What's the next big thing in security? Automated video surveillance?

What's the next big thing in security? Automated video surveillance?
With the number of security cameras around the world set to increase rapidly in the coming years, there will be a tremendous demand for automated video surveillance, according to EhEye, a Canadian startup specializing in the field.

EhEye offers automated video surveillance for public safety and security of critical infrastructure. The company has built a software platform capable of ingesting any number of pre-existing cameras and highlighting objects, persons and behaviors of interest in real-time.

Speaking to asmag.com, James Stewart, CEO of the company, said that there is a confluence of factors contributing to the demand for automated video surveillance.

“The sheer number of video surveillance cameras in the wild is expected to top 1 billion by 2020,” Stewart said. “There are simply not enough resources to unlock the value of these cameras. This makes the camera one of the most underutilized assets on the planet, and incredibly ripe for disruption.  People are also recognizing that the growth of smart cities is contingent on first being a safe city, which is reflected in growing public safety and security budgets. Even cybersecurity has a physical side that must be monitored for suspicious behaviors.  Unfortunately, these safety concerns will continue to grow as we head into more turbulent times.”

The technology behind the solution

There are two parts to EhEye’s solution, a platform and analytical modules. The platform enables the company to handle massive amounts of streaming video data. While it has been built to work with existing camera infrastructures, the company is keen to partner with major camera manufacturers.

“For example, we are already Channel and Development Partners with Axis Communications,” Stewart noted. “On the analytical module side, we are building a library of sophisticated algorithms that can be used across critical infrastructure applications.  We like to make the distinction that we are not researching new techniques, rather, we are ‘productizing’ existing techniques. That is, we are using academic and open source libraries and combining them, training them, in creative ways to address specific security issues at scale and scope.”

What makes it special?

To Stewart, what makes EhEye different from the competition is the experience they are putting into the product. It is not easy to find talent in this field, but the company has managed to rope in senior technical members who have worked for the likes of IBM and Raytheon.

“This experience has allowed us to build a product that can literally stand toe-to-toe with anyone in the industry,” he added. “Our gun detection module, for example, can highlight the presence of a firearm in 0.02 seconds. We also have very strong DNA on our team for policing and cybersecurity – including a female SWAT member trained in terrorism incident response!”

Naturally, the company expects development in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning to have a strong impact on its product. Stewart pointed out that their goal is to leverage the latest AI research towards their mission to protect.

“Everything we build uses modern technologies and design principles, giving us the ability to incorporate new techniques as they appear,” he said.  “The research and processing power is accelerating so quickly, it’s imperative that companies are ready and able to innovate at the same speed.”

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