Video verification is a type of alarm verification that links alarm data with video associated with the event that triggered the alarm. Video verification can be used to improve the effectiveness of alarm responses by a monitoring service.
When an event triggers an alarm that is sent to a monitoring center, there may be video associated with the event. If this video is available, the monitoring center can verify the event and then take appropriate action.
This action could include calling an appropriate point of contact, service provider, fire department, or law enforcement. With many monitoring providers, it is also possible for the end user to view the triggering alarm video and live video using a mobile application.
This video will usually come from an installed video management system that will provide the monitoring center a video clip on an event or access to real-time camera feeds.
Video verification can provide many benefits such as shortened response time by first responders as it allows the monitoring operators to confirm the event is occurring and then provide accurate information to first responders. Its use will also reduce false alarms and associated false alarm fees when law enforcement is asked to respond when an event has not occurred.
As the verification occurs near-to-real-time, a response may occur while the event is still active, which could reduce loss and interruptions to an end user’s business. Its use can also reduce insurance claims which would then affect insurance rates.
Many municipalities across the country have changed their laws or regulations associated with alarm response and require some type of verification before they will dispatch. With video verification, law enforcement can be informed that an alarm is indeed a real event and dispatch accordingly. If no action is needed at the location, then the incident is logged for reporting and no dispatch is requested.
In some deployment scenarios, the monitoring center can view live video from a location. When this functionality is available, the monitoring center staff can connect to the video management system and determine what is occurring after the event has been triggered. This real-time information can be passed to the first responders as well.
Options are available in some systems that can provide access to real-time video feeds to the first responders directly, so they know what is occurring as they approach a location which then improves their situational awareness.
The cost of video verification systems can be much less than a system that is monitored in real-time by agents. They can also be deployed based on different camera vendors and models. The systems will work with motion sensing or other analytics on the camera at the edge or analytics that are deployed on the video system. These analytics can be used to further reduce false alarms.
This reduction in false alarms and associated fees can also be used as part of an ROI analysis. Using analytics, the system can be configured to ignore animals near a virtual fence line but trigger when a person is detected. It can be used to detect vehicles moving in a parking lot after hours or someone approaching the doors after business hours. The triggers for each of these events can be set up for the desired action and other events would be ignored by the system.
The same technology used for video verification can also be used to provide different services to a user. When an event occurs, it can trigger audible alarms at the location or be integrated into a system that allows the monitoring operators to provide talk-down services to the people that triggered the alarm.
The building blocks used for verification can also be used for virtual guard tours, gate/door management and remote escort services. If live access is available to the user’s video system, virtual guard tours provide a means of observing the environment on a regular basis.
A similar configuration can allow the operators to monitor parking gate and door access using cameras and intercoms to provide access to restricted areas or after hours. The operators can request identification and verify authorization, as well as logging all activities. Remote escort services can also use the live feeds to review the requested video feeds and verify that the area is in a known state and watch as someone moves through the area.
While the basics of the technology used for video verification are not new, many different offerings are possible in the physical security arena. The options available and customer demand allows integrators and monitoring centers to provide a wide variety of solutions to their end users which can result in additional value from their video systems.
Chris Peckham is Director of Operations for Ollivier Corp.