Intelligent Security Systems - Part 1 of 6

Pandemic impact on the role of intelligent systems

Covid-19 has increased the demand for video analytics and not least for people counting applications.

Covid-19 has increased the demand for video analytics and not least for people counting applications. Illustration: Pete Linforth / Pixabay

Covid-19 has increased the demand for video analytics and not least for people counting applications. However, the pandemic has also accelerated the development towards solutions that go well beyond security and it has very swiftly changed the growth opportunities in different verticals.
Detektor talked to five leading manufacturers in the industry about intelligent security technology solutions in the corona era.

By Henrik Söderlund

The corona virus pandemic marks the biggest global disruption since World War II, according to Koen Rommel, Senior Vice President Sales EMEA, Bosch Building Technologies. He refers to a recent market survey that shows that 60 per cent of those asked were afraid of going grocery shopping and says businesses now are doing their best to alleviate these fears and create safe environments in and around their buildings.

He says: “As a consequence, building operators, retail shop owners, and other stakeholders are looking to save costs by potentially leveraging new functionality from their existing security infrastructure beyond the realm of security space. For example, retail shop owners now would like to receive live data about how many people already entered their store to avoid overcrowding enabling safe social distancing. Or they would like to receive metrics to help optimise their store lay-out again to facilitate social distancing.”

Therefore, he believes IP cameras equipped with AI-driven analysis capabilities or intelligent security solutions will become even more popular.

More people counting

Mobotix CEO Thomas Lausten believes the pandemic will escalate the need for artificial intelligence in new software applications, for example mask detection to be utilised in public and private areas.

“Some vertical markets, such as the government sector, may increase further while we also estimate that other markets may see reductions due to restructuring in some companies based on Covid-19”, he says.

Florian Matusek, Product Group Director at Genetec, stresses that Covid-19 has brought video analytics into the limelight since many of the solutions that are needed now are based on this technology.

“We have seen a great surge in demand for video analytics, specifically for people counting applications”, he says.

At the edge

Roy Band, Community Manager, Middle Europe, Milestone Systems, says that the security industry has been quite fast in developing new solutions because of the exponential infection rate, but also because of business opportunities. He also stresses that in recent years, video management software has increasingly been used for solutions that go well beyond security.

“This development has accelerated with Covid-19 as it has clearly expanded the need and market for solutions that can provide health and safety to customers, employees, travellers etc”, he says.

When it comes to video analytics, he sees a raised interest for Covid-19 solutions like temperature screening, mask detection and people counting for commercial buildings, industrial sites and retail.

Jimmy Ek, Axis’ Nordic Sales Manager, believes that Covid-19 has accelerated some of the trends that were already there before the pandemic. One of them is computing at the edge of the network.

He says: “As more and more products are connected to the network, the management of data must also take place at the edge. We get the opportunity to make decisions based on data that has been analysed directly in the camera and in this way, we go from a reactive to a proactive approach. This trend is even clearer now in the prevailing circumstances where the need to protect and prevent is so great.”

Solutions that can fight the pandemic

How can intelligent security systems contribute to fighting Covid-19? Florian Matusek says Genetec launched a new occupancy management offering after the start of the pandemic.

“It allows customers to leverage our people counting analytics to know how many people are in a certain area, be it a store, a university, a library and so on. If a defined number of allowed persons inside is reached, numerous actions can be triggered, such as switching a light to red or notifying an operator that can make sure no more people are entering”, he says.

Jimmy Ek highlights frictionless access control, managing occupancy and network audio as tools that can make individuals feel safer in their everyday lives. With the help of a network-connected intercom, face recognition analysis, QR codes and access cards, a hands-free access control solution can be implemented for all staff and visitors.

Jimmy Ek says: “Different types of analysis can also be used to control queues, and to count people in a room. With the help of network-connected sound, pre-recorded messages and instructions can be called out about for example, if a queue forms and is detected by the analysis in the camera/sensor”.

Koen Rommel gives an example of a beach in Spain where built-in video analytics provide metrics to officials about the crowd density and the number of people on the beach. If certain pre-defined thresholds are reached, the security operators will be alerted automatically to take appropriate action to maintain safe social distancing.

Note: This editorial article has primarily been produced for the security trade magazine Detektor in collaboration with

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