This blog post was initially published using Ava's former video security product names.
I’m delighted to announce that we’re making Ava Aware available to the world. We envisioned an industry-changing video management system to empower security operators to detect threats as incidents unfold, minimize damages, and conduct powerful investigations faster and more accurately than ever before. Today, we turn our ambition into reality.
Before we started our journey in the physical security space, we needed to see what organizations needed the most when they installed a video surveillance system. We immediately noticed the massive number of cameras out there and the small number of security operators to monitor them. These cameras were recording 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The traditional solution always involved a human operator and a video wall with an overwhelming amount of video feeds. We asked ourselves: if a human can’t look at the footage, why even have cameras installed in the first place?
We realized that operators needed the tools to understand if something was happening live.
Next, we noticed the case of investigating historical incidents. Operators spent hours or days looking for suspects, tracking down their movements, or getting accurate results they could build compelling cases on.
Minor events should only take a few minutes of search until operators could respond effectively.
We didn’t want to be yet another video security provider; we tried to answer the needs of organizations who struggled to keep their premises and people safe. To design our products, we pinned down a few fundamental principles:
In the early days of Ava, we attended a meeting with a chief security officer of a school district in Alaska. Someone had set one of their buildings on fire, and they found out because a neighbor called to alert them. When the security personnel reviewed the video footage from one of the cameras, they saw the suspect trying to start the fire for 15 minutes. That was a defining “Aha!” moment for us at Ava. Video surveillance was one of the industries that needed real-time, actionable intelligence. Effectively applying artificial intelligence was the vehicle to achieve that.
With Ava Aware, we made pervasive and integrated AI-driven video analytics a reality. It’s a VMS that organizations can use with their existing third-party cameras to analyze all the streams, all the time, and in real-time. We have designed an incredibly efficient machine learning inference platform that, combined with the capabilities of Nvidia's Turing GPUs, allows us to support real-time analytics on up to 200 cameras per Ava security appliance.
One of the innovative features integrated into Ava Aware is Spotlight, created to ease operator fatigue, and help security personnel focus on what really matters. It changes the Video view streams dynamically to bring relevant feeds to their attention.
Based on pre-defined rules and detection of unusual activity, Spotlight™ includes real-time alerts and notifications that appear on the Video view to uncover incidents as they occur.
In Map view, operators can upload maps of facilities, place the cameras precisely, and get a unique view of the locations they look after. Smart Presence™ is a ground-breaking capability that highlights people as they move through the cameras’ fields of view. Once clicked, the interactive dots on the maps shows footage of persons of interest.
We know how important it is to get accurate and fast results in critical moments after the incidents have unfolded. Finding suspicious people, vehicles, and objects throughout all the camera footage in an entire site is now seamless. With Smart Search, we give operators the power to look for events (line-crossing, appearance, loitering), object type (people, vehicles), and similarity. Building a case is easy and effective regardless of the number of hours of recorded video.
We included Smart Presence™ in the Video view and Map view timelines to provide thumbnail-based browsing of video and highlight alarms. It helps operators get a better understanding of different events captured by the camera.
Realizing the vulnerabilities of current physical security products, we designed Ava Aware cyber-hardened out of the box. At export, video and metadata files are digitally watermarked to prove that they have not been tampered with. We encrypt exported files in transit and at rest, as well as links to recorded video with AES-256 encryption so that only those authorized can view the recordings. Finally, we use secure LDAP when importing users.
For authorization, we made it easy for administrators to assign roles and permissions to Ava Aware.
To ensure simple deployment and access, we made Ava Aware connected via the cloud. Users can connect from anywhere in the world via the cloud, and securely share links of recorded video with those that need access to it, regardless of whether they have access to Ava Aware or not. Additionally, notifications for new Ava Aware firmware upgrades ensure your system is secure and up to date with the latest features.
Originally published Nov 06, 2019, updated Sept 01, 2020.