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What is new with AI in the physical security world in the last 12 months? (Trends, technologies, applications, etc.)

We’ve witnessed a number of new developments in analytics technology over the past year primarily driven by new security and health safety challenges that businesses, organizations and government agencies are now facing around the world. Panasonic i-PRO responded with analytics solutions that address four of the most prevalent challenges that security and law enforcement professionals need to remedy:

  1. Identifying individuals who are entering a facility
  2. Identifying individuals who are not wearing face masks
  3. The ability to detect if an individual has elevated body temperature
  4. Redacting innocent individuals’ faces from video that is being used to apprehend suspects or as video evidence

i-PRO facial recognition analytics employ AI and deep learning to effectively identity and authenticate an individual’s identity even if their face is partially covered. In fact, it can even accurately identify an individual who may be wearing a disguise, at obscure camera angles or who may have aged over a significant number of years.

Additionally, i-PRO’s AI non-mask detection has the ability to detect if an individual is not wearing a mask. This is a critical feature for facilities and businesses that require masks to be worn upon entry, and in many cases is mandated by local or regional law.

We also entered a partnership with MOBOTIX to offer a new thermal camera solution aimed at helping organizations maintain the health and safety of those entering their facilities. This solution combines MOBOTIX M16/S16 cameras with a new plug-in from Panasonic i-PRO’s Video Insight video management systems (VMS) to automatically detect when an individual’s body temperature exceeds a pre-set threshold and provides an alert to the appropriate personnel. This new solution offers businesses, schools, retail stores, and other public facilities another tool to keep their staff and guests safe.

Lastly, to help ensure the personal privacy of innocent people who may have been caught on video where/when a crime has taken place, Panasonic i-PRO offers a redaction plug-in for our Video Insight VMS. The AI-assisted redaction engine automates the video redaction process, greatly lightening the burden for schools, municipalities, correction facilities and more.

All of these software solutions seamlessly interface with Panasonic i-PRO’s systems to deliver advanced holistic video imaging and business intelligence solutions to our customers.

In some ways, AI has become closely associated with video surveillance. What other areas of security are currently using AI, and which may see more growth and/or deployment in the future?

AI is being used in many different aspects of security, particularly in the area of sensors, which are generally low-cost items that can be integrated into various edge devices such as cameras to provide additional data, all of which increases situational awareness through autonomous detection. Examples of emerging sensor technologies include everything from audio analytics to detect screams, gunshots, explosions and glass breaking to environmental sensors that detect noxious fumes and gasses, smoke, vibrations from explosions or earthquakes and more. The key is in deploying these technologies into solutions like our open platform i-PRO Video Insight VMS and MonitorCast access control platforms for real-world applications.

How has COVID-19 impacted the use of AI in security? How has AI helped end users deal with the pandemic?

Solutions like i-PRO facial recognition employ deep-learning AI to help security professionals retain the highest levels of physical security protection by enabling the identification and authentication of individuals even while wearing face masks, and i-PRO’s AI non-mask detection detects when an individual is not wearing a mask. Additionally, thermal cameras are now being used in conjunction with AI to detect elevated body temperature. By integrating MOBOTIX thermal cameras with a new AI-driven plug-in for our i-PRO Video Insight VMS, security management can easily detect if an individual requires further investigation or testing to enter their premises. In all three instances, AI is being used to help better protect the security and health safety of people whether at work, school and home.

How can integrators use AI to do their job and/or serve their customers better?

New AI solutions provide the perfect vehicle to start new conversations with legacy customers on how they can leverage existing investments in technology to further protect their employees, customers and visitors from new and emerging threats. At the same time, these very same AI solutions open the pathway to cultivating new customers with capabilities that transcend traditional security to include business operations and intelligence. Overall, systems integrators who actively embrace new AI-driven solutions will help ensure the longevity and success of their businesses moving forward.

What advice would you give integrators for working with AI?

Be the first integrator in your region to make a firm business commitment to learn about and offer new AI solutions and capabilities. It will pay dividends. This is the future of physical security as we continue to converge with business intelligence and IT applications.

What else is worth noting about AI in the security industry, particularly for integrators?

There are many new players entering our market that are either new start-ups or from other industries, particularly in the area of IT that will eventually encroach upon business – both with existing and new customers. As we have all learned this past year, it is imperative to be proactive in providing solutions that deliver meaningful innovation to customers. New AI-driven solutions and technologies present the perfect vehicle to expand and grow business. Jump on this fast-moving train now while it’s in front of you, or you may find yourself on a later train that takes you out of town.


Bill Brennan

President, Panasonic i-PRO

William (Bill) Brennan is Vice President of the Security Division of Panasonic i-PRO Sensing Solutions. With more than 25 years of experience in the Security industry, Bill is committed to the Panasonic principal of co-existence and mutual prosperity. He is based in the Chicago area, and enjoys traveling across the country to forge strong end-user and partner relationships. Bill has an undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida.