The 3D Security Landscape

Here's how systems integrators can leverage its capabilities in their business practices


Systems integrator Security Consulting & Integration, (SCI), San Diego, is working closely with Feeling Software to deploy their Omnipresence 3D platform for Strategic Operations Inc. (ST/OPS) in San Diego to enhance their unique tactical military training. Ed Michelson, SCI founder and owner, applauded the company's efforts in developing the Omnipresence 3D technology, citing many of its benefits, from cutting down on the time and effort that an end-user is required to provide in watching video; to the software's capability to track an individual as they move from place to place; the provided 3D view of the floor plan of a particular site or campus that an installer may be working in; and even using the Omnipresence 3D in a forensic mode. This would allow a user to view recorded video after an event and track a person's moves backwards. If a person who had stolen equipment off a site and was heading back to their vehicle, it would be possible to get a license plate number off the car in the case that facial recognition of the culprit was not detected.

"Another issue common in the video surveillance industry is in the scenario where there are a lot of cameras on site," Michelson continued. "And I've seen this happen with monitoring people who have worked for a company for years-they see a person in the upper lefthand corner of a monitor screen walking from left to right and that person walks out of that camera's view and shows up in some other camera monitor view. Let's say there is a lot of activity in all these camera views and you're tracking this one person who looks suspicious-you have to know what camera view on the monitor he is going to show up in next because there is so much activity going on that it's not a matter of looking for motion." Michelson confirmed that utilizing the 3D floor plan view of a site that Omnipresence provides also helps to eliminate this issue.

"Two things are going to happen," continued Michelson."Number one, more and more end-users are going to start using something like this, whether it's from Feeling Software or somebody else; and number two, the price of this technology is going to come down. The problem right now is that the expense and perceived complexity of doing this is probably holding back some dealers from getting into it. But it's not that complex. Several years into the future, whether it's two, three, or five years, everyone will be using something like this to review video," Michelson said.

The cost of the system varies based on the number of cameras and sensors and the number of subsystems that must be integrated, in addition to other factors, according to Laforte. "Our system is priced so it represents five-to-10 percent of the total cost of a large security installation," he confirmed.

And while the patented Omnipresence 3D platform provides users with a real-world approach to monitoring their premises, Laforte advised folks to identify what solutions truly provide 3D capabilities and which don't.

"Customers and integrators will need to be careful to distinguish the hype from actually viable solutions," he confirmed. "It's not hard to slap a simplistic 3D map interface onto existing software. By itself, a simple 3D map delivers almost no value. The real benefits are only unlocked once you rethink the whole user interface and deliver a solid solution that scales well across thousands of cameras and other sensors, and dozens of simultaneous users."

So what's the difference between Omnipresence 3D and a standard Graphical User Interface (GUI)?

Feeling Software's patent-pending 3D algorithms, such as its 3D Video Fusion and Fast Track, present operators a realistic view of their facility. The 3D Fusion allows operators to see many videos at once in their actual locations. "It feels more like flying over a facility and seeing through the roof," explained Laforte. "A standard GUI shows an abstract interface. When people solve problems or monitor and investigate a complex situation, they don't think in terms of 2D floor plans or individual cameras. They think in terms of real-world objects (their facility) and threats."

Omnipresence 3D is integrated with OnSSI's Ocularis Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) platform. The 3D map interface of Omnipresence 3D is combined with the live and archived video from Ocularis to provide a solution with an enhanced level of situational awareness.

Additional features such as 3D pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) tracking and Fast Track (the ability to go from camera to camera with one click) "are the features that make the difference between eye candy (a simplistic 3D map) and actually delivering operationally useful benefits such as monitoring many cameras at once, more easily time-tracking suspects across cameras, and more," confirmed Laforte.

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