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How analytics also play a key role on cruises and ferries

How analytics also play a key role on cruises and ferries
Video surveillance plays a key role on cruise ships and ferries, helping prevent incidents or speed up post-event investigation. How the video is transmitted and stored, then, is important. More and more, cruise ship video analytics are also deployed to increase situational awareness.
Monitoring of a ship is usually done at a control center onboard, and transmission from cameras to the center is key. “Most surveillance camera systems aboard ships are IP-based, transmitting video over Ethernet cabling. Wireless systems can be problematic and unreliable aboard ship, especially due to close proximity to multiple other electronics and electrical systems, dense shipboard spaces and metal ship hulls and infrastructure,” said Jeff Whitney, VP of Marketing at Arecont Vision Costar.
Robert Watts, VP, Global
Facial Recognition Solutions,
Digital Barriers

In the event the feeds need to be transmitted to a control center onshore, several technologies, including satellite communications, may be used. “When the ships are within cellular range of land they can communicate using low-bandwidth streams or even offload video that has been stored. Offshore bandwidth is charged at a premium. Satcoms when out of range is expensive. Here we optimize bandwidth use by streaming only what’s needed – rules-based scenario – at ultra-low bandwidths,” said Robert Watts, VP of Global Facial Recognition Solutions at Digital Barriers. “EdgeVis, our live-streaming solution, has been proven to stream at lower bandwidths than any other tech for satcom streaming and has been accredited by the major carriers.”
Most video captured by cameras are stored onboard. However, new hybrid local-and-cloud systems are beginning to come into play. “All video is recorded and stored locally, and then any video of interest is uploaded over satellite or other wireless technology as needed. This is much less expensive than transmitting all video continuously to shore, and can be done at low demand times or when less expensive communications choices are available, such as when in or near a port of call,” Whitney said.

The importance of analytics

Hardware aside, software is also important, especially analytics that can detect various incidents to keep operators situationally aware. “Combining live-streaming with analytics is key. This allows users to focus on the detail from what is captured and streamed ensuring that people focus on what’s important and reducing man hours from wadding through hours of footage,” Watts said.
For cruises and ferries, nothing is more serious than a passenger falling off the ship, known as man-overboard. Analytics that works with a video surveillance system can help detect such incidents. According to a blog post by PureTech Systems, the U.S. government in 2010 signed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, which calls for automatic man-overboard detection/monitoring systems onboard.
“As a result of these regulations, many companies are now developing systems that can detect and sound an alarm in the case of man-overboard events.” The post said. “PureTech Systems has patented a software algorithm and provides a corresponding system to monitor and sound an alarm in the event of a man falling overboard under a wide range of weather condition and sea states. The imaging system provides video data to the PureTech Systems’ algorithm which is then able to analyze, compute and locate overboard events along the ship’s periphery, regardless of fall height.”
Furthermore, analytics can serve non-security functions. “Going beyond simply a security tool, video analytics can add value to retail operations on the ship by providing data on people counting, traffic pattern analysis and crowd control,” said Jumbi Edulbehram, Regional President for Americas at Oncam.

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