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PIR vs Analytics

With the advance of deep learning analytics in the industry is the death bell tolling for traditional PIR motion detectors? 

Luminite have been designing and manufacturing a wide range of external PIRs for over 30 years and in that time have evolved a range of wireless detectors with a transmission range that is unrivalled in the industry.  With the advance of deep learning analytics in the industry is the death bell tolling for traditional PIR motion detectors?  A loaded question as therein lies the problem – what is a typical PIR?  With so many variants – lens type, detection patterns hard-wired, wireless – it is very difficult for a definitive comparison to be made. 

Perhaps the question shouldn’t be PIR versus analytics – the two together are perfect bed fellows and can create a robust perimeter security solution when used together.  Both technologies benefit the client, the medium to long range sensor for the initial detection and the onboard analytics for verification.  PIRs thus give a layered approach to a perimeter security solution.  If, for any reason software is compromised a site still has a functioning line of defence in their surveillance.

Luminite PIR sensors integrate with the two bestselling CCTV camera manufacturers – Hikvision and Dahua.   A well-positioned PIR, working in conjunction with CCTV, offers the best solution with different systems trading off one another’s strengths to create a more powerful end solution, delivering high detection with low false alarms.  False alarms are, of course, the main bug bear for any security installer.  Law enforcement studies consistently report that over 90% of alarms resulting in a police response prove to be false.  The research and development within Luminite place the installer at the centre of everything it does – what best solution can we offer given various constraints?  These may be due to budget, power supply, environment – any number of factors.  

One of the main triggers for false alarms is sunlight.  False alarms due to this will never be fully eradicated but Genesis 2 detectors offer, in our opinion, the best defence as the optics are coated in black indium to specifically guard against reflections from the sun.   Experienced installers will want the ability to adjust settings for optimum detections and Genesis 2 detectors employ quad pyro sensors so body heat must be triggered in each quadrant to activate a detection.  PIRs generally perform better against video analytics at night due to their ability to accurately capture infrared wavelengths emitted by the human body and the added ability to distinguish that from other visual ‘noise’ whereas analytic detection is adversely affected by shadows and low-lit areas.  Weather related false alarms can also prove to be a huge headache for CCTV operators and traditional PIRs generally perform very well in heavy rain and fog.

A major driver for using analytics are the post incident forensics that can be supplied.  Security analytics tools can provide insights into where the intrusion / attack originated, what resources were compromised and can provide a detailed timeline of the incident.  This ability to reconstruct and analyse an incident can improve organisational defences to guard against future potential breaches. However, these features are generally only found in top end models, most standard video analytics are still pretty basic, analysing a two-dimensional screen and individual pixels. 

Cost, of course is a huge deciding factor for the installer and whilst top end video analytics may well perform better on some sites than traditional PIRs, cost is a driving force and generally PIRs alongside analytics provides the most cost-effective solution.  The use of analytics software relies heavily on the installer’s expertise and if incorrectly configured there is a serious danger that the software can ignore the activities and events that should be detected. 

To conclude, of course analytics wins hands down if the client requires advanced scrutiny of the movements on a site, for example people counting, vehicle monitoring or abandoned object detection, and is prepared to pay at the top end.  However, for robust intrusion detection, analytics alongside traditional PIR technology offers an effective and cost saving combination.