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Today, AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events, a fully managed service for camera manufacturers and service providers that uses machine learning (ML) to detect objects such as people, pets, and packages in live video streams from connected cameras. Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events sends them a notification as soon as the desired object is detected in your live video stream.
With these event notifications, service providers can send timely and actionable smart alerts to their users such as “Pet detected in the backyard,” enable home automation experiences such as turning on garage lights when a person is detected, build custom in-app experiences such as a smart search to find specific video events of packages without scrolling through hours of footage, or integrate these alerts with Echo devices for Alexa announcements such as “A package was detected at the front door” when the doorbell detects a delivery person dropping off a package – all while keeping cost and latency low.
This post describes how camera manufacturers and security service providers can use Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events on live video streams to deliver actionable smart alerts to their users in real time.
Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events
Many camera manufacturers and security service providers offer home security solutions that include camera doorbells, indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, and value-added notification services to help their users understand what is happening on their property. Cameras with built-in motion detectors are placed at entry or exit points of the home to notify users of any activity in real time, such as “Motion detected in the backyard.” However, motion detectors are noisy, can be set off by innocuous events like wind and rain, creating notification fatigue, and resulting in clunky home automation setup. Building the right user experience for smart alerts, search, or even browsing video clips requires ML and automation that is hard to get right and can be expensive.
Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events lowers the costs of value-added video analytics by providing a low-cost, low-latency, fully managed ML service that can detect objects (such as people, pets, and packages) in real time on video streams from connected cameras. The service starts analyzing the video clip only when a motion event is triggered by the camera. When the desired object is detected, it sends a notification that includes the objects detected, bounding box coordinates, zoomed-in image of the objects detected, and the timestamp. The Amazon Rekognition pre-trained APIs provide high accuracy even in varying lighting conditions, camera angles, and resolutions.
Customer success stories
Customers like Abode Systems and 3xLOGIC are using Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events to send relevant alerts to their users and minimize false alarms.
Abode Systems (Abode) offers homeowners a comprehensive suite of do-it-yourself home security solutions that can be set up in minutes and enables homeowners to keep their family and property safe. Since the company’s launch in 2015, in-camera motion detection sensors have played an essential part in Abode’s solution, enabling customers to receive notifications and monitor their homes from anywhere. Abode recognized that to offer its customers the best video stream smart notification experience, they needed highly accurate yet inexpensive and scalable streaming computer vision solutions that can detect objects and events of interest in real time. After weighing alternatives, Abode chose to pilot Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events. Within a matter of weeks, Abode was able to deploy a serverless, well-architected solution integrating tens of thousands of cameras. To learn more about Abode’s case study, see Abode uses Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events to provide real-time notifications to their smart home customers.
“We are always focused on making technology choices that provide value to our customers and enable rapid growth while keeping costs low. With Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events, we could launch person, pet, and package detection at a fraction of the cost of developing everything ourselves. Our smart home customers are notified in real time when Amazon Rekognition detects an object or activity of interest. This helps us filter out the noise and focus on what’s important to our customers – quality notifications.
For us it was a no-brainer, we didn’t want to create and maintain a custom computer vision service. We turned to the experts on the Amazon Rekognition team. Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events APIs are accurate, scalable, and easy to incorporate into our systems. The integration powers our smart notification features, so instead of a customer receiving 100 notifications a day, every time the motion sensor is triggered, they receive just two or three smart notifications when there is an event of interest present in the video stream.”
– Scott Beck, Chief Technology Officer at Abode Systems.
3xLOGIC is a leader in commercial electronic security systems. They provide commercial security systems and managed video monitoring for businesses, hospitals, schools, and government agencies. Managed video monitoring is a critical component of a comprehensive security strategy for 3xLOGIC’s customers. With more than 50,000 active cameras in the field, video monitoring teams face a daily challenge of dealing with false alarms coming from in-camera motion detection sensors. These false notifications pose a challenge for operators because they must treat every notification as if it were an event of interest. 3xLOGIC wanted to improve their managed video monitoring product VIGIL CLOUD with intelligent video analytics and provide monitoring center operators with real-time smart notifications. To do this, 3xLOGIC used Amazon Rekognition Video Streaming Events. The service enables 3xLOGIC to analyze live video streams from connected cameras to detect the presence of individuals and filter out the noise from false notifications. To learn more about 3xLOGIC’s case study, see 3xLOGIC uses Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events to provide intelligent video analytics on live video streams to monitoring agents.
“Simply relying on motion detection sensors triggers several alarms that are not a security or safety risk when there is a lot of activity in a scene. By utilizing machine learning to filter out the vast majority of events, such as animals, shadows, moving vegetation, and more, we can dramatically reduce the workload of the security operators and improve their efficiency.”
– Ola Edman, Senior Director Global Video Development at 3xLOGIC.
“With over 50,000 active cameras in the field, many without the advanced analytics of newer and more expensive camera models, 3xLOGIC takes on the challenge of false alarms every day. Building, training, testing, and maintaining computer vision models is resource-intensive and has a huge learning curve. With Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events, we simply call the API and surface the results to our users. It has been very easy to use and the accuracy is impressive.”
– Charlie Erickson, CTO at 3xLOGIC.
How it works
Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events works with Amazon Kinesis Video Streams to detect objects from live video streams. This enables camera manufacturers and service providers to minimize false alerts from camera motion events by sending real-time notifications only when a desired object (such as a person, pet, or package) is detected in the video frame. The Amazon Rekognition streaming video APIs enable service providers to accurately alert on objects that are relevant for their customer, successfully adjust the duration of the video to process per motion event, and even define specific areas within the frame that needs to be analyzed.
Amazon Rekognition helps service providers protect their user data by automatically encrypting the data at rest using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and in transit using the industry-standard Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.
Here’s how camera manufacturers and service providers can incorporate video analysis on live video streams:
- Integrate Kinesis Video Streams with Amazon Rekognition – Kinesis Video Streams allows camera manufacturers and service providers to easily and securely stream live video from devices such as video doorbells and indoor and outdoor cameras to AWS. It integrates seamlessly with new or existing Kinesis video streams to facilitate live video stream analysis.
- Specify video duration –Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events allows service providers to control how much video they need to process per motion event. They can specify the length of the video clips to be between 1–120 seconds (the default is 10 seconds). When motion is detected, Amazon Rekognition starts analyzing video from the relevant Kinesis video stream for the specific duration. This provides camera manufacturers and service providers with the flexibility to better manage their ML inference costs.
- Choose relevant objects –Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events provides the capability to choose one or more objects for detection in live video streams. This minimizes false alerts from camera motion events by sending notifications only when desired objects are detected in the video frame.
- Let Amazon Rekognition know where to send the notifications – Service providers can specify their Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) destination to send event notifications. When Amazon Rekognition starts processing the video stream, it sends a notification as soon a desired object is detected. This notification includes the object detected, the bounding box, the time stamp, and a link to the specified Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket with the zoomed-in image of the object detected. They can then use this notification to send smart alerts to their users.
- Send motion detection trigger notifications – Whenever a connected camera detects motion, the service provider sends a trigger to Amazon Rekognition to start processing the video streams. Amazon Rekognition processes the applicable Kinesis video stream for the specific objects for the defined duration. When the desired object is detected, Amazon Rekognition sends a notification to their private SNS topic.
- Integrate with Alexa or other voice assistants (optional) – Service providers can integrate these notifications with Alexa Smart Home skills to enable Alexa announcements for their users. Whenever Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events sends them a notification, they can send these notifications to Alexa to provide audio announcements from Echo devices, such as “Package detected at the front door.”
To learn more, see Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events developer guide.
The following diagram illustrates Abode’s architecture with Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events.
The following diagram illustrates 3xLOGIC’s architecture with Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events.
Amazon Rekognition Video Streaming Events is generally available to AWS customers in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Regions, with availability in additional Regions in the coming months.
AWS customers such as Abode and 3xLOGIC are using Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events to innovate and add intelligent video analytics to their security solutions and modernize their offerings without having to invest in new hardware or develop and maintain custom computer vision analytics.
To get started with Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events, visit Amazon Rekognition Streaming Video Events.
About the Author
Prathyusha Cheruku is an AI/ML Computer Vision Principal Product Manager at AWS. She focuses on building powerful, easy-to-use, no-code/low-code deep learning-based image and video analysis services for AWS customers. Outside of work, she has a passion for music, karaoke, painting, and traveling.
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