to a larger trend: Integrated video
with forensic tools is transforming the physical security game.
The customer need is certainly clear. At S2, we’ve seen that as
customers have expanded globally, they have rightfully demanded
global solutions—video that can quickly and efficiently be accessed
from anywhere in the world.
In addition, because companies are increasingly comfortable—
and increasingly reliant—on mobility, Web-based solutions
have become more popular. Meanwhile, IT departments
continue to shrink, driving the need for video systems that are
easy to learn and efficient to use. And everyone wants solutions
in real time.
Just a few years ago, there were no integrated video products
that met all of those needs. Reviewing video footage required
hours of manually combing through millions of video frames,
and users had to install software in order to access the video at all.
Fortunately, that has changed, due in large part to improvements
in the way we capture and store video data.
Thanks to the adoption of networking standards in video
equipment, we are now able to treat video footage the way you
treat other “regular” security data—making it fully transportable,
searchable and compressible. Video streaming in H.264 as
opposed to motion JPEG, for example, can produce a 10:1 savings
Furthermore, because IP video footage is simply data that
can be transmitted over a typical IT infrastructure, we can use
a wide range of devices to switch and route the video data. PoE
and the newer, higher-powered standard for PoE Plus even eliminate
the in-line power supplies cameras previously required.
Equally important, we can now use cloud-based services to enable
remote access without any software.
In short, the technology has finally caught up with the customer
Despite these advancements, the costs associated with integrated
video solutions are still relatively high, especially for smaller-
scale customers. That is why S2 Security recently launched the
VR Series, a fully-integrated, small-scale, Web-based total security
The VR Series’ user interface is 100-percent Web-browserbased,
making it easier to administrate and more convenient than
non-Web-based systems. In addition, the system’s Forensic Desktop
capability provides data analysis, a feature that my team is the
most excited about.
As a result of the improvements in networking standards,
we’re able to provide a much more intimate integration between
video and other security applications such as alarm monitoring
and access control, giving users greater flexibility.
With these new systems, users don’t just capture video data;
they’re able to find, review and mine event-related video quicker
than ever before. They can search for video in a variety of ways,
including by time, person, event or camera location, and the forensic
case library allows them to save, export and share video
evidence in near-real time.
Overall, integrated video products like the VR Series make
monitoring, investigating and deploying video solutions much
more cost- and time-effective for the end user. That is certainly
welcome news in today’s still uncertain economic environment.
For all of these reasons, integrated video will have an increasing
role in S2’s products over the next 12 months, and I suspect that is
the case for many of our peers, as well. However, I believe we’re still
at the beginning of what we can achieve in video forensics.
As the back-end technologies continue to mature, we’ll continue
to see improvements that empower our customers to take
even greater control of their physical security.
As a veteran of the physical security business, I am delighted
that the industry is finally able to provide an integrated video solution
to customers of all sizes.
From detecting and interdicting insider theft to identifying
neighborhood vandals, I’m looking forward to watching how integrated
video will lower customer costs, increase efficiencies and
make our communities safer. And I am proud that S2 will be at
the forefront of this effort.
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Security Today.