Crowd Monitoring: Why AI Is Essential for Scaling Physical Security In Busy Places

Cities, airports, stadiums, and many other places need to monitor and manage large crowds on a daily basis. The public and private organizations that oversee these busy areas are under pressure to improve public safety, optimize crowd flows, and enhance security measures, often with limited resources. By adopting new technologies, like AI-driven physical security solutions, many of these organizations can now enhance their crowd monitoring capabilities.

In this post, we’ll cover the challenges of monitoring crowded areas, why AI helps scale operations security, and how technology developers can build AI-powered physical security devices.

The Challenges with Crowd Monitoring

Crowd monitoring means tracking and analyzing the behavior and movement of large groups of people in public spaces. This can help organizations ensure the safety of individuals within crowded areas, respond faster to emergencies, and optimize crowd control efforts. The problem is that it’s difficult to monitor busy streets, metro stations, malls, stadiums, and other crowded places with a limited security team.

Many teams use hand counters and traditional video cameras for situational awareness, but these data sources are time-consuming and inefficient to monitor. The traditional methods requiring manual effort by human security personnel may not provide sufficient coverage to track everything in busy areas and public spaces. Analyzing crowd behavior patterns, identifying anomalies, and predicting potential risks is also difficult to perform manually.

Every second counts when it comes to detecting and responding to crowd-related incidents, yet traditional methods cannot always provide valuable insights beforehand. This makes busy places a higher risk from a security perspective because tracking each individual’s behavior in real time is nearly impossible manually.

Addressing these challenges requires a modern approach involving data analytics, artificial intelligence, and edge computing. Organizations need to deploy new smart physical security solutions powered by AI to effectively automate and scale crowd monitoring using their existing security team.

AI Can Scale Physical Security Operations

AI can help scale the effectiveness of a small team of security personnel by automatically monitoring crowds and flagging suspicious behavior or emergencies. This reduces the burden on human operators, so they can focus on responding quickly to threats and emergencies (such as accidents, fires, or medical issues) within crowded areas.

IP video surveillance systems with computer vision capabilities could detect individual people, the flow of crowds, abnormal behavior, and more in real time. Rather than manually reviewing as many video feeds as possible, security personnel can focus on evaluating and responding to any suspicious behavior or emergencies flagged by the smart surveillance system.

For example, AI-powered video surveillance systems can enhance safety and security in a busy retail store. By analyzing video feeds in real time, AI algorithms can detect suspicious activities, such as shoplifting or loitering, and accidents like slips and falls. These intelligent systems can then send alerts to store security personnel.

Similarly, smart cities can leverage AI-powered video surveillance systems to detect and track crowd movements, density, and behavior. This helps city authorities monitor and manage large gatherings, public events, or crowded areas more effectively. Beyond crowd monitoring, these intelligent video systems can also improve traffic monitoring and other aspects of city operations.

AI can also be integrated with access control systems to help security teams contain perpetrators by automatically locking certain areas based on video intelligence. In addition, organizations can optimize crowd control measures based on crowd flow and density by adjusting entrances or exits using intelligent access control systems. These capabilities help security teams monitor and manage individual and crowd movements with limited human resources.

Building AI-Powered Physical Security Devices for Crowd Monitoring

AI will likely become a foundational technology in the coming years. While security teams will continue to invest in smart devices to improve their crowd monitoring efforts, there are still some challenges. The reality is that many AI and software vendors lack the hardware, infrastructure, and logistics experience necessary to deliver fully-integrated physical security solutions.

AHEAD offers comprehensive services to allow software companies to fully offload their hardware programs, including hardware design, infrastructure configuration, logistics, and supply chain visibility for technology solutions. This frees up time to focus on developing innovative AI applications for crowd monitoring and other physical security systems.

We can also make it less time-consuming and expensive to design, build, and integrate complex devices. Our 50+ predesigned reference platforms for physical security devices are already researched, tested, validated, and standardized for optimal performance. We also have an in-house engineering team that can design different architectures to meet additional devices requirements.

Contact AHEAD today to learn more.

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