Surveillance is not just about video any more. Modern security systems are increasingly making use of audio in ensuring their solutions are as secure as possible.
According to Richard Brent, CEO of Louroe Electronics, audio analytics is an important facet of the modern security surveillance solution because it enables data monitoring and conversion to meaningful information for early detection and prevention. The key advantage of audio analytics is that it provides an early and sometimes first warning to staff so that they can intervene before the situation escalates. For a correctional facility that deploys an aggression detector, audio analytics is a key tool for assault reduction. Staff will be notified when inmates are verbally hostile toward each and/or the guards, allowing security personnel to de-escalate the interaction before it turns physical.
“Another important benefit of audio analytics is shortened response time,” Brent added. “In the 2013 sniper attack on PG&E’s Metcalf transmission substation, it took 10 minutes for the sheriff department to be notified of the gunfire. By the time first responders arrived, the gunfire had ceased and the suspects had fled the environment. With a gunshot detector, upon recognition of a firearm, an immediate notification is sent to security and law enforcement personnel to allow for maximum impact.”
Comments from other companies echo similar sentiments. Chris Mitchell, Founder and CEO of Audio Analytic said that their company believes that every sound tells a story. Whether a dog barking, a window breaking, a smoke alarm sounding or a baby crying, a home’s audio profile signifies constantly changing events in the home, often providing the first cue to what is happening - even before any visual cues are present.
“We can respond to these audio cues when we’re at home, but what about when we are away or asleep?” said Mitchell. “This is where our sound recognition software comes in. Using advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence, we make it possible to enable our homes to automatically respond to significant sounds, even when we’re absent or otherwise engaged. We call it ai3, an embeddable software platform that empowers devices with Artificial Audio Intelligence.”
What are the factors driving demand for this?
One of the factors driving demand for audio analytics is the realization that deploying cameras and video analytics does not identify all threats, according to Brent. The modern security solution is one that integrates several systems and sensory technologies like audio to achieve the most situational awareness.
“It’s a little considered fact that while today’s increasingly prolific artificial intelligence solutions can now accurately decode and respond to the human voice, they remain unable to recognize or respond to other sounds,” Mitchell said. “Over the past few years, voice recognition has moved from the mobile space into the smart home, transforming the way we interact with products and services. Take the rapid rise of Amazon’s Alexa, for example.”
Recognizing sound, however, remains the missing link in artificial intelligence solutions. Despite the tremendous opportunity for new products, services and revenue streams that sound recognition opens up, before Audio Analytic, it had remained largely uncharted commercial territory because of the complexity of the technical challenge.
“We believe a truly smart home enabled with security surveillance should also be able to “listen”, understanding and responding to significant sounds without depending on human instruction, better protecting both people and property,” Mitchell said. “This is why we’ve dedicated ourselves toward solving the technical complexities of sound recognition and unlocking the value of sound within the smart home.”
Christian Connors, CEO of Shooter Detection Systems said that for their technology, the rise in the active shooter problem is driving demand for the early warning. The problem is not limited to the US, but is present in other countries as well.