Sick of Waiting in Line? Video Analytics can Improve Customer Experience

As a frequent international traveler, I spend a lot of time in airports. Like most travelers, my main focus is getting from one place to the next in as little time as possible. The process of check-in, security, passport control, and boarding are like a series of travel hurdles. If I get through them quickly, I’m happy.  If not, I, like most of the others in line with me, start muttering a range of frustrated thoughts. The longer the wait, the louder the muttering gets throughout the line.  At that point, I usually start thinking about how unnecessary it is. 

You see, in addition to being a frequent traveler, I’m also an expert of sorts – in video analytics applications.

You’ve probably heard of video analytics being used to detect intruders, as a virtual fence, or to identify suspicious luggage or vehicles. But here’s something you might not know – video analytics isn’t just about security. It can also offer some welcome relief for weary travelers by cutting long lines and wait times.

For example, NICE has a crowd detection video analytics application that works with video surveillance cameras to alert airport officials whenever crowds or queues (in security screening lines or other high traffic areas) exceed certain thresholds. Airport control room operators see the alerts on a map, linked to real-time or recorded video. They instantly know when there’s overcrowding and can fix it.

Why is that important? The first reason is passenger satisfaction. Today’s travelers can choose which airport they want to travel from, and even their mode of transportation (air, train, etc.). Their traveling experience factors into that equation. Also, airports generate revenue through retail operations. Long lines take away from the time that travelers can spend in the commercial areas of the airport where they would be spending money.

NICE has successfully deployed crowd detection video analytics solutions for several customers, including a major airport in Asia and Russian rail operator Aeroexpress. Aeroexpress’ system combines a situation management solution with crowd detection video analytics, which integrates additional security, safety and operational systems as well as response procedures. The solution alerts control room operators when there is excessive congestion at exit turnstiles or when long queues form at ticket counters.

If you want to learn more about crowd detection video analytics and situation management, you can email me at

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