Solink CEO Michael Matta shares his views on the video analytics industry

December 11, 2017
In a recent interview, we asked Michael Matta, co-founder and CEO of Solink, to talk to us about the video analytics industry, current trends, and what makes Solink different.

Mike runs the day-to-day operations of Solink while managing strategic relationships with partners and integrators. He is an expert in creating value for customers in data intense industries and his years of experience working in data analysis and value creation have helped shape the overall direction of the Solink platform.

Here’s what he had to say:

Facial Recognition and License Plate Recognition are the current “Hot Topics” in video analytics. What are your thoughts on these security trends versus the reality of analytics overall?

We now live in a world of ubiquitous computing where your face is one aspect of your identity that can confirm who you are. You can easily identify someone by looking at his or her digital footprint, but you can’t confirm who they are until you can match a name with a face. In security and risk management there are applications where matching a face to a transaction could reduce fraud and exposure to bad debt.

LPR is great because it can generate a ton of useful data for multiple industries. LPR technology is like assigning a “cookie” to every car, and as we know from web analytics, unique identifiers are essential to truly understanding users and behaviours.

The adoption of higher resolutions improves accuracy. In general, the ability to identify uniqueness is important because it helps identify trends,

What are your opinions about video analytics in delivering Business Intelligence?

At Solink, we believe that there is great value in analyzing video for two reasons:

  • Recorded video is the biggest source of unstructured big data; and
  • Video is a rich source of contextual information.

Video analytics can provide additional context with business intelligence but it requires data collected from other systems to be truly effective. Once you’ve integrated video analytics with transaction and enterprise data, you can discern unique insight from the contextual information you collect. Understanding the uniqueness of a person or situation and converting that understanding into an opportunity can augment business intelligence. This contextual awareness is made possible by correlating multiple sources of data, video especially.

Is video analytics capable of “finding the guy in the blue shirt”?

Sure, which guy in the blue shirt? We’ve included colour detection as one of our analytic triggers and have seen a number of use cases for it. For example, you could make sure that there are 3 employees or “blue shirts” behind the customer service desk as per company policy. There are also applications with analysis retail. You would track what colours you sell the most and when they are picked off the shelf. While this is viable today, it’s not a perfect technology. There could be customers with the same colour shirt; and it can be hard to distinguish between tones. Let’s call it a work in progress.

When do you see video analytics being a requirement for video surveillance solutions and why?

We are already seeing situations when a base level of video analytics is a requirement. In Qatar, the Ministry of Information requires every ATM transaction to have a picture associated with it. They also require pictures or license plates aka LPR technology for tracking purposes.

“No company has the time to read a novel about the past day, but they could read some short tweets about relevant events. This is the power of video analytics.”

It is not possible to view all of the recorded surveillance out there. Therefore, without video analytics, there is no way to know what video is worth watching or analyzing. Today, security video is viewed reactively. Something happens, so the team reviews the tape. Video analytics has the ability to reduce time to action by flagging and tagging events as they happen, improving the value of the recorded video.

How has Solink differentiated itself while staying relevant in the competitive video analytics market?

We differentiate ourselves through centralized analytics and contextual business applications. We pull video and enterprise data from existing systems – DVRs, NVRs, POS, cameras and more, to our web-based platform. All of the analysis happens centrally and our dashboard is accessible from any web-enabled device.

Our contextual business applications leverage not only video data, but also enterprise and transaction data collected from existing systems. Our applications are then able to provide decisions makers with actionable business insights. With Solink, you’re not just buying stats about your video; you’re buying actionable insight and decision support.

What is your vision on using video analytics to transform data into business intelligence?

At Solink, our vision is to create a data management platform that hosts applications able to provide actionable, contextual intelligence for decisions makers. While video is a context-rich source of data, it’s value increases greatly when correlated with additional data sources. We want to unite previously disparate data sources on a central platform to provide contextual intelligence for all business departments.

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