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Why AI Processing in CCTV
is Better on Edge Architecture

Why AI Processing in CCTV is Better on Edge Architecture

Posted by Radosław Dzik

Radosław Dzik

PhD, Global Channel Partner Manager | Head of Sales Europe

In today's rapidly evolving world, security and surveillance have become integral components of our daily lives. As technology continues to advance, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into CCTV systems has revolutionised the way we monitor and secure our surroundings. However, the question arises: where should AI processing take place in CCTV systems? The answer lies in the power of edge architecture.

Understanding Edge Processing

Before diving into why AI processing on edge architecture is superior in CCTV systems, let's define what edge processing is. Edge processing, also known as edge computing, refers to the practice of performing data processing and analysis locally on an edge device or sensor, rather than relying on a centralised cloud server. In the context of CCTV systems, this means that the AI algorithms responsible for video analysis and event recognition are executed on the camera itself or on a nearby edge server, rather than sending all the data to a remote cloud server for analysis.

The Advantages of Edge Architecture in CCTV

Low Latency

One of the most significant advantages of edge processing in CCTV is reduced latency. When AI algorithms analyze video feeds on the edge, the results are generated in real-time or near real-time. This low latency is critical in situations where immediate action is required, such as in security monitoring or emergency response systems. For instance, when an unauthorized person enters a secure area, edge processing can trigger an alert almost instantaneously, allowing security personnel to respond swiftly.

Bandwidth Efficiency

Transmitting high-definition video streams to a central cloud server for AI analysis can strain network bandwidth, leading to delays and potential bottlenecks. Edge processing reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent over the network, as only relevant events or metadata are transmitted. This bandwidth efficiency not only saves costs but also ensures a smoother and more responsive video surveillance system.

Privacy and Security

Edge architecture enhances privacy and security in CCTV applications. By processing data locally, sensitive information remains on-site, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. This is particularly crucial when dealing with sensitive environments, such as government facilities or private residences.

Event Recognition at the Edge

To illustrate the effectiveness of edge processing in event recognition, consider the following scenarios:

Object Detection

Imagine a retail store equipped with AI-powered CCTV cameras at the entrance. These cameras can recognize when a customer enters the store and can even identify if they are carrying a suspicious bag. Edge processing ensures that this recognition happens immediately, allowing store security to respond promptly if necessary.

Traffic Monitoring

In a smart city application, traffic cameras equipped with edge AI can detect accidents or traffic jams in real-time. This information can be relayed to traffic management systems or emergency services without delay, facilitating efficient traffic management and safety measures.

Facial Recognition

In a secure facility, edge processing can be used for facial recognition. When an unauthorized individual is detected, alerts can be generated instantly, preventing potential security breaches.

Event Recognition at the Edge with Self-Learning AI

In addition to recognising specific predefined events, AI processing at the edge excels at identifying unusual behaviour patterns. This is where the self-learning capability of AI comes into play.

Imagine a CCTV system installed in a corporate office. Over time, the AI algorithms running on the edge devices become familiar with the typical patterns of activity, such as regular office hours and common employee movements. When an unusual event occurs, like someone attempting to access a restricted area during non-working hours, the AI can flag this behaviour as suspicious, even if it hasn't been explicitly programmed to recognise that specific event.

Here's how self-learning AI enhances event recognition:

Anomaly Detection

Self-learning AI can detect anomalies by continuously analysing historical data and identifying deviations from the norm. For instance, if an office's regular operating hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM, and the AI consistently sees an employee entering the office at 3 AM, it will flag this as an anomaly, potentially indicating unauthorised access.


As new threats and behaviours emerge, self-learning AI can adapt and evolve its recognition capabilities. It can learn from past incidents and update its algorithms to better recognize and respond to new types of events, making the surveillance system more effective over time.

Reduced False Alarms

By differentiating between genuine threats and harmless anomalies, self-learning AI reduces false alarms. This improves the efficiency of security personnel, ensuring that they focus on genuine security concerns rather than being inundated with irrelevant alerts.

Continuous Improvement

Self-learning AI is not static; it continually refines its models and algorithms. This ongoing self-improvement ensures that the CCTV system remains effective and relevant in the face of changing security needs.

In summary, the integration of self-learning AI in edge processing for event recognition takes surveillance to a whole new level. By allowing AI to adapt, learn, and identify unusual behaviours, we can enhance security, reduce false alarms, and stay ahead of emerging threats. As technology evolves, the self-learning capability of AI in CCTV systems on the edge is poised to play a pivotal role in creating safer and more efficient environments for both businesses and communities.

Final Takeaway

AI processing in CCTV systems is undoubtedly a game-changer, but the choice of architecture matters. Edge processing, with its low latency, bandwidth efficiency, and improved privacy and security, emerges as the superior option for event recognition. By pushing the AI processing closer to the source of data capture, we can create smarter, more responsive, and more secure video surveillance systems that are better equipped to protect our communities and assets in today's fast-paced world. As technology continues to advance, the edge is where the future of AI-powered CCTV lies.

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