(Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons)
The topic is not new, but it is increasingly common in conversations with customers and potential users of wireless networks for M2M and IIoT applications. In fact, this topic now occurs in almost every conversation regarding networks and their wireless video transmission capabilities.
Our topic is the transport of video and the applications it enables. As reference, a few areas where wireless video is being used are:
- Security operations, such as facility assess control and perimeter monitoring
- Work safety to monitor hazardous areas
- Deterrence of vandalism and theft
- Process monitoring for improved quality and efficiency
For these video integrated systems, they perform several functions:
- Capture video of the area or process being monitored
- Transport the video stream to the video analytics, which typically resides in the enterprise network and not at the remote site with the video camera
- Analysis of the video stream to derive actionable information or data from the real-time feed, and
- Act upon the information or data extracted from the video where the system may or may not be collocated with the video camera.
High-speed wireless networks are well suited for transporting data from remote sites to centralized locations, and again transporting information from the centralized location to remote or other sites where it is acted upon. These high-speed networks require high data rates, low latency and quality of services (QoS) capabilities.
An example of an integrated wireless video system employing a high-speed wireless network is remote facility access control. The video stream is transported from a remote site to the analytics engine located in the enterprise network where facial or license plate recognition is performed on the video stream. If the person or vehicle is to be on site, the on-site assess control system locks or unlocks a gate or door. In this example, the integrated system has the video source and assess the control system collocated.
Another example is improving worker safety through transporting video and analytics where the analytics detects worker presence and activity. If the activity stops, the worker can be contacted through an emergency management system. If the worker does not respond to the contact, an emergency response team can be dispatched. In this example, video transported from the remote site is analyzed and drives inputs into emergency response systems that are not collocated.
Video analytics is promising with a wide range of possible applications. However, it is the wireless high-speed network that makes these services viable and cost effective since the wireless network has the bandwidth to be used for multiple applications (voice, video, data and sensor) across multiple departments within the enterprise.