Video Content Analysis for Business in 2020: Opportunities and Tasks

Video content analysis is a technology built on special software that uses automated methods for processing information from surveillance cameras. The system is based on online image analysis without human intervention. With the development of this field of activity, video content analysis is increasingly being used for business purposes. Its capabilities allow you to record the activity of staff and visitors, recognize faces, determine the length of the queue, and solve other problems aimed at improving efficiency.

Trends in video content analysis

With the release of new hardware and software, new trends appear in video analytics. Therefore, HiSilicon launched two powerful image processors (3516DV30 and 3516CV500), capable of processing huge amounts of information. NextChip created a new generation chip with the ability to recognize objects according to the principle of the human brain.

When considering trends in video analytics, it’s worth highlighting some points:

  1. The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud service. Many security camera manufacturers, including Dahua and Hikvision, use this solution. At the same time, work is underway to combine different types of alarm systems into one with the transfer of information to the cloud service.
  2. Creation of codecs that provide smart compression and save up to 80% bitrate. In particular, HiSilicon announced about this achievement.
  3. Implementation of video analytics for business purposes in organizing access control, security, analysis of personnel actions, and customer attendance. One of the latest developments is turnstiles capable of recognizing human faces.
  4. Improving the quality of security cameras and the emergence of new options. Manufacturers are adding sensitive sensors, aperture lenses, and 4G technology to their models. Most devices already use 4K technology but there are already 8K models.
  5. The detectors based on neural networks are actively used to improve security at the company or state.

Along with the improvement of the technical component, work is underway to improve the interfaces. The video control system smoothly turns into a tool for optimizing costs and obtaining new marketing information. Video analytics is becoming available to the masses, which makes it possible to apply it not only at the level of the state or large companies but also in retail trade and the service sector.

What tasks do video analytics solve?

The capabilities of video analytics allow it to be used in all types of business including in retail trade. This is due to the comparative ease of mounting and configuring, as well as the flexibility of legislation in the field of installation of such equipment.

Face recognition

Video surveillance systems in combination with special software for video analysis are capable of solving face recognition tasks. This option allows you to accurately identify the visitor, thereby increasing the level of security and reducing losses for the business. The device operates in automatic mode and upon detection of a person or group of persons from the blacklist informs the security officer. Depending on the settings, information is sent to mobile phones, PC, or other equipment.

The principle of operation is based on the analysis of real photographs of people and their comparison with the resulting picture on a video camera. The accuracy of video analytics is due to a multilevel analysis of different points in the lips, eyes, nose, and forehead. The existing algorithms provide more than 95% accuracy and guarantee the preservation of confidential data.

Age and sex determination

The capabilities of video analytics are aimed not only at identifying certain people but also at collecting other information – age and sex. Getting information helps determine which category of customers likes a product or service. The collected data can be used to create an advertising campaign targeted at a specific age group or gender.

Queue Length determination

Modern analytical systems provide information on the length of the queue, which helps the business to draw conclusions about customer loyalty and reduce the cost of attracting additional employees. Video analytics capabilities allow you to make precise settings:

  •       set up to six queue determination zones for any video camera;
  •       set parameters that limit the maximum number of customers and the maximum time they are in the queue.

If the specified value is exceeded, the device informs the authorized employee by sending a message to a smartphone, e-mail, or PC. Based on the collected information, reports are generated for different areas of the store or outlet in general.

The use of video analytics in the business allows us to solve many problems, namely, to reduce the average service time, make a decision on hiring additional people, or change the opening hours of an establishment. As a result, it is possible to save customers and reduce costs.

Working hours

The use of modern systems and the analysis of video recordings help in solving another problem – time control at the workplace. The following technologies are used for this:

  1. QR code recognition. An employee demonstrates a graphic key that decodes video camera software. The action is repeated when entering and leaving the establishment, after which the data is saved and added to the list. Summary charts are used in calculating wages and determining the time that a person spent in the office.
  2. Reading access cards. In contrast to the previous method, a card with a chip is used here. It contains information about the employee, which reduces the risk of counterfeiting. In parallel, the camera captures the employee using the face recognition function, and a special device reads data from the chip.

Using face recognition technology to calculate working time implies the installation of two cameras – at the entrance and exit to capture the face of the employee when moving in any direction.

Black/White Lists

Depending on the goals, you can create black and white lists for further control using video analytics. The first group includes people who are denied access to an office or outlet for various reasons, and the second, on the contrary, is allowed.

If a person is identified from the blacklist, the system informs security personnel about the penetration of an undesirable person. The message may arrive on the PC or phone. This technology can be used to solve inverse problems – identifying desirable customers who need to be given special attention.

Heat maps

The use of heat maps is one of the main elements of video analytics in business. With their help, you can see the movement of people in the camera coverage area at a certain time. The main thing is not to confuse the principle of operation of heat maps and video cameras that respond to heat. The latter only controls the temperature of the object. They show people in the form of red spots, and cold elements – blue.

The main goal of a heat map is not a temperature control but a display of the frequency of movement. As an additional device, a motion sensor is used, which is installed in the area of ​​the camera. The detector is configured so that it gives a command for recording certain information and storing it in the archive.

Depending on the camera model, you can view the heat map for different times – 24 hours, 7 days, a month, etc. According to the information received, it is possible to see customer interests. This opportunity is useful in all areas including retail trade.


Video content analysis is becoming a powerful tool for business, staff control, customer acquisition, and survival in the face of fierce competition. The use of such systems allows you to keep up to date and achieve the desired results, whether it is improving security, reducing costs, or increasing the efficiency of employees.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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