3D security comes to ASIS 2010

Forget Avatar in 3D, how about your facility's security in 3D?

Thompson says that part of the reason the company is exhibiting the technology (which is available as a plug-in to its v6.1 Latitude NVMS) is to show what the future can look like. He says that monitors which don't need special 3D glasses would be a huge help to adoption of this technology. Another benefit would be the introduction of stereoscopic cameras for video surveillance. That at least is one area where DVTel can help move the industry forward; Thompson says the firm is already working on those cameras.

Feeling Software's Omnipresence 3D

Three dimensions is applicable in more than just video surveillance to help people or objects "pop out" of the image, and Canadian technology firm Feeling Software has a solution that will show just such a thing, and they're demonstrating it at ASIS 2010 booth 753.

Feeling Software has been around for five years and initially started as a technology company developing 3D simulators for training purposes. By 3D, they mean virtual environments not unlike what you might see in a modern video game. Skilled at 3D technology, Feeling Software decided to apply its 3D modeling and 3D perspective virtual environments to the security industry.

The company's core 3D technology is its Omnipresence 3D Central Command software. Using a virtual 3D environment of the campus, facility or even a city, the software ties in data feeds from a variety of third party security systems, including video surveillance systems like Pelco Endura and OnSSI, access control systems, intrusion detection systems and fire and life safety systems. According to Feeling Software's Director of Marketing Joshua Koopferstock, the company has a number of specific integration partners listed on its website, but the company's engineering team can integrate data from other security and safety systems using those systems' APIs.

With all of those data systems tied into this visual framework of Omnipresence 3D Central Command, the user gets a 3D environment for managing the security at their facility.

"It's a tool to gain situational awareness," says Koopferstock, "and it provides one interface to be used as a decisions making platform in an operation center."

The system can change the view depending on what is needed on screen at the operations center. It can switch quickly from a bird's eye view where you fly over the facility or campus, seeing the shapes of buildings change in a 3D manner as your perspective changes. Zoom in on a particular camera to watch live video, and then drag the mouse as you track a suspect and you can be automatically switched to the next camera. The cameras are geo-located to be positioned accurately inside the 3D environment.

Koopferstock admits that it can be difficult to explain the value of 3D without seeing it live or seeing a demo (watch a demo on their website), but he says that customers in critical infrastructure are the ones who find the most value. It's the type of system, he says, that's more likely to be found being used in an airport, a transit system, at a university or for a city-wide municipal surveillance project. Right now, he notes, their technology is actively being placed into the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, a university in Montreal. The school is anticipated to have more than 400 cameras tied into the Omnipresence 3D central command software.

"It's not a stereoscopic system," says Koopferstock. "You don't have to wear funny glasses to understand it. It's more comparable to a 3D flight simulator or a 3D video game. It gives you an intuitively visual environment, and in that 3D environment, your mind can understand the situation better. We find that when someone experiences our system, they can understand the full environment."

In addition to the Omnipresence 3D Central Command system, Feeling Software also offers its 3D Pro Design software. Using 3D models of a facility, the video surveillance installation designer can place cameras at specific locations in the buildings, and the technology will demonstrate where camera views overlap, what the field of view would be and where blind spots might exist. The plan, says Koopferstock, is to eventually allow this modeling software to offer support for designing access control systems, fire detection and other safety systems into a facility.

Both the Omnipresence system and the Pro Design software take advantage of 3D models, floorplans and autoCAD drawings that exist for most modern buildings. That data is placed into Feeling Software's programs to create the 3D environments that they then use for security command centers.