Intelligent Solutions for Campuses

As artificial intelligence becomes a reality, rather than just a futuristic fantasy, there is increasing concern about whether AI will “replace” educators. With teachers acting as one of the most important factors in student success, this outcome is unlikely. The real promise of AI is how this technology can allow teachers to spend less time worrying about their students’ safety and more time helping them succeed.

Intelligent video technology can facilitate school safety by integrating with systems such as fire alarms and sprinklers, security cameras and automatic door locks to proactively address safety concerns. By integrating data from multiple sensors, and drawing insights from this data, a video cloud security platform can make school security proactive instead of reactive.

I sat down with Andreas Pettersson, CEO of Arcules, to ask how connected intelligent video using artificial intelligence can facilitate student safety and security on campus. Pettersson was able to talk on how these security features can help schools be more effective and efficient when it comes to campus security.

SHEPARD: What is an intelligent video cloud platform?

PETTERSSON: An intelligent video cloud platform uses cloud and AI technologies to bring an organization’s video and sensor data together. Once it enables video analytics, it can aggregate sensor data in one place, allowing businesses, schools and other organizations to automate and optimize, which leads to efficiency and improved safety.

SHEPARD: What are the benefits of an intelligent video cloud platform for campuses?

PETTERSSON: Typically, traditional on-premise security solutions act as a forensic measure in physical security and can require expensive upkeep. In comparison, an intelligent video cloud platform leverages cloud technology to provide insights in real time and with software that is always up-to-date. With video and IoT sensor data stored in the cloud, campuses can analyze this data in aggregate, identify patterns, and apply machine learning technology to help the platform better identify relevant insights over time.

Cloud technologies also alleviate some of the routine maintenance associated with on-premise security solutions. Rather than manually updating software on each on-premise server, a cloud system offers software updates via the cloud. These updates simply need to be scheduled during off hours and set as automatic. Cloud enables IT personnel to remotely perform these tasks, reducing the need to be physically on site.

As campuses expand, constructing new buildings or expanding to new locations, the cloud gives schools the ability to more easily increase and decrease the scale of their security systems to meet changing needs. Because there are less on-premise assets to manage, cloud technologies alleviate the scaling challenges of large servers and reduces the cost of maintenance. Even if you have an existing on-premise system, schools can still benefit from the cloud’s scalability, flexibility, and reduced costs by extending your solution with a cloud platform.

Because of the ease of firmware and software updates, a cloud or hybrid security solution can save security professionals and administrators money and time.

SHEPARD: What are the largest challenges for schools when it comes to physical security monitoring and how does intelligent video cloud technology address these challenges?

PETTERSSON: Physical security is an essential focus for schools but does pose a number of challenges. Currently, campus security is a reactive process. Video surveillance footage is mostly used in a forensic capacity to help identify perpetrators or provide additional context after an incident has occurred. A hybrid or intelligent video cloud platform is designed to eventually make campus security a proactive, or even preventative, process. By integrating data from multiple sensors and applying AI technology, an intelligent video cloud platform will one day identify security threats in close to real time, allowing campuses to proactively address security concerns before they manifest into incidents.

For universities, campus size can present a problem for security. With some campuses exceeding 8,000 acres, monitoring video security data can be a huge undertaking. video cloud has the ability to integrate data from many types of sensors across large campuses in order to draw out relevant insights. This can help security officials more effectively maintain campus safety.

SHEPARD: What common campus security issues could intelligent video cloud address?

PETTERSSON: For understaffed security teams, an intelligent video cloud platform can help bring the most relevant and important information to the attention of security professionals improving their ability to respond to incidents. Because an intelligent video cloud platform will be able to integrate with other IoT sensors, in the future this technology can facilitate school security and safety by improving lockdown procedures, active shooter response, and other incident response protocols.

Imagine an armed campus intruder as an example. An intelligent video cloud platform could integrate video data from security cameras on the school campus to highlight suspicious activity and identify the presence of a gun. By bringing the video footage of the armed intruder to the attention of security professionals, the platform can help improve perimeter security and facilitate a better incident response.

Integrated with a school’s automated door locking system, the platform could then communicate across sensors to proactively lock the doors to prevent entry while alerting security professionals to their presence.

SHEPARD: What other ways can this intelligent video cloud improve school safety?

PETTERSSON: One day, intelligent video cloud could also improve fire and evacuation safety. An intelligent video cloud platform will learn to identify patterns in the video data of evacuation drills to provide recommendations for administrators about possible improvements to evacuation plans. This can help alleviate bottlenecks in an emergency situation. During a real emergency, the platform may integrate temperature and video data to help provide real time suggestions for changes in evacuation routes. This advance knowledge can give student and teachers crucial additional moments to evacuate the building.

The technology could also help school security staff members ensure day-to-day student safety. By bringing unusual activity—like a truant student wandering the campus, or a fight in the back hallway— to the attention of security professionals, intelligent video cloud can help staff members perform their everyday tasks that ensure student safety more effectively.

SHEPARD: How can this technology integrate with human school security officials?

PETTERSSON: An intelligent video cloud platform can help augment human decision making. The technology identifies the most relevant insights from video surveillance data and presents that information to human security officials. This additional, real-time information can help facilitate improved decision making. By integrating with other IoT devices the platform allows human security professionals to focus on critical incident response functions and perform their duties more efficiently and with access to better information.

SHEPARD: In what ways could an intelligent video cloud security monitoring system help teachers?

PETTERSSON: Because an intelligent video cloud platform can automate the responses to security incidents like intruders and lockdowns, teachers can act faster before an event escalates in time-sensitive situations. They can focus their attention on student safety while automatic protocols are triggered (like automatically locking doors). Improving campus security would make schools safer for everyone, from students, to teachers, to administrative staff.

SHEPARD: Are there other applications for this technology on school campuses besides physical security?

PETTERSSON: This technology also has the potential to improve infrastructure management and school upkeep. Through the application of footpath analysis, an intelligent video cloud platform can aggregate usage data for various aspects of school infrastructure and can make suggestions about which improvements require the most pressing investment.

One day, by monitoring data from other types of sensors, this type of technology could adjust systems, like heating and cooling, to match traffic patterns to different areas which would help schools run more efficiently.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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