Whether you’re a business of any shape or size, a school or university, a government agency or other public institution, or even a church, security cameras and surveillance systems play an essential role in ensuring safety and deterring would-be trespassers on your property.
But that’s actually just the beginning of what you can use surveillance systems for.
These cameras aren’t just for recording and monitoring employees and property — and capturing video isn’t the only thing they’re good for. Today, surveillance and security cameras are a lot more than just cameras. Many come with built-in analytics functions or high compatibility with other analytical platforms or technologies, and these expanded capabilities unlock a much wider—and surprising—range of use cases beyond just maintaining your building’s security.
Let’s take a look at seven of the very interesting things you can do with your property’s security surveillance systems—things you might have never imagined being able to use your cameras for!
1. Monitor Line Crossings on Your Property
Some cameras have built-in capabilities that allow you to define a virtual “line” across their field of view and then trigger alerts when something moves across that line.
For example, if you don’t want people jumping a fence on your premises or need instant alerts when anyone or anything crosses some other type of barrier or threshold, you can align that virtual line with the area you’re monitoring.
2. Get an Accurate Headcount for Your Customers
Say you’re a store owner, and you need a reliable count of how many people come in and out on an average day, or you need to see how many people pass through a certain hallway or past a service desk on your property.
Analytics software connected to your surveillance cameras has the answer. You can get a bi-directional count of people entering and exiting any part of your property and export the data to an easy-to-read report.
3. Identify High Traffic Areas in Your Building
Not enough to know how many people enter and exit your premises? Want to know where they spend most of their time when they’re on your property? To answer these questions, you can use another analytical tool to connect to your surveillance camera system—heat mapping.
Heat mapping tracks where differences in motion occur in your security camera’s field of view. The result—you get a convenient map displaying the locations of high-traffic areas on your premises!
Think of how useful this could be—if you’re a retailer, for example, using your surveillance system for heat mapping can help you determine where to stage your new products to get the most eyes on them.
4. See Something? Say Something!
You can set up surveillance camera systems now to detect when an object goes missing from a predetermined position in its field of vision and send out an alert. With this setup in place, you can automate certain security actions and make it easy to respond as quickly as possible when an item goes missing. In these cases, time is of the essence, and a speedy response increases your chances of retrieving the object successfully.
Likewise, you can do the opposite—using your security cameras to detect when an object is left unattended where it shouldn’t be. The presence of a suspicious object in a certain area for a given length of time can also trigger an alert and a speedy response.
5. Streamline Your Access Control System
Surveillance and security cameras play an important role in access control systems for your property, but you can do more with them than you might think.
How? Well, let’s imagine you have a parking lot on your property that is secured with an electronic gate. Here’s a neat trick your surveillance camera system can pull off with the help of optical character recognition (OCR):
Your security cameras can identify license plate numbers in real-time and check them against a whitelist of vehicles belonging to personnel, faculty, employees, etc. and send a signal to the entrance gate telling it to automatically open for the vehicle!
6. Make Digital Ads More Effective
Business owners with digital signage can find an interesting use for facial recognition software along with their surveillance camera systems.
Combining facial recognition with your surveillance cameras isn’t just for picking people out of a crowd for security purposes—you can also use analytic software that picks up on predetermined traits such as a customer’s apparent age or other demographic information and use that information to pick and choose more effective targeted ads to show on the digital signage nearest to their location.
7. Environmental Monitoring
For some businesses or institutions that have strict regulations or compliance standards to adhere to, surveillance cameras can play an essential role in detecting potential environmental hazards.
For example, a business can use its security cameras to monitor air quality in conjunction with environmental standards or monitor and document compliance with waste management processes, emissions control measures, or safety protocols.
Surveillance and security technology are always changing. So many of the things we can do with security cameras and surveillance systems today were bleeding-edge science fiction ten or twenty years ago.
Today, tools like heat mapping, optical character recognition, and facial recognition are easy enough to use that even a small business owner can reap additional benefits from their property’s security and surveillance systems.
Imagine how many more interesting applications there will be for these cameras a decade or two from now when technology that is bleeding-edge or yet to be invented today becomes just as commonplace!
At Moffitt Technologies, we’ve been one of Alabama’s most trusted sources for security systems integration technology and expertise since 1934—so it’s quite the understatement that over the past decades and generations, we’ve seen a lot of change shake up the world of surveillance and security.
We keep up-to-date with the cutting edge in new security technology so we can continue to help small businesses, big corporations, schools and universities, government agency buildings, and churches across beautiful Alabama make the most out of effective surveillance, monitoring, and access control systems for their properties.
Any questions about choosing the right security and surveillance systems for your building? Wondering what other interesting or unique applications you can find for your property’s surveillance cameras? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to get you started.