AI in video technology: an update

In its realistic assessment of the current situation, Dallmeier says systems are being improved rapidly but much work lies ahead.

Johannesburg, 14 Jun 2019
Read time 4min 30sec

Few other topics are creating as much excitement as artificial intelligence (AI) at the moment. High expectations and extravagant promises abound, particularly in the field of video security technology. Ideas about what it can do range from detecting unusual behaviours such as attacks on individuals, to recognising individual faces even in large crowds of people, to automatic detection of the proverbial "bomb in a suitcase".

Dallmeier, a company based in Regensburg, Germany, has been working on and with AI technologies for years. The company recently published four practical statements intended to help customers and providers make a realistic assessment of AI.

1. When considering combined AI and video technology solutions, much more than just technology needs to be considered.

At the beginning of a hype cycle, when innovations are being introduced, people often ignore the fact that new technologies always require public debate and changes to very real framework conditions before they can be implemented wholesale. The still unresolved problem in autonomous driving, when it comes to accidents where the car has to make potentially fatal decisions, has become a classic example. There are similar unresolved questions when AI is used in video security technology: How much freedom to decide should a system be given? What quality criteria will be established for detecting objects, for example? Who is to be held accountable when an attack is not detected, for example, even though the expectation may possibly exist already among the people? What reaction times will be defined; meaning, by when must response teams reach the site in the event of an "AI alarm"? Are there even enough personnel available for the potential new intervention and search options? How are the many "false positives" to be handled when facial recognition is used to find a suspect, for example?

2. AI and video technology only function in a "technologically holistic approach".

Technical systems are becoming more and more complex. This is why it is essential to evaluate all of the parameters that affect the performance of a whole solution. The IT axiom of "garbage in, garbage out" is most apposite in this context: Neural networks for classifying objects or processes, or good facial recognition software can only deliver results that are consistent with the quality of the video image they receive. AI-based video analysis systems can only be as good as the camera systems that capture the images for them. In this context, it will be particularly important to define and plan minimum picture qualities properly in all parts of the video image, plan camera angles correctly, and consider many other details. And the person behind the system must be also be included in the overall consideration with regard to qualification and organisational questions. In short: Unless all factors are tuned to work together, it will not be possible to ensure compliance with standards. Note: standards have not even been defined yet!

3. There are viable solutions which perform good service as “assistance systems”.

Here's a cautionary: It goes without saying that AI will play a decisive role in video technology, or may even become a core component of the discipline. Initial deployment scenarios and functioning solutions already exist, be it in the optimisation and analysis of analogue processes, eg at a casino gaming table; in the improved classification of objects for perimeter protection; or in the assisted tracking of individuals in the context of urban surveillance. The key point in all of these systems is this: Today, and probably for a long time to come, a human is still at the centre. The operator, the policeman, the forensic specialist is still a human. And it is for these functions that AI in video technology now already delivers useful assistance systems. The systems are being improved rapidly and take over tedious, error-prone tasks. But contrary to all the advertising features on YouTube, the automatic location of a planted "suitcase bomb" in complex circumstances is still well beyond current technological capabilities.

4. The market must learn to distinguish between functioning solutions and research projects.

Every technical innovation is predestined to contend with ambiguous definitions, exaggerated expectations and variable interpretations of its capabilities. No one "really knows", but everyone involved has an opinion. This is why it is important to examine and question closely: Which functions are market-ready and implementable, even if a little tweaking is needed, and what is still purely in the realm of research? Particularly with a view to strategic decisions and investments, prospective users should always begin by asking themselves whether a given result can be expected in 12 months, five years, or ever. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing sight of obvious solutions to pressing problems.

More information:


Dallmeier is the only manufacturer that develops and manufactures all components in Germany. This includes the entire product range, from cameras to picture storage and transmission to intelligent video analysis and even individually adjusted management software. Quality made by Dallmeier, made in Germany!

Dallmeier has at its disposal more than 35 years of experience in transmission, recording as well as picture processing technology and is a leading pioneer of CCTV/IP solutions worldwide. This profound knowledge is used in the development of intelligent software and high-quality recorder and camera technologies enabling Dallmeier to not only offer stand-alone systems, but complete network solutions up to large-scale projects with perfectly integrated components.

Right from the beginning the company always focused on own innovative developments and highest quality and reliability.

Over the years, Dallmeier has repeatedly given fresh impetus to the market with new developments and extraordinary innovations. The world’s first DVR for example, which introduced digital recording to the entire CCTV industry more than 25 years ago, came from Dallmeier. The introduction of the patented multifocal sensor system Panomera® has had a similarly ground-breaking effect, ushering in a new era for the industry. This unique camera technology is revolutionising the market and opening up completely new possibilities for securing assets, optimising business operations and ensuring public safety.

This and the extensive experience in the CCTV and IP field have led to a top position in the international market for digital video surveillance systems.

Editorial contacts
EP Smit (+27) 11 510 0505
Have your say
Facebook icon
Youtube play icon