What makes a building smart?
Smart buildings are designed to collect more and more information to provide a better understanding of the users and enhance the energy consumption, the usability, and the security. The use of contextual data together with the control and management system is the way to make the building smart. Data collection helps to control the building and optimize it to create a safe, energy and user-friendly environment.
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. With the help of deep learning, artificial intelligence, and analytics. 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. It can also facilitate meeting room bookings, report safety or issue and take corresponding actions.
Data information is key
To get a comprehensive behavior of a building it is extremely important to get the right information and have it processed accordingly. The building will get smarter if a correlation between information flow is created. For example, counting people in the building at the entrance will give a general indication but will not be accurate enough to control light or ventilation in the whole facility. It will increase the granularity from building to room, and provide an exact picture of the density and provide information to control the energy consumption. With deep learning and behavior understanding the building can learn how the building is used and make management decision based on historical data and facts.
How to gather data
To understand the behavior of the building, user data must be collected. Data can be accumulated in 3 different ways:
- Manual input
- Is when a person is entering the data. It can be badging at the entrance, taking fingerprints, or that the receptionist is providing an input periodically or based on an event. Manual input requires the interaction of a person to validate the data input.
- Data correlation
- A data related to the building behavior is deducted from 2 or more different sources and provide value that can be used to act or modify the facility. For example, the amount of people entering the building deducted from the amount for people leaving the building per hour will provide the occupancy flow and can be used as a future indicator to create an occupancy trend for the short term.
- The field sensors provides real time data, each type of sensors has a purpose to fullfill, such as safety or environement monitoring. It can be to measure the concentration of certain type of gas gas, detect smoke, heat or fire. Smart cameras has the ability to detect object, line crossing or movement detection and can be use as a complementary solution for the security and safety system.
In every case a sensor provides a real time value in a form of an electric signal, then this signal must be processed in the edge to transfer a comprehensive data that can be analyzed. A sensor on its own does not possess any processing. It is the computing power attached to this sensor and the way it is integrated that will make the system smarter.
Camera as a smart sensor
Camera systems has evolved from analogue to digital over the last decade. This transformation has enabled a set of possibilities where digital images can be processed and understood by computers, enabling digital image processing and analytics.
At first, when those system started to be integrated, the computing power was centralized, now the trend is moving towards edge processing and close to source computing.
Modern IP cameras are now embedded with a microprocessor providing the ability to process data at the source and combining sensorics technology with analytics. High quality analytics is possible due to the high image resolution, thermal imaging, or extreme light sensitive chipset. With modern IP cameras it is now possible to understand and create trends by analyzing the video stream. This evolution is moving the use of the camera from security to facility management tools.
Complex image processing will require powerful graphical processing, however, with today's technology cameras are able to detect and trigger actions based on the following:
- People counting: Multi camera systems can count people located in a room, floor or building. Communication between camera allow the system to know exactly how many people are entering or exiting an area.
- Crowd management: Camera systems that can detect if a crowd is gathering around a certain location, which can detect unsafe situations and create a building that is situation aware.
- Face recognition: Entrance systems can be use as a double authentication method. Ensure that the card/key user is the rightful owner and avoid identity thief by associating the face to the user number. (Disclaimer: this function has to be used according to the GDPR)
- Object tracking: Triggers alarm if an object or person has been in a predefined area for a period of time. This can help prevent crime such as vandalism and theft. The application is ideal for low-traffic areas and after business hours on semi-public properties such as office parking lots and schoolyards, as well as near fences.
- Perimeter detection: Outdoor- & Indoor Zones, Buildings and premises, in general, are secured with an intelligent perimeter protection. Early alarms are triggered by unwanted intruders detected within a predefined are that is tagged in the camera.
- LPR: License plate recognition makes it easy to have an automated vehicle access system in areas such as parking lots or can be used to restrict area to a whitelist of vehicle. The analytics application installed on an IP camera, using the Input output relay to control the facility barrier and can report to the management system of the building.
- Occupancy estimator: provides real-time data on how many people are present in the building or in a certain area at a certain time. This insight can help understand visitor flow and occupancy trends giving the opportunity to improve space usage. It also gets an indication of revenue opportunity, optimizing workforce planning and opening hours. The system can be used to take measures if occupancy exceeds your set threshold (example with social distancing). It also offers the possibility to inform visitors about peak times or when your premises are at full capacity.
- Object detection and identification: Analytics and historical data, allows the system to detect the type of object and create action about possible risks, such as blocking emergency exit, protects indoor areas against theft, and detects left objects.
- Alarm and Security: Video motion detection application detects and triggers the alarm whenever an object, such as a person or vehicle, moves within predefined areas in the camera’s field of view. It is ideal for low-traffic areas such as after-hours monitoring of office buildings, retail stores, industrial properties, vehicle depots and other unattended areas in non-critical applications.
- Access control: The combination of a camera and an access control system will provide better safety and better control of personnel. Cameras can detect tailgating and enhance security by knowing exactly who is using the facility and when.
Combining cameras with Audio
In addition to being able to detect and analyze behavior based on a video stream, it is also possible to connect the video system to a speaker and microphone and play a message for security purpose, but also music or general information based on real time assessment. The microphone applications can detect sounds such as broken glass or gun shot to increase security.
In building such as museum where the air quality is important for the preservation of the artifact, an automated people count can be linked to the light and air flow control management ensuring that the heat and humidity stays within limitation. Also, the audio system can politely ask the people to move to the next room or wait at the entrance if the amount of people is off limit or guide the flow of visitors in a less populated area.
IP camera as an integrated part of a smart building
Using IP camera as an integrated part of a smart building provides valuable information that can be used not only for security purpose but also for facility management and energy saving. In the end, the insight modern IP camera system provides are a constant eye on your building and combining this tool with deep learning or artificial intelligence will provide facility manager a deeper insight on their building, a better control, and a better user experience.
Hatteland Technology – your ideal smart building partner
Hatteland Technology has over 30 years of experience in designing security CCTV systems.
Our extensive knowledge of CCTV cameras, camera placement, lighting conditions, suppliers, softwares, and video management systems, combined with our long-lasting relationships with the top suppliers in the market, makes us an ideal partner when choosing your new smart or AI camera system – or updating your existing one.
We can help you find your perfect camera for smart building! Contact one of our surveillance experts to review your options.