A 3D approach that does not try to mimic the human eye uses multiple cameras feeding a processing engine for scene reconstruction. This technique is used for production of animated films, capturing actors going through the desired motions; and advanced medical diagnostics, fusing data from different types of imaging instruments to produce a more complete picture of the patient’s area of concern.
The science behind this will continue to evolve, leading to increasingly accurate images and better overall scene construction. This is known as multi-sensor fusion — the blending of information from similar or disparate sensors. Another example of this is combining video data with a prior knowledge of the scene using techniques such as geo-registration and Google Earth images. This is not unlike today’s PSIM, where different systems provide input to obtain a more holistic view of a facility or situation.
An area that has always fascinated me is holography. A hologram is constructed by recording interference patterns of reference beams and reflected beams of light. When reconstructed by illuminating the recording media with a reference beam with the same properties, the resulting image is unbelievably realistic and can be viewed from any angle. There’s the promise of holographic TV — which would be 3D on steroids — providing an even more exciting and lifelike viewing experience. To read more, I recommend an article published by MIT and found at http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/video-holography-0124.html.
I can’t help but think that future video surveillance systems will create a feel not unlike video gaming — an environment where future generations of security professionals will begin to experience video surveillance as teenage kids.
Ray Coulombe is Founder and Managing Director of SecuritySpecifiers.com, enabling interaction with specifiers in the physical security and ITS markets; and Principal Consultant for Gilwell Technology Services. He can be reached at ray@SecuritySpecifiers.com or through LinkedIn.