ObjectVideo has a blog, which I believe is refreshing (Genetec has one too, and so do Exacq, and I am sure there are a lot of other vendors that have one too). In this post they talk about legislation being a hindrance to application of new technology, the post that was picked up by John Honovich, who asks some questions about the 98% figure in this article.
John raises a good point – what does 98% success rate mean exactly? If the system fails miserably in the last 2% (1.3% according to OV’s own numbers), then 98.7% might justifiably be totally unacceptable. Another argument could be that a benchmark was set, and OV flat out failed to beat that number.
In the medical industry I was stunned when I realized how benchmarks were met; a reference study was done, and the algorithms were tweaked so that the numbers met the criteria – but on the same set of samples! How the system would perform on a new set of samples was largely unknown. The same thing seems to apply to some analytics systems – the system is tweaked to beat the numbers in the trial phase, only to fail miserably when the conditions change; test in the summer, and be prepared for failure when the leaves start to fall. Test during low season, only to fail miserably when the tourists start flooding the entrances.
Frequently the performance of analytics systems is wildly oversold (remember facial recognition?), so the cards are stacked against the integrator even before the system is deployed. Once in place, there are a plethora of parameters that affect the performance – horsepower, frame rate, compression, lighting, weather, color calibration, network performance and so on. Raise the frame rate to make object tracking more reliable, and the bandwidth just went up, place the analysis on the edge, and you can discard all those old cameras already installed. The truth is that the system has to be designed around analytics from the get go, and more often than not, it isn’t.
ObjectVideo has a good product, it’s just that the expectations have to be adjusted a little bit – not necessarily the benchmarks.