Cisco Applies Analytics to IoT Video

In advance of next week's Internet of Things World Forum in Chicago, Cisco is demonstrating how analytics can help enhance IoT-based security approaches, particularly when video is involved.

The vendor's Video Surveillance Manager 7.6 platform is designed to apply analytics to security devices on a network. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s solution includes IP cameras and analytics capabilities that allows events to be processed at the edge of the network, eliminating the need to transport bandwidth-heavy video to a central location to be processed. Those "events" could include anything from glass breaking to gunshots to human figures entering places they aren't supposed to, says Jenifer Piccioni, product manager for Cisco.

For service providers, the approach could potentially make it more affordable to deliver home or business security solutions at remote locations, for example, where limited bandwidth would prohibit transmitting video. Cisco is increasingly embedding analytics capabilities into its edge-based platforms to make the data produced and collected by devices more accessible and potentially more valuable. (See Cisco Paints IoT Into the Big Data Picture.)

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For the analytics component of the video security solution, Cisco partnered with AGT International to provide a platform that collects data from sensors and cameras, and filters that content to identify relevant information -- such as human forms that enter a preset boundary in the video frame, for example.

"Analytics filters through that data and the event gets set back," Piccioni says. "The operator only sees video that is triggered by analytics."

The platform could also be combined with facial recognition software to send an alarm if a face that's not in a database is detected -- an application the University of San Francisco is using to make sure unauthorized people aren't entering its dorms, she says.

The edge collection and analysis of data is an application of Cisco's concept of Fog computing, Piccioni says: "You're not putting everything in the cloud and doing post-storage analytics," she says. "You're analyzing right there at the edge and only putting critical information into the cloud."

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

jasonmeyers 10/6/2014 | 4:22:38 PM
The question of revenue Capabilities like this perhaps begin to address the important question of how service providers make money from the Internet of Things -- in this potential case, by providing security services. Very generally, could a telecom operator's security application (perhaps one targeted to large businesses) be "revenue-enhanced" by this ability to screen video surveillance for certain activity before sounding any alarms? It starts to demonstrate the applicability and importance of the network -- and network functionality like analytics -- in the IoT, rather than just the "things."
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