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How video surveillance can help Singapore businesses

Video surveillance provides many business opportunities when integrated with technological advancements

Video surveillance - what was once commonly used to record empty spaces or a closed door - is now much more than that.

Today, technological advances are transforming the notion of "surveillance" in a wide range of businesses, including retail, grocery chains and banks.

Beyond simple building protection, surveillance technology is now integrated with video analytics software to drive business growth.

One such example is the untapped potential of video in various industries, beyond the basic security functions.

From heat mapping to improving retail store layouts and shortening checkout lines to doctors seeing patients in the comfort of their own homes to identifying and grooming the next Joseph Schooling, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some alternative uses of video that bring us closer to Singapore's dream of becoming the world's first Smart Nation.

LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD IN RETAIL

Online retail is booming, while brick-and-mortar firms are facing the heat. Retail sales in Singapore have been sluggish.

And with Amazon recently announcing its impending launch in Singapore, brick-and-mortar retailers need to look towards an omnichannel strategy to differentiate themselves.

By assessing performance from all angles, players can come up with unique strategies and correct habits to achieve their full potential. Benjamin Low, vice-president, APAC, at Milestone Systems

Video can be a piece of disruptive technology that gives them a competitive edge.

With analytics, video capabilities easily go beyond security. Functions such as facial recognition and heat mapping can win customers' hearts and minds.

It is also worth noting that customer experience remains the top priority for consumers and, by studying consumer behaviour and planning resources, retail stores can deliver a personalised in-store experience, giving them a competitive advantage against e-commerce retailers.

Eastland Mall is a case in point. Working with Quantum, a leading data storage company, Milestone Systems provided a winning combination of video surveillance that helped retailers combat the blues.

With Quantum's high-streaming storage performance, in combination with Milestone software, Eastland Mall was equipped with state-of-the-art video monitoring and analytics systems to drive retail growth. In the future, such integrated solutions will be the norm.

SPOTTING NEW 
SPORTING TALENT

With video surveillance solutions, the next Schooling can be identified way in advance.

Athletes are able to challenge their limits and improve their training regimens.

With every movement captured, video analytics helps to constantly evaluate a person's performance, allowing coaches around the world to replay their footage from anywhere and any time, and tweak training sessions accordingly.

Players can use data to assess both their competitors' and their own habits and patterns.

By assessing performance from all angles, players can come up with unique strategies and correct habits to achieve their full potential.

This extends to group sports, too. Leicester City are a prime example of how underdogs can achieve success by making use of video surveillance and data analytics.

With the help of sophisticated data and analytical tools with wearables in their training sessions, the Foxes captured their first ever English Premier League title in 2016.

It's no surprise, then, that other clubs should embrace video surveillance to complement their training and seek to replicate that success using video analytics and data.

SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT

Surveillance can also be used to save the world.

Erosion, deforestation and increasing water levels are some of the issues that good video surveillance can offer to solve.

For example, weather cameras can be set up to oversee coastal regions or monitor potential dangers such as forest fires.

The data can then be translated into in-depth studies to understand more about the impact on wildlife and ensure animal welfare is set in place.

Tassal, a Tasmanian salmon producer, is a company that has used video surveillance to improve efficiency.

Smart cameras are installed to access information about its water's oxygen levels, temperature and current.

The software later identifies the optimal time for feeding, effectively improving efficiency and reducing operational costs.

The uses of video are limitless, going well beyond security.

It is time for Singapore to realise the real, untapped potential of video capabilities and to start harnessing it to drive business growth.

The writer is vice-president, APAC, at Milestone Systems. This article was published in The Business Times yesterday.

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