Milestone officially releases license plate recognition software

COPENHAGEN – 13 March 2008. Milestone Systems, a global developer of open platform IP video software, has announced the release of XProtect Analytics License Plate Recognition (LPR) that transforms surveillance video into an effective and powerful business tool for improving customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as protection of assets.

XProtect Analytics LPR 1.5 is a system that detects, reads and stores license plate information from a digital video stream. It is designed to control vehicle access, as in traffic surveillance and law enforcement, toll and parking management, gas stations, transportation or any other application and situation where there is a need for registration, recognition and detection of vehicle license plates.

How it works

The system receives video streams from a camera. This video stream is analyzed, and license plates are automatically detected. The license plate information is then checked against the system that determines which actions are initiated automatically, such as opening a gate barrier for specific cars or sending an alarm.

XProtect Analytics LPR is operated with the user-friendly XProtect Smart Client interface that enables fast searches of the historical video data to find and match specific license plates. The data can be searched based on a certain license plate text or by a wildcard combination, date, time, or simply by browsing through recordings.

"The true value from video analytics is derived through a video management system like XProtect with an open framework that can correlate feed from multiple video analytics with different behaviors – regardless of whether the video content analytics are performed in a camera - at the edge - or server based," explains Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Milestone Systems. "Best-of-breed analytics can be integrated with the Milestone open platform to allow a combination of license plate, facial recognition and object tracking, for example, from three different vendors to be used as one comprehensive solution."

Customer scenarios

Customers can leverage the XProtect Analytics in multiple ways. One example is improving the customer experience at hotels by allowing guests to pre-register and drive directly into the hotel's parking lot. The guests will avoid the stress of arriving at the hotel and waiting in line to check in.

The system is also a powerful tool in large privately run parking lots. Regular visitors pay a monthly fee, whereas rare guests validate tickets at pay-and-display machines. Using License Plate Recognition enables regular visitors to simply drive to the gate, which opens automatically when the license plate is recognized.

In addition, the Milestone solution allows customers to build effective loss prevention systems, such as integration with the company's transaction system to detect and track cars that are leaving without paying. This is an effective way to address problems with gas station drive-offs. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, gasoline theft is a $100 million-plus problem in the US, and one in every 3,300 fill-ups is gasoline theft.

"XProtect Analytics is more than a loss prevention tool. It is also an efficient way of improving customer service and ultimately increasing revenue. For instance, gas stations can register a license plate to a company or individual's gas credit card. The software recognizes the license plate and allows the customer to simply drive to the pump, fuel and go," says Jan Bjerring Aabyvester, Product Manager, Milestone Systems.

At the 2008 IIPSEC show in the UK, Milestone was a finalist for the Best Software Product of the year for XProtect Analytics.

More information:
See our report/review on setting up license plate recognition using Milestone's LPR module

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