August 12, 2022

Making Computer Vision Accessible to Everyone

Simon McCrostie
Sales Specialist – Enterprise Networking Data#3 Limited

When we hear the word ‘camera’, we almost certainly think ‘picture’, and so it is that with CCTV we have a traditional view that it’s a stream of video images often watched by security people. This is no longer the whole truth. Enter computer vision – now accessible to everyone.

In order to better understand the basis of computer vision, let us explore three definitions:

  1. Computer vision is a field of artificial intelligence that enables computers and systems to derive meaningful information from digital images, videos and other visual inputs — and take actions or make recommendations based on that information2.
  2. Artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer, or a robot controlled by a computer to do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment3.
  3. Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so. Machine learning algorithms use historical data as input to predict new output values4.

Why computer vision?

So, now that we have a base level of understanding of what computer vision1 is, let’s delve into why it is worthy of your time and interest.

Up until a couple of years ago custom computer vision was solely the domain of specialist data and computer scientists. Early adopters of this functionality were committed to focused use cases with a relatively high cost of adoption and often the need for further inhouse development to reach their business objectives including recognition (animal, human, numberplate), manufacturing defect detection, and self-driving cars etc.

Fast forward to today, and Cisco Meraki customers can take advantage of computer vision by leveraging off-the-shelf Cisco Meraki cameras. While it is true that these cameras can collect and display a video feed, their real power is in their image sensing capability which easily interprets image data and automates an activity in response – known as Meraki MV Sense.

Want to try out a Cisco Meraki camera? Start a free trial today!

What is Meraki MV Sense?

Meraki MV Sense detects movement, people, and vehicles5. These detections can then be automated to initiate an action as a response. More recently, Cisco Meraki has delivered to market the capability for customers to easily train their own custom computer vision machine learning models.

The possibilities are broad and could include detecting a fire, a fight, a spillway overflowing, someone lying on the ground incapacitated, a bush turkey, red only cars, unique animal faces for individual feed allocation, or even individual office desks in use or empty. Once your selected computer vision model has been detected then, again, you can automate a call to another system including an alarm, email, open a water release valve, stock feed valve, or make a desk / office booking in your Office 365 calendar etc.

Cisco Meraki cameras are no longer just about a video feed. They connect to your organisations IP-based network and become a valuable source of actionable data, working 24 x7 and not necessarily requiring a person to monitor them.

Ready for clearer vision?

Cisco Meraki’s continued Camera as a Sensor developments through MV Sense and their partnerships are delivering measurable business, environmental and human safety benefits to organisations, along with lowering the barrier to entry and making CCTV vision data more readily available for analysis and reporting.

Data#3 has over ten years invested in the development and deployment of its own CCX Smart Spaces analytics and reporting platform with hundreds of deployments previously across Australia in airports, commercial and retail premises, and local government.

CCX is listed in the Meraki Marketplace as a Partner application. In the last three years Data#3 CCX developers have integrated Meraki cameras into this offering developing specialist Custom Vision models for our customers, helping them to better understand and engage with their customers, and we’re here to help you.

If you’re ready to see things more clearly in your organisation, contact a Data#3 Meraki Specialist to request a demonstration today.

1. Cisco. Smart cameras + computer vision: a match made in AI heaven (2022) [Online]
2. IBM. What is computer vision? (2022) [Online]
3. Britannica. Definition of Artificial Intelligence [Online]
4. TechTarget. Machine Learning (2022) [Online]
5. Cisco Meraki. MV Sense Custom Computer Vision (2022) [Online]