When people consider security systems, they usually think about security cameras. It’s easy to see why. The scope of video surveillance has become nearly ubiquitous the world over because of its track record of deterring crime and helping manage its aftereffects. GOV.UK, the official website created by the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service, stated that video surveillance footage “plays a major role in responding to incidents, investigating crimes and prosecuting those responsible. Such footage is useful in both low level crime cases and high profile incidents – it’s captured the movements of terrorists such as the culprit of the attack at Manchester arena in 2017 and helped to identify the suspects of the Salisbury Novichok poisoning in 2018.”
While most understand the deterrent effect and tracking uses of video security systems, fewer know just how many flexible surveillance systems can be thanks to an abundance of commercial video surveillance applications. Below you will find an overview of various video management software suites and their applicability to various business sectors.
Common Ways Surveillance Cameras Are Used
To most individuals, surveillance cameras serve only one or two purposes: to catch criminals “in the act” of gaining access to a facility or to keep them from doing so in the first place. We call this facility protection, and it admittedly is the most fundamental role of such systems. However, commercial security cameras serve so many more functions, including
- Loss prevention. A staple of retailers, loss prevention involves preventing thieves from removing goods from a property and is closely related to facility protection. Some experts consider this equally — if not more — important than discouraging outright robbery. According to retail loss prevention software developer DIGIOP, the average loss per shoplifting incident is $559 and shoplifters get caught only once out of every 48 times they steal.
- Parking lot maintenance. Parking lots aren’t management-free concerns, and wanton vandalism of vehicular theft are very real risks that surveillance can address.
- Public safety and event observation. Thanks to the risk of increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms, surveillance systems can help detect threats to public safety even before they begin. Such systems help prevent robberies, terrorist attacks, and similar threats thanks to automatic pattern recognition and easy-to-use, searchable footage databases.
- Real estate management. Increasingly mobile lifestyles have complicated the management of out-of-state real estate. Cloud-based video solutions mean you only need to visit properties in person when absolutely necessary.
- Operations monitoring. Ensure that your employees and real assets function at peak efficiency by keeping an eye on their proceedings during operations, making on-the-fly adjustments when necessary.
- Workplace safety. Catch and correct workplace-safety violations faster, improving the health of your employees and avoiding pricey OSHA violations.
- Traffic-flow management. Both governmental officials and private concerns benefit from maintaining an orderly flow of traffic. In addition to keeping congestion down through real-time video reporting,
Industry Applications for Security Cameras
Given the above video surveillance system overview, it should come as no surprise that different security software suites have focused on various industry applications. Below we have cataloged a mix of free or inexpensive surveillance applications, as well as pricier specialized options. While most of these options are quite flexible, we have highlighted specific industries that might find specific suites or programs valuable.
- iSpy (free to $49.95 per month). A freely available, open-source software solution, iSpy has the advantage of interfacing with an unlimited number of devices, making it ideal for retail, warehousing, perimeter security, wildlife monitoring, and similar applications that require a wide number of feeds. The program also contains a number of advanced features such as motion detection, a time-lapse function, and push notifications via SMS and desktop alerts. Remote use requires a monthly subscription.
- Avigilon Control Center 7 (call AT&I for a quote). AT&I proudly offers multiple Avigilon products, and Avigilon Control Center 7 is particularly valuable for homeowner’s associations, multi-family communities, and high-security areas. Perfect for contexts requiring rigid access control, Avigilon software includes self-learning video analytics, cloud-based management, and the ability to sort footage by appearance.
- EyeLine ($498 for fully featured Enterprise version). Ideal for storage units, perimeter security, seaports, marinas, and far-flung areas that need monitoring but don’t see a lot of activity. EyeLine works with multiple camera types and (most importantly) only records when the software detects action. Allow for local or remote monitoring.
- Athena Cloud. This highly specialized suite of programs is ideal for the public health and public safety sectors. Designed to detect COVID-19 and similar infections, Athena offers an Elevated Skin Temperature Detection protocol, replete with push alerts to multiple platforms. Gun Detection technology also helps to stop active-shooter situations as soon as possible.
- ZoneMinder (free). If you’re a business on a budget, this open-source software may provide you with all of the functionality you need. While popular as a beginner security solution, note that Zoneminder doesn’t necessarily work with every sort of camera and that it contains multiple programs, which means that it may or may not play nicely with your particular setup.
- Virtual Guard (contact AT&I for a quote). Particularly popular with AT&I Systems’ retail clients, Virtual Guard combines a cloud-based audio/video operating center with access-control integration. Condominiums and other multi-family communities may find its cost-effective screening and admittance routines help them save while keeping their spaces safe.
- Ivideon Server (as low as $5 per camera per month). Ivideon Server shares a lot in common with other low-cost programs in this list. However, it excels at motion detection, registering minute movements that other types of software miss. Do you have an isolated, high-security site that needs careful monitoring? Do you want to observe wildlife or monitor a zoo or animal sanctuary? Ivideon might work well for you.
No matter your type of business, AT&I Systems is here to help you. We’ve become a trusted partner in security throughout the Sunshine State thanks to our attention to detail and unfailing customer service. Contact us today (866) 436-3516 and let us help you address your security concerns.