The ability to analyze and interpret visual information from video cameras using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) promises to transform the way we live, work, shop and enjoy ourselves. Smart cameras, harnessing the power of edge computing and Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity, enable the automation of tasks that would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming with human intervention. They can also enhance processes that still require a human touch by pre-screening or filtering the masses of visual data to classify patterns of interest and identify the most relevant scenes.
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Manufacturers already see the benefits of automated optical inspection for quality assurance. Extending that technology with smart cameras enables more efficient operational strategies such as predictive maintenance and low-volume/high-mix repetitive manufacturing. Autonomous robots and collaborative robots also leverage AI-enabled smart cameras in a wide range of tasks from guidance systems for warehouse management to airport baggage handling.
Retailers and mall operators can enhance the experience of their customers while improving operational efficiency. Brick-and-mortar retailers have the potential for a similar level of shopper insight as those used by the most sophisticated e-commerce sites.
From CCTV security cameras to bodycams, public safety is a major driver in the adoption of computer intelligence in video technology. Bodycams, for example, are increasingly being used outside the traditional law enforcement space in roles as diverse as search and rescue crews, prison officers, refuse collectors and bar staff.
Building managers are using smart camera technology to empower COVID-safe back-to-work practices such as face mask detection, people counting and social distancing. With today’s technology a smart building can, for example, have control of the amount of people in the facility and adjust the light and ventilation accordingly. It is possible to route people to the most efficient fire exit, control ambient light and air flow and create contextual information about the use of the building. Smart cameras can also facilitate meeting room bookings or report safety issues.
Public authorities can better monitor transport system usage and traffic management to make city infrastructure work in harmony with the needs of the people. Smart cameras in cities can identify incidents such as vehicle breakdowns, monitor and manage pedestrian flows, and improve the security of public spaces.