Video business intelligence (or VCA, rebranded)

When VCA was first introduced, its capabilities were often oversold. As the technology did not always live up to expectations, some customers became dissatisfied and this created negative publicity. There was a general perception that VCA did not work as well as it should.


IMS research: excellence in market intelligneceI mentioned in a blog a few months ago the need for video content analysis (VCA) suppliers to manage customer expectations. This is because when VCA was first introduced, its capabilities were often oversold. As the technology did not always live up to expectations, some customers became dissatisfied and this created negative publicity. There was a general perception that VCA did not work as well as it should.

It is taking time to completely overcome this negative image and this is perhaps why the phrase “video business intelligence” has been used at recent trade shows. The phrase basically refers to VCA used for business intelligence rather than security applications.

One of the key advantages of VCA for business intelligence over VCA for security is that even when an algorithm is running at less than 100% accuracy it can still provide value. Take the example of people counting. Even if the analytic does not count exactly how many people entered or left a location, it can still provide a good estimate, which has value. In security installations the VCA software must identify all intrusions. Anything that is not detected could potentially put the site in danger.

Of course, people counting isn’t the only application for video business intelligence. Other applications include identifying customer traffic patterns, assessing customer dwell times at different areas of a shop, and analyzing the length of queue lines, to name but a few.

Video business intelligence is a market that has so far developed largely through user experience and word-of-mouth. Employees in businesses that have used it have learned how it can deliver value. They have then described this experience to employees of other businesses (in some cases employees have moved companies and taken this experience to their new employer).

So far, it has mainly been large, well-known retailers that have used video business intelligence. To take full advantage of this opportunity, VCA software suppliers need to adapt their approach to selling and marketing their products. They need to demonstrate a return on investment by publishing real life examples where additional revenues have been generated or major savings in efficiency can be directly attributed to VCA. They also need to direct their efforts at relevant contacts in these organizations and typically, these will be marketing professionals rather than the security specialists they are used to.

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