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Video Data - the Gold of the 21st Century

Stockhouse Editorial
0 Comments| July 6, 2020

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(Image via Gatekeeper Systems Inc.)

Video Surveillance has become a rapidly growing industry as it is top of mind among people, governments and Smart City planners.

Click to enlargeFrom video analytics and cloud-based services for centralized data, to the advances in high definition cameras, and a growing need for public safety … the market is surging.

The global video surveillance market is projected to grow from US$45.5 billion in 2020 to US$74.6 billion by 2025, driven by increasing concerns around public safety and security.

People investing in this space are looking for companies that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI), Video Content Analytics (VCA) and Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS). Other opportunities that are expected to drive growth in this market include government funding for intelligent transportation systems, and the integration of video with other technologies to analyze behavioral movements of people and vehicles to reduce challenges arising from growing urbanization.

BC-based tech company Gatekeeper Systems Inc. (TSX-V: GSI, OTC: GKPRF, Forum) checks all of these boxes as it advances its business across North America.

A technology platform protecting people in transit:

Gatekeeper is a leading provider of intelligent video solutions that has transformed its business into a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) business model designed to connect moving vehicles through the Internet of Things (IoT). It uses AI, video analytics and mobile data collectors to inter-connect public transit assets as part of intelligent transportation systems for “Smart City” initiatives.

Click to enlargeThe Company initially offered solutions to provide a safer transportation environment for children on school buses, but that has now evolved to include passengers and public safety personnel on multiple transportation modes, especially transit. In speaking with the Company’s President and CEO, Douglas Dyment, there’s now a keen eye on the horizon for the possibilities around video data and the compelling opportunities to utilize that video data in Smart City applications – especially as cities re-assess the transportation impacts resulting from COVID-19.

Video data recorders are now the “black boxes” on trains and transit buses, which are key to making safety improvements and aid in accident investigations, and to nip fraudulent claims in the bud. The Company has equipped thousands of vehicles with intelligent record devices which forms the basis of its PaaS platform.

Chief of which among these is with the US’ sixth-largest public transportation system, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), where the Company provides annually-recurring vehicle video system maintenance services for roughly 3,000 vehicles in the region by managing 27,000+ cameras. This annually-recurring contract is valued at approximately $11 million (CAD) over five years. Gatekeeper’s software application is now integrated with SEPTA’s IT infrastructure, which is what sets the Company apart.

The next step in this evolution is to connect other devices to this intelligent platform and it is scalable to do so in a wide variety of ways. It will serve as the AI-based intelligence platform for future applications such as thermal camera sensors, passenger counting, and video enforcement to capture the license plates of vehicles driving in the bus lane or illegally passing streetcars while passengers are loading or unloading.

In a Post-COVID world, cities are embracing this new technology:

Preventing congestion is key now more than ever, as cities cannot function without public transportation. A decline in transit use would translate into a sharp increase in car traffic. Among the 180,000 public transportation vehicles in the US and 19,000 in Canada, authorities are embracing video surveillance and new technologies to improve passenger safety, reduce fraudulent claims, and improve transit efficiency. Camera installations on transit buses rose from 50% in 2009 to 79% in 2019.

Designed to enable intelligent transportation systems for Smart City initiatives, the PaaS business model was introduced by the Company earlier this spring. The heart of the Company’s PaaS platform is its intelligent GPS video devices that are being installed for transit authorities on multiple transportation modes. These wireless devices are constantly receiving software and system updates as it allows public transit assets to be interconnected into the ecosystem of a Smart City. The device interfaces with the vehicles and connects the city it drives within with the person at the wheel.

A city can often feel alive and that is even more true with the onset of the Smart City, which is what happens when an urban area combines different types of IoT sensors to collect data and then use insights gained from that data to manage assets, resources and services efficiently. Operating in a mobile environment is far more complex than the fixed-security systems that we are used to.

In a press release for the capital markets community at large on this news, CEO Dyment stated that the Company is building out this PaaS platform in a strategy that becomes increasingly important in the emerging trend toward Smart Cities.

“This platform forms the foundation on which our research & development team is evaluating future technologies designed to improve traffic flow and passenger safety.”

A few months ago, no one would have thought that a bus or train would need temperature cameras, but CEO Dyment noted that soon, you will see news from the Company about its latest health surveillance system that will address this very issue.

Technology protecting school children and passengers:

Click to enlargeGatekeeper has rolled out its technology for several years through a series of successful contracts to equip a number of school buses in Canada and the US with intelligent video recording solutions, the latest of which will see 260 school buses in Florida outfitted with this technology. From Nova Scotia to Florida to California this Company is literally moving its business.

The safety of school children is a rising concern as the number of illegal school bus passings climb to an estimated 17 million occurances a year in the US. Governments are embracing video for enforcement and increased safety, and Canada is now recommending stop-arm cameras and 360-degree cameras be installed.

No longer will a driver be able to risk the safety of children and adults by zipping around a stopped bus or streetcar unloading or loading its passengers unnoticed – these digital eyes will see and record everything.

And the technology applications do not stop there. For example, in mid-June 2020, Gatekeeper made news when it announced that it will supply 360-degree camera technology to the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, which will be used to provide drivers with real-time video imaging of complete vehicle surroundings in certain vehicle applications. The busiest and largest air freight terminal in the Department of Defense, the 436th Airlift Wing works around the clock to transport personnel and cargo to all corners of the world.

Looking ahead, connecting the world:

The Company has an open architecture and can connect to the rest of the world. CEO Dyment told Stockhouse Editorial that the Company has been speaking with major partners across the globe who are looking at this platform and are asking to connect to a variety of other applications. For example, this connectivity could create a command and control centre that integrates fixed-site surveillance with the Company’s mobile application.

He envisions that large city organizations like SEPTA would ingrate health surveillance and Gatekeeper’s mobile tech with fixed site surveillance to assemble one massive Smart City environment that is driven by data, transmitted by 5G connectivity, managed by Gatekeeper’s AI PaaS platform.

Having taken it public in 2013, he has built the Company brick by brick and has watched the landscape of this business change, with his attention also set to the future as he and his tight, experienced team advances its specific projects that relate to its PaaS model that integrates its AI platform into the Smart City play. In the near term, Gatekeeper wants to drive more revenue per vehicle as it works to its broader plan of connecting those vehicles to cities as a whole. Building out its platform in additional transits like the Metro Toronto Area would be huge.

PaaS – a mobile data collector:

Then there are the more common traffic issues that this technology is applicable to, such as ticketing the cars that are in the transit bus lanes causing congestion. From illegal parking to texting while driving, the potential applications that Gatekeeper has in mind for this platform are practically limitless.

However, a caveat has emerged where it has become impossible for people to analyze all this video. This is where Gatekeeper’s AI and video analytics sets the Company apart. Its AI algorithms and event triggers can capture the relevant seconds’ worth of video footage related to an offense or incident, from the thousands of hours of video recording.

Just like how Tesla began as a car manufacturer that turned into a data company, or how Facebook began as a social media platform that turned into a data company, or even how Microsoft started as a computer business whose cloud software turned it into a data company, Gatekeeper’s value is being reflected in its evolution into the video data collection and analytics sphere.

What was once a camera company, Gatekeeper Systems Inc. is taking its mission statement of improving safety through cameras toward utilizing data management and improving safety even further while taking on an even larger market. The core of its operations enhances video evidence to shape social movements and hold people accountable through the legal system. This Company is evolving its business to stay ahead of this curve.

This stock is a good value now, but once the market grasps how the Company is using data to connect the Smart City environment, this value will likely change in short order. This could be the next big data play.

Its investments and commitment to its infrastructure is paying off and over the last four quarters the Company has raked in $1.6 million in net income. In Q3 2020, Gatekeeper reported revenue of $5.65 million in its 9th consecutive quarter of revenue growth, with gross profit for the three months and nine months that ended in May as the highest in the Company’s history at $2.4 million and $5.5 million respectively.

In part 2 of our look at the Company, we will dive deeper into the technology that powers its platform.

This article has been updated since original publishing to reflect the Q3, 2020 financial statements released on July 6th, 2020.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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