The prospect of having to navigate your way through airport security is enough to put a huge damper on an upcoming trip. Fortunately, airport security is moving away from metal detectors, X-ray scans and pat-downs to full-body imaging and video surveillance technologies.
In the wake of 9/11 getting through airport security has become a tedious affair of unpacking laptops and removing jackets and shoes which cause huge pile-ups of highly frustrated travellers.
Video surveillance that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) may change that and at the same time radically change the security in public places like airports and malls.
AI makes video surveillance really useful. Without AI video surveillance is just a snapshot of what a camera “saw”. AI adds brains to the eyes of the camera.
Countries are realizing the benefits of AI surveillance technology, which is spreading fast around the world. At least 75 out of 176 countries globally actively use AI technologies for surveillance purposes.
Airport surveillance technologies
Airports the world over are investigating emerging surveillance technologies to help streamline security processes. These include Video Management Systems (VMS) and HD panoramic cameras, coupled with advanced video analytics.
Video analytics make all the difference. Camera coverage can help to monitor a departure or arrival hall, but analytics will notify airport security officials of any anomalies going on. Cameras with built-in analytic functions are more efficient at detecting bottlenecks and suspicious behaviour than standard CCTV.
They can effectively monitor crowd movements, predict developing bottlenecks and notify airport security who can take the necessary steps. AI-enhanced video surveillance cameras can instantly look for and identify a person of interest such as an elderly passenger who has gone missing. The system can search for everything from the colour of the person’s outfit to approximate height and body type and so help security personnel identify the lost person on the video feed and from there track the person’s movements through the building.
These advanced solutions are instantly searchable in hundreds of languages. Security personnel can ask the system to look for anything from an animal to a person walking with a limp or a yellow parcel.
Eliminating human error
The effectiveness of surveillance cameras for security purposes has always been hampered by the short attention span of people. Studies have shown that humans can focus on a mundane task like watching video footage for a maximum of 20 minutes – after that their attention is no longer on the job.
Intelligent video analytics gets rid of this problem. Where a security officer might miss a person staying in one spot too long, a camera with intelligent video analytics will spot the anomaly without fail and warn authorities. Imagine the efficiency of multiple cameras connected to a VMS – very little will escape it, making airports much safer places to be.
Of course, intelligent video analytics can be leveraged to monitor crowds in other situations as well, including sports events, malls, public demonstrations, town markets and public festivals.
Smart crowd control
Intelligent video surveillance that includes facial recognition software can be invaluable for crowd control. The term refers to the ability to monitor and manage large groups of people in order to ensure safety and controlled behaviour.
Smart crowd monitoring uses a combination of intelligent technologies to manage aspects unique to crowds like anticipating and suppressing sudden aggressive flair-ups or simply to maximise the flow of movement through a venue and minimizing congestion.
Connected security cameras equipped with facial recognition software can identify a person of interest in a crowd and track them. The machine learning algorithms that have been trained on normal behaviour, instantly identify suspect behaviour and inform authorities.
Security cameras enhanced with artificial intelligence and facial recognition software will make public spaces and places where crowds gather safer once they are fully deployed.