“Edge Video Analytics anticipates the power of the networks of tomorrow, as it heralds their ‘softwarisation’ and distribution”
“Today, we transport information. With this Edge Video Analytics experiment, we are converting this information as close to the source as possible, so that only useful information is transported,” summarises Jean-Pierre Casara, Director of Network Innovations of the Future within Orange.
Making the images talk in real time
Specifically, the experiment consists of installing cameras connected to the Suzanne Lenglen court, every one of which points to a section of the stadium (“tribune”). The images captured by these cameras are fed back to the mobile network and are interpreted in a decentralised mini-Cloud located in the same stadium. Here, an artificial intelligence solution converts these images into the indicator required, namely, the precise number of spectators present in every area of each “tribune”. These indicators, around 30 in total, are updated every minute and fed back via a website to the staff of the Fédération Française de Tennis (French Tennis Federation – FFT). Combined with other information, such as the progress of the current match, it therefore allows the flows of spectators so that it is possible for them to dynamically adapt reception, orientation and seating management, etc. This will result in an optimised experience both from the spectator’s and organiser’s point of view.
5G and Edge Computing – the new paradigm
Today, the experiment is taking place with the help of a private 4G network while awaiting the arrival of 5G. “Edge Video Analytics anticipates the power of the networks of tomorrow, as it heralds their ‘softwarisation’ and distribution,” explains Jean-Pierre Casara. Indeed, the principle of edge computing, which is at the heart of the solution, involves distributing intelligence and computing power to bring it as close to the source data as possible. Thanks to its ability to process locally and in real time, edge computing therefore has the advantage of limiting the data transported to the Cloud. As such, it never leaves the mobile network, which allows for increased commitment with regard to respecting privacy and data.
Jean-Pierre Casara specifies that market prospects are important, and operators have a role to play. “There is a real enthusiasm for processing images, their interpretations and predictive models. New markets can open up for developers of specialised applications in these fields and Orange could be there to provide the means by which these applications are operated within networks of the future.”