New Security Industry Association (SIA) member viisights is a leading provider of behavioral understanding systems for real-time video intelligence that leverage unique artificial intelligence technology. The company provides behavioral understanding systems for safe and smart cities, smart enterprises, critical infrastructures, transportation hubs and shared mobility initiatives. viisights is headquartered in Israel, with sales offices in North America and Southeast Asia.
SIA spoke with Pat Aiello, vice president of business development and sales, North America, at viisights, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.
Tell us the story of your company.
PA: viisights’ journey began with an idea to venture into the field of video content management. Videos encapsulate huge amounts of unstructured information, and our goal was to create a technology that extracts this information to identify and differentiate different behaviors. We quickly realized that the true value for this level of contextual analysis technology is in the field of video analytics for public security and safety. In today’s global urban and business environments, businesses and authorities use a wide variety of often disparate technologies to keep people, property and assets safe from multiple risks and threats. Video capture devices are among the most widely deployed technologies for myriad safety and security applications. The challenge lies in the ability to detect and identify crucial events and actions from a vast number of video sources so that an appropriate response can be implemented and, in some cases, prevent a situation from escalating or even occurring.
viisights has developed a unique and innovative real-time behavioral recognition that transcends conventional video analytics and takes surveillance technology to new heights. The highly innovative and unique solution provides municipalities and organizations with the ability to automatically detect, analyze and differentiate human behaviors – such as an individual slipping and falling versus being thrown to the ground, or two people embracing versus fighting, or a peaceful parade versus a riot – using deep learning and time-based vision analysis. Our solution successfully minimizes false alerts and their related costs while maximizing safety and security, providing a new level of video intelligence for predictive analysis, incident prevention, response management and risk mitigation. By only analyzing general behavior patterns of individuals, groups, vehicles and traffic-flows, viisights technology does not identify faces or license plates to protect personal privacy. Additionally, viisights’ powerful real-time behavioral recognition technology is ideal for helping organizations get back to work safely and fight the spread of COVID-19, such as recognizing close proximity encounters between individuals that may violate social distancing mandates.
What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings/company unique?
PA: viisights provides automatic real-time understanding of video content captured by widespread surveillance cameras located throughout traffic control centers, roads, public areas, buildings, shopping centers, commercial and industrial zones and more. The system processes and understands large amounts of video streams in near real time and offline (investigative mode), while providing intelligence, insights and alerts from a variety of actions, events and scenes of interest.
Our public safety and security value proposition includes violent activity, such as fighting, brawling and stabbing; suspicious activity, such as carrying a weapon, wearing a mask and loitering; crowd behavior, including crowd size and crowd gathering/dispersing; perimeter protection – vehicles/persons entering unauthorized zones; traffic monitoring, including accidents and road hazards; safety, including fire and smoke detection; and public health (COVID-19) features including no-mask detection, person-to-person proximity and occupancy.
Our contextual and behavioral understanding is key to taking surveillance technology to a higher level. viisights offers the unique ability to detect and contextualize actions and events using deep learning and time-based vision. Most video analytics systems simply use static analysis of objects from images using image recognition (even the ones that use “artificial intelligence analytics”), which is extremely limited and incapable of recognizing behavioral events in a video. For example, while these systems may be able to identify an individual and what color shirt they are wearing, they cannot detect a person’s behavior to determine if they are running, sitting, falling or throwing an object or their interaction with other objects, such as people fighting or cars colliding, because such behaviors can’t accurately be understood from analyzing a single static image/frame on a large scale. Viisights’ innovative real-time behavioral recognition solution brings video surveillance to an entirely new level.
What is something we might not know about your company – or something new you are doing in security?
PA: We are working on a new product for in-vehicle occupants monitoring; the idea is to use the same video understanding technology for analyzing occupants’ behaviors inside a vehicle cabin for security, safety and vehicle protection and usage use cases. A vehicle can be a train, a bus, a taxi or any other public transportation vehicle, and in the future, it will support autonomous mobility.
What is your company’s vision, and what are your goals for the security industry?
PA: viisights’ vision and roadmap is to disrupt the video analytics market with an “autonomous video surveillance platform” – a system that not only understands video content as well as a human does, but eventually is also capable of predicting a situation before it occurs. This is the future of video analytics.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities in the security industry right now?
PA: The dreadful COVID-19 reality allows the security industry’s business model to encompass public health requirements. At viisights, we used our existing technology for a new COVID-19 solution by utilizing existing camera streams to gather more meaningful data to enhance public health safety and security. This solution allows businesses and organizations to reopen by complying with health regulations and functioning safely with ensuring the wearing of masks, keeping social distance, limiting the number of people in certain areas and enhancing crowd management tools.
What are your predictions for the security industry in the short and long term?
PA: In the short term, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates adjustments – the concepts of security and safety include new types of risks, and focus must be put on activities and behavior risking public health to both secure the public and enable reopening the economy. At viisights, we quickly strategized and implemented an entire new solution to help authorities, enterprises and medical centers monitor and enforce restrictions on public activity necessary to contain the coronavirus and save lives. The need to enforce restrictions on behavior signifies that in the long term, systems that can only recognize static objects would be required to evolve to understand objects’ behaviors.
What are the biggest challenges facing your company and/or others in the security industry?
PA: To gain trust in the security industry, video analytics companies must cope with the challenges of accuracy and efficiency and personal identity protection. At viisights, we invest a lot in these must-haves. We focus on minimizing false alerts and guaranteeing a very high level of precision. We have developed a unique strategy for data collection and processing to overcome a major challenge for every machine learning company. Together with our patented video analytics engine that is capable of learning from video clips instead of images, we succeed in achieving maximum-accuracy results. We also invest a lot in the efficiency of the system, which is highly important for introducing high value per dollar. From the information we have today, our HW footprint per video stream is one of the best in the market for machine learning applications.
What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?
PA: The viisights team is highly committed to developing new technologies that facilitate human-like video understanding, which in turn serves as basis for fully autonomous video intelligence systems powered by pattern prediction technology. We are a highly innovative, forward-looking team that consistently strives to solve problems while focusing on practical solutions. When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, we addressed the challenge head-on, and our team’s collaboration and efforts resulted in extraordinary fast outcomes with an entirely practical new solution for crowd and group management.
What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership with SIA?
PA: SIA is a great resource for learning, networking and engaging with the industry. This year, viisights expanded its operations to the United States with a local office, and we’re looking to be part of your partners and customers’ community, engage with them and impact the way they work. Brand visibility and awareness are very important to us, and we hope SIA can help us with that.
How does your organization engage with SIA? What are your plans for involvement in the next year?
PA: We hosted a successful SIA webinar, and we will speak at ISC East.
The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.