Video analytics help secure political conventions
- By Bianca Spinosa
- Jul 26, 2016
In a tense election year and a summer of protests, ensuring the safety of people in and around the political conventions is crucial.
To help secure the Republican National Convention, Cleveland officials used video integration and situation management technology from Vienna, Va.-based Vidsys. Cleveland’s Department of Public Utilities and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority already used the software and recommended expanding its use for the convention.
Vidsys’ Converged Security and Information Management platform collected and analyzed video feeds from cameras and sensors throughout downtown Cleveland and around the arena where the convention was held. The platform integrates the data from all the video management systems so agencies can get real-time information and manage convention security through a unified dashboard.
The browser-based platform allows data from sensors, cameras and devices to be connected through open-architecture application programming interfaces and software development kits.
“When you have multiple agencies involved, there are multiple different technologies, there are disparate communications issues,” Vidsys CEO James Chong said. “What we do is provide software that helps solve that problem.”
The company's security platform was also used at the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston and the Baltimore Grand Prix in 2011.
Securing events like political conventions involves collecting and analyzing data from as many as 20,000 to 30,000 cameras and even more sensors. Because the devices record video and audio around the clock, the platform uses artificial intelligence and analytics to sort through the data and present information that is “meaningful and actionable,” Chong said.
The system flags alarms, events, incidents or any combination and logs the time, location, duration, frequency and type.
“That gives a human being the ability to manage the situation,” Chong said. “We live in a data-saturated and overloaded world today. There’s no way a person can monitor all the data.”
Bianca Spinosa is an Editorial Fellow at FCW.
Spinosa covers a variety of federal technology news for FCW including workforce development, women in tech, and the intersection of start-ups and agencies. Prior to joining FCW, she was a TV journalist for more than six years, reporting local news in Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Spinosa is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Writing at George Mason University, where she also teaches composition. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia.
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