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Entries in CCTV surveillance (8)


Use of Intelligent Cameras Can Increase Customer Loyalty

"Doing more with less" is a common adage during tough economic times. And it even applies to advanced technology.

Imagine if something as fundamental as surveillance cameras at a bank could begin to do so much more: improve the customer experience, build brand loyalty and polish customer service and support. With the right technology, it's possible.

In fact, bank customers in a recent poll said being recognized by bank employees builds their loyalty to that company. And they don't mind if bank employees use advanced technologies to identify them.

According to the poll conducted by Zogby463 and released by 3VR, 69 percent of respondents said that their customer loyalty is positively affected by tellers recognizing them by name when they walked into a bank. In addition, consumers support the use of advanced technologies to deliver better customer service as 78 percent of those surveyed said that they are comfortable with financial institutions using cameras in their branches to better serve their customers.

It's clear that name recognition by bank tellers is an easy way for banks to bolster their relationships with customers. What's more, the poll found that customer service at one bank branch location directly affects the opinion of the entire financial institution for more than 76 percent of bank customers.

“Our polling highlights how customer service drives customer loyalty. Increasingly, video intelligence technologies are allowing financial institutions to creatively leverage their existing video surveillance investments beyond just security,” said Al Shipp, CEO of 3VR. “The ability for banks to use video to recognize customers by name, reward the most valuable customers, meet suspicious activity report compliance requirements and curb fraud, is quickly up-leveling the role of video in the IT ecosystem from a cost center to a revenue generator.”


Unique Combination of Technology is Bad News for Criminals

I know I'll be sleeping more soundly tonight.

Police in my town of Addison, Texas, have a new weapon in the fight against crime. The innovative new process uses surveillance cameras, proprietary software and equipment recently installed at the police department's dispatch center. The program, developed by Stealth Monitoring Inc. of Dallas, operates at no cost to taxpayers and is scheduled for a nationwide roll-out this year.

"Video analytics and trained operators are what sets this program apart from others that use video technology," said Norm Charney, Stealth Monitoring CEO. "The interaction of software and human intelligence allows the Stealth control room to cost effectively monitor thousands of cameras from its customers. Any unusual motion or activity instantly draws the attention of the operator by placing an individual camera's live video on the computer screen for quick action."

How does it work? When Stealth employees see suspicious activity, rather than making a phone call and describing the suspect or their actions they can instantly "push" the technology to the Addison Police dispatch center and provide police with the same live video they are observing. The dispatchers determine when a suspect's actions warrant dispatching officers.

Responding officers are provided with real-time suspect descriptions, actions, vehicles and changes in location. Not only will the video provide better information, but it will improve safety for officers as well. A dispatcher might see a suspect hide behind a dumpster just as the officers arrive on the scene and can relay the suspect's movements to the officers in real time.  

Addison is upgrading its dispatch center so that they will be able to provide video directly to patrol cars, PDAs or even cell phones of officers who are responding. In addition, the video provides an after action recording feature that can include post-event descriptions of the vehicle used in the crime, video of the criminals and often the vehicle's license plate number.

"This program puts Addison on the cutting edge of technology that will make our city safer and our police officers more effective," said Ron Davis, Addison Chief of Police. "As more businesses and other venues take advantage of this type of technology our dispatchers and police officers will be able to respond more quickly and effectively making it harder for criminals to commit crimes or get away with crimes they have committed."

"Monitoring video feeds isn't new," Charney said. "What is new is our ability to actively live monitor thousands of video feeds from our customers in a cost-effective manner, identify suspicious activity and notify authorities quickly. This is taking technology beyond the event based monitoring that some companies offer. While video from security cameras can be helpful, immediate notification and confirmation of suspicious activity as well as a video feed directly to the police is a major advancement in the reduction of false alarms and crime."

Businesses pay for the monitoring service and equipment. The equipment from Stealth is installed for free at the police department and allows Addison to create a video fusion center without the expenses normally associated with this technology.

"In today's tough economic times a program that provides our department with state-of-the-art technology, monitoring services and video monitoring equipment at no cost to taxpayers, made this a win-win proposal," Davis said.


ACLU: Chicago's Surveillance Network Violates First Amendment

Boasting a network of thousands of public surveillance cameras, Chicago is the most-watched city in the United States. And while privacy concerns over Chicago's surveillance network are old news, now the American Civil Liberties Union is involved. 

The ACLU released a report today that claims any further expansion of the network would be a violation of Chicago citizens' First Amendment Rights. 

Currently, the Chicago Police use about 1,200 cameras on city streets, and there are an additional 4,500 in schools, 1,800 on city buses and trains and 1,000 at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, according to NBC Chicago

Several studies have shown that Chicago residents feel protected--not violated--by the security cameras. But the ACLU argues otherwise. They're claiming that the millions of dollars used to invest in the surveillance network could have been used to hire more police officers. After all, according to NBC Chicago, the cameras resulted in less than 1 percent of arrests over the last four years. 


The Real 'Big Brother'? Research Could Change How We Do Surveillance

Fascinating new research on human psychology could have a wide-reaching effect on the security surveillance industry. 

Researchers at Newcastle University found that people are less likely to engage in anti-social behavior when images of staring human faces are "watching."  

The researchers alternated hanging posters of eyes and posters of flowers on the walls of a cafe, then tracked the number of people who cleaned up their plates and trash after finishing their meals. When the posters of faces and eyes were on the walls, twice as many people cleaned up after themselves. When the posters of flowers were present, many more people left litter on the tables. 

Previously, the same researchers had studied whether images of eyes had an impact on people's contributions to an honesty box in a tea room. When the images of eyes were present, people paid nearly three times as much money as they did when the flower posters hung on the walls. 

The researchers concluded that the images of eyes made people feel like they were being watched. And, since most people care about what others think, they behave better when they feel like they're being observed.

How might this impact surveillance? One researcher explained: "This study has implications for the fight against anti-social behavior. For example, if signs for CCTV cameras used pictures of eyes instead of cameras, they could be more effective.”

Maybe in a few years we'll start seeing posters of eyes in airports, federal buildings and transportation centers. Then we'll all really feel like Big Brother is watching us!


Security Camera FAIL

TechEBlog rates the world's most ridiculous security camera fails, including the one above. Hopefully some poor security guard isn't stuck watching that video feed all day.