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AI is here to stay: Technological innovation and the next twelve-months

AI’s role in video surveillance is rapidly evolving, enhancing security and productivity.

Visitors walk past the Baidu booth during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai. — © AFP/File WANG Zhao
Visitors walk past the Baidu booth during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai. — © AFP/File WANG Zhao

In 2024, surveillance is set to continue as a hot topic of conversation. This will including the technology that the New York MTA will adopt to catch violations to its use in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye Networks, who is a veteran of the business, considers how the technology is shifting with novel technology such as AI and what are the trends to look out for in the upcoming years.

Drako explains to Digital Journal how artificial intelligence deployment will progress quickly and where 5G-led innovations to take centre stage as the next 12 months progress.

AI deployment will progress quickly

Drako states: “AI’s role in video surveillance is rapidly evolving, enhancing security and productivity. AI video search is growing significantly, enabling people who work in security – whether small business owners, facility managers, or security directors at a large enterprise business – to be more productive. In 2024, new applications for AI will arrive at the forefront as it becomes even more practical and deployable.”

Citing an example, Drako selects one of the darker sides of life in the U.S.: “One of those use cases is gun detection, which can benefit both private and public sectors, particularly schools. Businesses and schools that implement AI alerting can monitor and analyse video feeds trained to recognize firearms and alert the necessary authorities. AI models will enable continuous monitoring for rapid response in case of emergencies.”

He adds: “It is important to note that these AI systems may encounter challenges distinguishing between real firearms and toy guns, prompting notifications in both scenarios. However, this concern is reduced because a human operator makes the final decision about whether it’s appropriate to take action.”

AI can also be used for more peaceful purposes, which Drako summarises as: “Other AI applications that will grow in deployment include slip-and-fall detection, fire and smoke detection, hard hat and PPE detection, and proximity to hazardous areas. With hard hats and other protective gear, AI automatically detects when people are not wearing them. This will be more accurate and less time-consuming than manual checks and help comply with safety regulations, thus offering a higher level of job site safety.”

2024 will witness widespread adoption of License Plate Recognition (LPR)

In terms of security applications, Drako considers: “License Plate Recognition (LPR) has been adopted by governments and law enforcement agencies and is primarily used to identify theft. In 2024, LPR will play a vital role in helping build smart cities, and its role will expand beyond assisting authorities to a role in modernizing homeowners associations and neighbourhoods.”

In terms of how this technology will be exploited, Drako thinks: “Homeowners associations will use this technology to increase security and convenience. It will also help them with community management to understand traffic patterns and help with parking enforcement. However, HOAs and cities that are widely deploying LPR in the hopes reducing crime may have some challenges regarding privacy, so the deployment of LPR for crime reduction should be carefully executed.”

In addition, the analyst thinks: “LPR will play a significant role in automating parking management. It can be used for parking payments and allows cars to access garages without remote control. By implementing such technologies, parking management companies will create new revenue streams with improved revenue collection that enable accurate and automated billing. It will streamline operations where one can operate multiple facilities from a central location. Finally, these systems will generate data that will provide valuable insights that can help analyse customer trends, to maximize profitability while delivering optimal services.”

License Plate Recognition (LPR) will create ‘smart drive-thrus’

Building on vehicle-related technology, Drako puts forward: “License Plate Recognition (LPR) is already playing a vital role in business security infrastructure. In 2024, the role of LPR will expand to helping businesses with ease of operations, especially for drive-throughs.

Currently, LPR is used to improved safety at drive-throughs by monitoring license plates and reporting incident disputes in case of investigations. In the next year, this role will also include helping them with order management during peak times. Using LPR, restaurant staff can link an order to a customer’s car and use it as an identification to deliver their order once ready.”

Outside of the area of insurance, there are other customer-facing applications to consider: “Further, it has the potential to help customers place their orders where the menu can display past preferences and also upsell based on the available data. The data collected will help create future strategies to identify customer preferences influencing a company’s sales and marketing strategies. This will be done optionally depending on the customer’s preference to opt in or opt-out of data collection.”

5G-led innovations to take centre stage

Taking greater advantage of 5G innovation is also likely, according to Drako: “The deployment of 5G technology is set to revolutionize video monitoring, particularly in remote and challenging-to-wire locations. This advancement will make video surveillance even more accessible and comprehensive. Additionally, 5G will become the primary internet connection for some individuals, potentially reducing their reliance on traditional cable companies. The convergence of AI and 5G promises significant innovations in surveillance and connectivity.”

AI-Centric Surveillance Systems: Safety and Security

Technologies can also be used to boost personal and business safety. Here Drako says: “In the case of a security incident, traditional video surveillance systems require someone to review many hours of footage to find key incidents, a time-consuming process which can delay response. The video surveillance industry is poised to transform to AI-driven security systems. Traditional video surveillance systems are evolving into comprehensive AI security solutions.”

In terms of practical applications, Drako cites: “These systems will record video footage, but will also do a lot more to enhance safety and security. This shift reflects the fact that customers are less interested in video and more concerned about preventing and addressing security issues. Leveraging machine learning, algorithms, and computer vision, AI safety and security systems will efficiently process and interpret video content, enabling real-time threat detection.”

Evolution of Facial Recognition

Keeping with the security theme Drako turns huis attention to biometrics: “Facial recognition technology is poised for significant growth and development in 2024. However, user consent and privacy assurance is the key to its future success. Facial recognition will continue to advance, offering improved accuracy and versatility. Facial recognition will be widely adopted in access control, particularly in environments like high security offices and luxury estates. Successful implementation will be characterized by transparency and individuals’ explicit consent, addressing concerns about privacy and ethical use, with a heavy push for automation and safety.”

Of course data protection will remain important and Drako mentions this: “Privacy regulations will continue to exert a significant influence on the surveillance industry. Resellers and end users must adapt to evolving compliance standards and navigate an increasingly complex regulatory landscape to ensure the ethical and responsible use of surveillance technologies.”

AI’s Role in Health Monitoring

The final area selected by Drako is healthcare. In terms of technological innovation, he selects: “The surveillance industry will help tackle health monitoring in working properties and multifamily housing, moving toward healthier environments. Sensors will be deployed in each building, analysing carbon dioxide, gases and smoke, detecting carbon monoxide and flame, and measuring heat, temperature and humidity. The application of these technologies may expand to monitor health and safety parameters, transforming a broader spectrum of public well-being.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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