As noted in my last post, much of today’s physical security infrastructure has been built around constraints that no longer exist. Namely, those caused by a lack of internet connectivity. While legacy security camera providers have sought to update their products for the internet age by retrofitting software features, their solutions are insufficient by current standards.
Enterprise security cameras might come with dozens of hardware options for different security scenarios, but they lack the modern software that is used in the world of consumer IoT devices.
In the consumer space, the proliferation of IoT has ushered in plenty of well-designed, effective, connected cameras for the home. But it’s still an entirely different story for the enterprise. Commercial spaces frequently have requirements and constraints that homes do not, such as bandwidth limitations and more cameras spread across multiple sites
Home security systems stream video straight to the cloud and often only consist of one to three cameras, making it easy to view live feeds. Whereas, video surveillance systems for enterprises are made up of hundreds (or thousands) of cameras at multiple sites. This makes it incredibly time-consuming to review all the footage without some type of automation.
Additionally, home systems make use of fast broadband connections to send clear and constant footage to the cloud in real time. This consumes significant bandwidth. For enterprises with more than a few cameras, high-bandwidth connectivity can become prohibitively expensive and sometimes is simply not available due to a lack of infrastructure.
Large-scale security solutions should be as accessible and beneficial to enterprise users as home security systems are to consumers. But in order to scale the advantages, the architecture needs to be rethought from the ground up. Instead of traditional camera systems, today’s successful enterprises demand modern connected cameras with built-in software infrastructure that makes them effective and efficient security tools.
At Verkada, we’ve built our hardware, software and system architecture from the bottom up to provide enterprise users with security systems that take into account their needs and limitations. We are developing many features that make browsing video data from hundreds or thousands of cameras exceptionally fast and user-friendly. Our hybrid cloud system dramatically decreases the amount of bandwidth our cameras require because they stream in HD when a user is viewing the feed and upload lower resolution thumbnails and metadata at 1–20 kbit/s to the cloud when running in the background. This makes the system much more suitable for deployments of thousands of cameras operating on the same network.
One of the more interesting solutions we’re currently working on is software that will automatically process what is happening in a given frame and bring it to a customer’s attention if something unusual is detected. By surfacing clips that show changes in the environment and alerting enterprise end users, this software will help expedite the review of footage that may contain threats or breaches.
With cameras becoming more present and integral to security both inside and outside of commercial spaces, video surveillance systems must be able to provide security, practicality, and ease of use.
As an industry, security providers should continue to improve on old technology and push the boundaries of software and hardware to help our users streamline security and efficiency. It’s not enough to rely on passive footage, we have to do more to provide a proactive and actionable solution.