Businesses pivot to video analytics for efficiency

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NEW DELHI :

Adit Chhabra, chief executive officer and co-founder of Delhi-based video analytics firm Wobot.ai is excited to witness the phenomenal rise in demand for its video analytics solutions over the past year.

“Post-pandemic demand for remote monitoring solutions, especially video analytics, rose to help with the compliance of covid-19 norms. What we are seeing now is a larger awareness about what video analytics can do,” Chhabra said.

Pankaj Gupta, founder and CEO, EnableX, a video analytics and face recognition platform, agreed. “Our revenue has grown around 8x year-on-year, as of Q3 2021. About 70% of our growth can be attributed to the covid-19 pandemic, both in terms of clients and volume of usage among them.”

In fact, the use of video analytics by enterprises and businesses in India has matured beyond covid-19 compliance. The services are being used in core operations across sectors.

For instance, foods businesses are using video analytics to help deliver faster services. The tools are also being used to monitor worker and equipment safety in manufacturing, to reduce waiting time for patients in hospitals, and to optimize retail operations.

The analytics tools process videos captured on closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and use algorithms to detect anomalies. It can be classified into three categories: fixed algorithm analytics (to detect specific behaviour), artificial intelligence (AI) learning algorithms (learning for the camera feeds to detect what is normal and then report any break in pattern), and facial recognition systems (by extracting data points from face to create a digital signature to match with an online database).

Atul Rai, chief executive, and co-founder, Staqu, saw high demand for face recognition primarily from the government. “In the private sector, most organizations are using video analytics for activity recognition,” he added.

“Video analytics is being used for providing advanced security, process optimization, and quality checks in retail, healthcare, building, and construction, besides other industries and the public sector,” said Prashanth Kaddi, partner, Deloitte India. “Applications include touch-less access to offices, reducing patient waiting time at healthcare units, customer behaviour and product assortment at retail stores, inspection, and diagnosis of pipeline condition at energy and utility companies.”

The use of facial recognition technology has been mostly in the public sector. According to data from Internet Freedom Foundation, through its right to information filings, 75 FRTs have been installed in India by various central and state government agencies including government schools, airports and railways, for surveillance and verification of identity.

Privacy advocates slammed the use of FRT by law enforcement, considering the absence of 100% accuracy of the technology, as false positives may cause harassment to citizens.

Their scepticism stems from the fact that India still does not have guidelines to regulate the use of FRT.

Therefore, to allay privacy concerns over the use of video analytics in the private sector, solution providers are asking companies to ensure employees are aware and have given consent to the use of the technology.

Chhabra requests customers to ensure they have authorization from the staff before deploying face recognition.

Business growth prompted firms to expand their product offering. EnableX upgraded its initial product, which could identify seven basic emotions, to add more layers to identify 90 granular emotions– such as a mix of expressions when a customer feels both excited and nervous, said Gupta.

Experts believe the companies will continue to grow as more businesses are becoming aware of its capabilities.

abhijit.ahaskar@livemint.com

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