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The Security Event

8 - 10 April 2025 | NEC Birmingham, UK


Security Cameras

24 Jan 2022


Technical Resources Stand: 5/D102

Edge analytics are a buzzword in video surveillance. Simply put, edge analytics are video analytics on the ‘edge’ of the network, in the camera itself – and they’re getting increasingly powerful.

When analytics take place in the camera, there’s no loss of image quality, and only the data that’s useful needs to be sent to the operator; when analytics take place on the server, the whole mess of data from the camera needs to go to the data centre, wasting costly bandwidth. Images can be compressed to save bandwidth, but then image quality suffers.

However, buzzwords can easily be dismissed as flash-in-the-pan fads, meaning businesses miss out on becoming early adopters when today’s buzzword becomes tomorrow’s normal. And edge analytics looks set to become just that.

For example, when it comes to traffic management, cameras equipped with traditional analytics act like jittery horror-movie protagonists, forever raising false alarms over the wind or a stray cat. But a camera with edge analytics not only knows a car from a cat, it knows a car from a truck, a bus, or a motorcycle, creating far more efficient traffic management and a wealth of new opportunities.

But this only scratches the surface of what edge analytics could achieve. Today, the technology is mostly used for ‘scene analytics’: viewing a live scene, analysing whatever happens, and responding with alerts or actions such as automatically triggered traffic controls and road sign warnings. In other words, it replaces a human viewer.

But the real potential lies in what humans can’t see. Like the Terminator, cameras with edge analytics don’t just see visual data, they also see metadata: data about the data. It’s like looking at a photo and instantly knowing the exact time, date, location and air temperature when it was taken. This will enable organisations to analyse huge amounts of data and gain insights into things they ‘didn’t know they didn’t know’. This could be the greatest benefit of edge analytics.

AIs have an incredible ability to spot anomalies and patterns. With more data, their predictions and insights become more accurate, leading to better and faster solutions. That means edge analytics could revolutionise security, safety, process optimisation, service delivery and efficiency, and more. We don’t know what we don’t know.

While the temptation may be to wait and see, companies that invest in edge analytics now will have a definite advantage as these new possibilities begin to emerge.

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