Can Video Live Up to Its Big Data Potential?

videoimage_eyeThe entire back of the human brain is dedicated to seeing and interpreting things. We can catch sight of the slightest corner of a fender, and recognize our car. Or, we can see a blurred image and easily recognize it as an airplane.

Vision is one of the most powerful senses humans use to understand the world and make decisions. Cameras create physical snapshots of what we see, but the interpretation of images and video is still largely a chore for the human brain.

At PARC, a Xerox company, scientists are working on video and image analytics systems that allow machines to “see” and extract information from images and video on their own. These systems will be able to dynamically and continuously learn from and accumulate knowledge from the visionary world – much in the way humans do. Watch this video to learn a little bit about how this might work.

In cities, video analytics will play a key role in systems that manage the flow of traffic, passengers and pedestrians.

videoimage1In retail, video analytics can lead to insights that improve the customer experience. Knowing the items people pick up and compare, for example, can inform decisions on placement, pricing and packaging.

And in healthcare, a video system could monitor a patient’s well being at home, notifying caretakers when a patient falls, neglects to eat properly or fails to take medicine on schedule. It could also help physicians capture clinical information, enabling them to monitor and diagnose patients remotely and non-invasively.

These are just a few examples of how we are focused on bringing the sense of sight into the fold of data analytics. This building block will open the door to the creation of new businesses and/or provide a disruptive competitive advantage to current businesses. To learn more about PARC’s vision for video and image analytics, visit this website or contact us at

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.


PARC scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.