Backgrounder: The PSIA Video Analytics Specification

The Benefits

  • The PSIA Video Analytics specification enables systems integrators and end users to easily integrate data from video analytics software with multiple video management and security systems and other applications from a variety of vendors. Video analytics packages may be deployed not just for security reasons but also to supply data to marketing and business intelligence applications.                               
  • The Video Analytics specification enables integrators and end users to focus on how systems will use analytics data. They no longer need to spend expensive resources writing software interfaces to communicate data among different analytics engines and a variety of video management, access control and physical security information management systems.                                                                      

  • Security operators see one unified view of analytics intelligence even when several different brands of analytics packages are used, as long as all have incorporated the PSIA Video Analytics specification.                                                                                                                                              
  • Through the Video Analytics specification, an alarm or event in one system can automatically trigger actions in other systems, increasing the value of analytics programs.                                                     

Practical Application: Integrating various video analytics programs with the PSIA Video Analytics Spec


In a large security installation, different brands of analytics software may be deployed for specific tasks, such as Brand A in cameras covering fences and Brand B watching traffic flow. Typically, data from the various analytics-equipped video streams is displayed on several different monitors, and these may also be separate from video management and access control monitors. During a security event, personnel may have to watch several monitors, which can be overwhelming.

When the analytics software all complies with the PSIA Video Analytics spec, the data, even if created by different brands, can all appear on a single monitor. Further, if the installation’s video, access and intrusion systems comply with the PSIA Area Control spec, those systems may also share data along with the analytics. Then security professionals have a truly singular view of activities and ability to manage them from a single point.


Practical Application: Using the PSIA Video Analytics Specification to integrate analytics with non-security systems


Video analytics programs can provide marketing and business intelligence, such as what are the busiest hours for a specific store entrance, which checkout areas are underutilized, what floor sale displays are effective. In many environments, integrating this data from an analytics program with one or more enterprise business applications requires custom coding and continued maintenance.

Analytics programs incorporating the PSIA Video Analytics specification all “express” themselves in a common way. One common set of analytics definitions, versus a variety of proprietary expressions requiring custom interfaces, makes it easier for users to incorporate analytics data into business applications.


Spec Basics


  • The PSIA specifications make plug-and-play interoperability possible for systems, applications and devices across and beyond the security ecosystem. All PSIA-compliant systems and devices, from cameras to physical security information management systems, have a common way to describe alarms, events, actions, etc.                                                                                                              
  • Because all the systems express themselves in a common way, it’s easy for the integrator or end user to set up “if-then” triggers in the rules engines usually built into security systems and other applications.  


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