IC Realtime releases Ella

New video search tool can save time when looking for specific clips
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Monday, January 8, 2018

POMPANO BEACH, Fla.—IC Realtime, a provider of digital surveillance and security technologies based here, on Jan. 8 officially launched Ella, a cloud-based search engine designed for going thorough video data using natural language.

“The mindset behind Ella was always to alleviate the pain of finding important incidents in a very timely manner,” Matt Sailor, IC Realtime’s CEO, told Security Systems News. The typical way of reviewing video data “is quite cumbersome and hasn’t changed in well over a decade and a half. You basically need to find a camera, find a channel, find an approximate time and then you literally sift through hours of video for what usually turns out to be no more than three minutes worth of an archive,” he said.

Through Ella, video data can be searched with terms like “red shirt” or “brown truck,” and the platform will return video clips with relevant images. Ella currently has more than 2 million “baked-in prompts,” Sailor noted, including “almost every vehicle make and model, different people from every race and ethnicity, all types of animals,” among other criteria.

IC Realtime worked with Camio, a start-up working on a search engine to sift through social media accounts, to develop Ella, Sailor said. “The reality is that that’s the perfect fit for surveillance,” he said. IC Realtime and Camio spent almost a year developing Ella, according to Sailor.

Ella is an agnostic platform, Sailor noted, both in terms of product brands as well as level of data stream—including analog or IP—and Ella also works with legacy systems.

The system has buttons around videos, a thumb up and a thumb down. “This teaches the system what your personal preference is on queries,” Sailor said. “That’s what real deep learning is, [it] is your ability to be able to help guide and make the system smarter.”

Additionally, Ella will learn from input from its network of customers. “Any time Ella learns something unique, she shares it with the query platform of every other user,” Sailor said, adding that this would not share video information with other users.

Ella provides IC Realtime’s dealers with another source of recurring revenue that can be sold to new customers as well as a dealer’s existing customers, Sailor said. IC Realtime has about 10,000 dealers nationwide.

Ella was also designed to be bandwidth efficient. “If you have movement in the driveway, but that driveway’s only 20 percent of the shot, the only thing that’s going to upload to the cloud is the movement that changed within the shot, not the entire shot,” Sailor said. “[This,] in turn, allows you to upload about one tenth the amount of data. … That, in itself, will greatly limit the bandwidth dependencies that the unit has.”

He continued, “Ella’s algorithm is smart enough to auto-identify any reoccurrence in an image, such as trees moving, water moving in the background, rain—she understands that has nothing to do [with] what interests you.”

Ella is “comprised of an on-premise video gateway device and the cloud platform subscription,” IC Realtime said in its announcement. “Ella subscription pricing starts at $6.99 per month and increases with storage and analysis features needed for the particular scope of each project,” the announcement read.