In July 2016, the entire world was taken by storm when Niantic released a new game ‘Pokemon GO’ in collaboration with Nintendo. Leveraging Augmented Reality (AR), the smartphone-based gaming application aptly extended an immersive experience to its users by placing virtual characters, called Pokemon, in real-world locations and was downloaded more than 500 million times (the global smartphone penetration in 2016 was about 2.1 billion) by the end of the year.
The application was widely hailed for promoting location-based activity, stimulating the physical movement of users, increasing footfall of local businesses, and above everything else, popularising an upcoming technology – Augmented Reality.
Since then, considerable interest has developed around Augmented Reality as the technology continues to find its widespread use for wide-ranging processes. Abhishek Kumar, Regional Director, South Asia for Oncam, shares his views on one of the key industries where AR has the potential to truly transform the grand scheme of things in the field of Surveillance and Security.
How surveillance functions can benefit from AR
Let’s first understand what is AR is and how it works. For the uninitiated, AR is the digital manipulation of a real-world environment by either adding computer-generated imaging to the natural environment of a user or by masking the natural environment using such imaging. Some of the most popular examples of AR are social media camera filters that automatically place eyeglasses on a user or make the photograph look like a user is emitting a rainbow. But how can such a technology add value to surveillance functions?
Currently, we have the functionality of having JPG images with camera location marked as part of the control room video management software. The maps can be multi-tiered indicating the exact location of cameras. However, they provide little information to the security personnel on the ground. Many at times the maps do not represent the real picture of the premises. Ensuring security within premises becomes increasingly difficult and complicated with multiple devices deployed for every secured area. An operator is required to remember the location of each and every device and correlate it with the corresponding video feed on the screen. This task becomes considerably challenging when we increase the scale of operations, making it prone to human errors as well as omissions and opening a point of vulnerability in a security of the perimeter. The on-ground security personnel, on the other hand, have to act on the verbal information received by them through SOC (Security Operations Center). This information is often loosely tied and can be misinterpreted by a security officer, further adding to the initial challenge.
By using AR, we can enhance the effectiveness of our security establishment by creating a miniature model of individual floors and observing the real-time developments of all floors using AR-devices in SOC. This can help us ascertain the precise location of an incident without any scope of error. We can, moreover, equip the on-ground security personnel with smart glasses to make them aware of the actual developments instead of relaying verbal information to them.
AR has lately emerged as the most transformative technology for surveillance and security functions after AI and Video Analytics. Together, these technologies offer the perfect confluence of safety, efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability to a user and are soon going to completely transform how surveillance is done at present.
Copyright The Asian Age. The original article can be found here.