Helsinki Airport Turns to Video Analytics

The Vantaa Airport in Helsinki, Finland, is using video analytics -- and it's not to catch the bad guys. The airport, it was announced today, has purchased a system from U.S. analytics company Vidient, that will allow it to automatically be alerted of long wait lines at the security checkpoint, enabling the airport to open more lanes.

The airport has been seeing high growth, with over 11 million passengers using the airport in 2005, while airport security became more thorough -- requiring longer processing times.

Jyri Vikstrom, head of corporate security at Finavia, the group operating the airport, said the airport uses 500 cameras for its system and that they were seeking a system which freed the security staff to focus on more serious security duties.

Vidient President and CEO Vrooks McChesney said the application for the Helsinki airport wasn't unusual, and that his company has received a number of requests to adapt the behavior analytics system for different end users' security needs.

The SmartCatch system, which was also tested for alerting security personnel about vehicles at unused gates, is being implemented by networking systems provider and integrator NEC Electronics Corporation.