The security week that was: 09/24/10 (video trends)

Video trends mash-up

If you think that the developments of analytics and IP video surveillance means that our industry's pace of technology development can slow down, then think again. I was reading a report that we've now posted on SIW about researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute who have developed a stereoscopic video surveillance solution that uses two side-by-side cameras to track motion pixel-by-pixel. The solution then processes that video using an analytics engine to learn normal movement (which sounds a bit like BRS Labs' ideas). The system can use regular cameras commercially available; the software the researchers developed is reportedly the glue of the system.

Speaking of analytics… Now that a fiber optic network is in place, New York City has turned on some 500 subway cameras. What's notable is that the system apparently uses bag-left-behind detection types of video analytics. There was no word on whose analytics are being used in the project, so if you know, shoot me an email.

I'll use that as a segue into another trend: City buses with cameras. Up in Mississauga, Canada, they're implementing video surveillance on all of the transit agency's buses. New buses will be the first ones with cameras, but the plan is to retrofit all buses by the end of next year. The buses will store the video for just 24 hours. This, of course, is happening around the U.S. as well. While terrorism might be your initial thought on their reasoning, that's not the real reasoning. Most of the time, it's a case of workplace violence; bus drivers are being hassled and assaulted.

I'll wrap up the video trends mash-up with a “trend” that hopefully doesn't become a trend. An English town announced that it plans to use citizen volunteers to man its video surveillance monitoring center. The trend here is that cities in the UK (and now in the U.S.) have been adding municipal video surveillance solutions at a rapid pace. But in some cases, the budgets aren't there to maintain and monitor the systems. The monitoring is especially expensive. Some cities find that they have light-duty officers (ones who are injured) that can watch the feeds, but that is not always the case. Turning over municipal video monitoring to citizen volunteers may seem practical, but the training needs to be very good and ethics must be stressed.


In other news:
L-1 to be acquired, UK video acquisition, Access control webinar, more

The big business news of the week was Safran's intention to acquire L-1 Identity Solutions, the major biometrics powerhouse that Robert LaPenta built through the acquisition of a number of small, independent biometric technology firms. … In the UK, homeland security technologies holding firm Digital Barriers has acquired COE group, a firm which produces the I-Vue surveillance camera line as well as video transmission and video management products. … On Thursday, Steve Pineau of VSI is announcing a very interesting new product that does away with control panels for access control installations. Register today for this free webinar. … CEDIA's 2010 expo has been held this week in Atlanta; SIW has the report on what's interesting at the show for residential security dealers. … The FBI released data on bank robberies for Q2 2010. The summary is that they're down compared to the same quarter 2009, but the statistics provide interesting insight into what banks are really doing for security measures. Of course, we have to keep in mind that these were the banks that were robbed, so let's hope that their shortcomings aren't indicative of the overall industry.