by Warren Brown
I have spent the better part of the last 10 years working with integrators and end users around the world and have seen the value analytics can provide by helping make sense of an overwhelming volume of video. I have also seen the confusion, chaos and frustration that video analytics can create when the software is confusing, doesn’t work or just doesn’t make sense.
The vast majority of these failures I attribute to one of two fundamental problems:
- Great expectations: as an industry, manufacturers, systems integrators, end users: we have done a poor job of really understanding what problems analytics CAN and CAN’T solve and communicating that effectively (more on this topic in a future blog post.)
- Integrator unfriendly: as manufacturers with teams of smart engineers and computer vision scientists, we have too often been guilty of putting technology ahead of people. We have failed to understand the real-world environments in which installers operate and have designed products that are simply too hard and confusing to get up-and-running.
It’s this second point that I want to blog about today…what does it take to deliver Integrator-friendly analytics? And what are we at ObjectVideo doing to try to live up to an “Integrator-friendly” mission?
For us, Integrator-friendly starts by understanding the end-to-end process that our Systems Integrator partners go through in specifying, ordering, procuring, installing, configuring and maintaining a system. We will only have achieved true integrator-friendly status when each of these steps is as simple, fast and as repeatable as possible.
A few examples of the Integrator-friendly changes you will see in upcoming releases of OV6:
Calibrating an analytics system is an important tool to improve accuracy (watch out for uncalibrated systems!) but how about we let the system automatically calibrate instead of asking an installer to do it manually? Check out the self-calibration capability coming later this year in our version 6.2.
- Diagnostic mode
As much as we continue to strive for perfect accuracy, we all know that there will still be times when there are false alarms or problems with the system. Too often, more time is spent just trying to get the right information back to the manufacturer so that they can see and solve the issue. Rather than hundreds of emails, phone calls and tons of frustration, how about a “Troubleshoot” button that captures up all the info needed to properly diagnose an issue and makes it easy to share with OV? We think of this as the “Easy” button for analytics.
- Online Training
OK, so we certainly can’t claim to be inventors on this one, but we do think the interactive online training modules we are developing are a cut above anything we’ve seen out there. They will be more detailed, and thus more effective. Look for the first batch later this year as a part of version 6.2.
These three items are really just a drop in the bucket – so don’t think we will stop there! We have a lot more ideas on how to make our analytics easy to sell, easy to quote, easy to install, easy to configure and easy to maintain…watch this space for more details about future releases!
AND, if you have an idea on what else we can do to make things more Integrator-friendly – let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.