Security World’s D2K Project presents four questions to physical security and video surveillance product manufacturers asking them how their products turn computer data into business knowledge their customers can apply to their business —to their bottom line.
We recently met up with PlateSmart, a Florida-based video analytic company specializing in license plate recognition (LPR) software, and asked if they would participate in the SecuritHive D2K Project.
Here is Platesmart’s feedback:
Define the users that would be interested in your product/service and what traditional benefits they would gain from similar products/services.
Any business or facility that needs reliable physical security will be interested in PlateSmart products, particularly ARES, our enterprise LPR-based video analytics platform. This includes college campuses, hospitals, ports, airports, parking facilities, banks, casinos, and more.
It’s difficult to say what traditional benefits would be gained from similar products or services because ARES is unique. It’s the first software to combine super-accurate License Plate Recognition (LPR) with a complete analytics backbone for a true end-to-end video security system. You could say that ARES enhances the traditional benefit of monitoring and recording for security purposes.
It does this by adding LPR functionality to the mix. With ARES, in addition to having a complete video record, a security team also has a complete list of license plate reads with time and date stamps and locations that correspond to that video. Events are searchable with a few mouse clicks instead of having to scan through hours of video, and finding suspicious patterns of behavior becomes a matter of running a simple report. ARES has lifted physical security from simple blind video recording to smart, real-time, proactive situational awareness with accurate and real-time video analytics.
Explain what business challenges your product/service solves and why customers would be interested.
Any responsible business owner is concerned about security. Most of us don’t think about it this way on a daily basis, but as a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of everyone on your property, both customers and staff. Unfortunately, with society’s current concerns over crime and terrorism, we’re forced to think about these things.
Imagine a security system that can instantly transmit license plate reads to local police and alert them if a wanted felon drives onto your lot. Or perhaps you have a disgruntled ex-employee that you are worried might return to make trouble…you can create your own hotlist and be alerted immediately if that person shows up. These are all things that ARES enterprise LPR can do.
You can also use it for access control; just create a list of plates that are allowed onto the premises and refuse to open the gate for anyone not on that list. No more ID cards or decals, and you also don’t need anywhere near as much manual supervision of the process. Business owners nowadays also face unreasonably huge liability risks and LPR-driven video analytics solutions such as ARES empower them with the accountability and forensics necessary to counter any liability suits.
And security isn’t the only application. If you have regular customers, ARES can alert you when they arrive and let you be ready for them before they even set foot inside the door…this is an ability that casinos really value, for example. ARES can help you get an idea of when your best customers like to come and how long they generally stay.
And again, this is all information that can be gathered in a few seconds, just by running a report on the ARES analytics Reporting Center.
Elaborate on how the users of your product/service will turn the usage of your product/service into business knowledge about their environment that would lead to a greater business understanding.
ARES provides business owners with knowledge of who is entering and leaving their property, 24/7, 365. It also tells you when and how often they are coming, and how long they are staying, all available with a few mouse clicks. From a business perspective, this is really what we mean when we talk about our environment—the people that we encounter, where they go, and what they do.
Of course, there are obvious security benefits, but often people don’t think about the sales and marketing applications of a system like ARES. You could, for instance, build a hotlist that automatically connects license plates with habitual purchases. This would give you better control over your inventory and warn you early when a particular item needed to be re-ordered. That’s just one example.
ARES can also increase a business’s Return on Investment (ROI) by helping to determine the best ways to handle property ingress, egress, and employee flow, and, more importantly, to reduce losses. We have a number of case studies on this, including one client that was able to capture a burglar simply by analyzing time and date stamps of entrances and exits and narrowing the possibilities down to a single plate. They subsequently released this information to the police.
Additionally, you can legally gather data on your customer origins simply by reading the state jurisdictions on their plates. By simply gathering data as to where your customers come from on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, you can also analyze your spending patterns to determine whether or not you are spending your marketing dollars in the right markets at the rights times of the year (an amusement park is a good example of a business that would benefit from such knowledge). This translates into a potential savings of millions of dollars a year, all through the business knowledge obtained simply and easily using our technologies.
LPR-driven analytics solutions such as ARES address business needs either to avoid unnecessary or unexpected expenditure by building detailed and reliable data accountability or to increase business revenue by providing crucial business intelligence or filling operational gaps that contribute to revenue loss.
Describe the process of how the use of your product/service will help businesses turn the data gained into greater business awareness/knowledge for their own benefit.
Most everybody drives. It’s just a fact of life. This means that wherever most people go, they are accompanied by a license plate. It’s important to remember that that license plate is public information; by law it is required to be displayed where it can be easily seen.
A business owner equipped with an LPR-based analytics platform like ARES has the upper hand over the competition, not only by having that extra measure of security in place, but also by being able to use that public information to track the comings and goings of all visitors to the property. That data can be linked to any other data you can legally gather—about spending habits, about likes and dislikes, etc.
The data can then be instantly and automatically retrieved when your ARES system gets a hit, giving you that extra edge of speed in your response. And if you need to go back and review something that happened earlier in the day or overnight, the footage is accessible within seconds instead of minutes or hours.
Finally, don’t forget cost savings—the ARES software itself is priced more affordably than any comparable solution on the market. And with the work-hours saved by reduced manual security supervision, it more than pays for itself.
As stated in the answer to Question 3, ARES helps to strengthen business accountability and also streamline business processes, both of which are crucial to success in today’s marketplace.
John Chigos is the founder and CEO of PlateSmart Technologies, Inc., an innovative security technology company. John’s clear vision and passion for the safety of law enforcement officers and members of our military has driven him to build the most accurate and versatile license plate recognition technology available. As an expert in homeland security and counter terrorist technologies, John has appeared on national television, and PlateSmart’s products are currently being used by law enforcement agencies, major universities and homeland security organizations.
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