Live video for event management

by Mark Rowe

Working traditional crowd management and event security is itself a live performance. Each actor, whether front and centre, or “behind the scenes” in the control room, must collaborate and play their part. Day in, day out they must each take the right actions at the right time to manage crowds, keep attendees safe and contribute to a positive visitor experience, writes Kunal Shukla, CTO, Digital Barriers.

Its real-time nature means traditional event security operations can face significant challenges and barriers such as limited visibility based on specific areas. It is resource intensive with mistakes quickly resulting in higher costs, reduced predictability, and longer response times. This can result in challenges with crowd management, security, safety and creating a positive overall experience at events and venues.

Live Video over Cellular

Nobody wants to fluff their lines at the key moment. Yet ensuring everyone is best equipped to perform can be challenging, even in dedicated venues with purpose-built security systems. So, spare a thought for those responsible for securing festivals and other open-air events that don’t have this luxury. Traditional approaches to security, relying heavily on manual surveillance and physical barriers, are gradually being replaced by innovative solutions that leverage the power of live video streaming from cameras over cellular networks with advanced data analytics.

The shift towards live video streaming over cellular is bringing about a new era of better awareness and proactive security measures. A live feed can be accessed remotely by security personnel, allowing them to monitor multiple locations simultaneously and quickly identify any suspicious behaviour or security breaches. By integrating advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms, security teams can even automate the detection of anomalies, such as overcrowding, unauthorized access, or aggressive behaviour, enabling them to proactively intervene before situations escalate.

Overall, this is improving safety at events and changing how security teams handle potential threats in real-time. This includes advancements in crowd management, people flow, and more. Using live video streaming over cellular networks, organizers and security professionals can now have greater insight into crowd behaviour, spot security risks, and respond quickly to prevent issues including real time seamless communication collaboration among security teams, law enforcement agencies, and event organizers.

Setting the Stage

Despite its above benefits, the widespread adoption of live video streaming over cellular networks also poses certain challenges and considerations. Any of us who have tried to use our phone at a major sporting or cultural event will be aware that bandwidth and latency can quickly become an issue in remote or highly congested environments. Mobile Networks can run into challenges with bandwidth availability, latency and connectivity problems in densely populated event venues and remote locations. The high bandwidth video feeds from cameras can not be sent over the bandwidth “reliably” and “predictably” to deliver all the benefits that we discussed above.

Standard video streaming codecs used by most IP cameras such as H.264 and H.265 aren’t optimised for the efficient upload and transmission of live video over cellular and mobile networks, quickly resulting in high bandwidth requirements and issues with latency. The consequence is issues and delays in getting reliable video back to the operations centre for the timely viewing, analysis and response to events captured on camera.

To ensure reliability, resilience, robustness of live video over cellular in constrained environments, we are working closely with mobile network operators and security providers to encourage adoption of our AI-based video codec. The AI based video codec not only allows the reliable live video but additional provides reducing bandwidth requirements by up to 90 per cent and enables insights that can be converted into action. The technology provides a backbone for live video delivery that security teams and event organisers can rely on.

In summary, live video streaming over cellular networks represents a game-changing innovation in the field of event security and crowd management. By providing real-time visibility, enhancing collaboration, and enabling data-driven decision-making, technology is empowering security professionals and event organisers to create safer, more secure environments for attendees. As the capabilities of this technology continue to evolve, its impact on the events industry is poised to be profound, ushering in a new era of proactive security and unparalleled situational awareness.

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