A CCTV surveillance system created at Ipsotek (London, UK), BAE Systems (Farnborough, UK) and London's Kingston University (London, UK) has been named system of the year at the annual International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference (IFSEC) awards, beating off competition from Samsung and Panasonic.
The winning technology, Tag and Track (TNT), is a multi-camera tracking system that continuously tracks all persons or objects within an existing surveillance network. TNT can instantly locate any tagged person at any time along with the path they have taken throughout their journey in the network. An operator can tag an individual by a simple mouse click on that person in live or recorded video.
TNT automates the time consuming element of the day to day work of CCTV control room operators who manually trail suspects from camera to camera. It also allows operators to "follow" multiple tagged targets automatically, making staff more efficient.
The technology was initially developed by Kingston computer science specialists led by Dr. James Orwell, who is based in the University's Digital Imaging Research Centre. "Once operators notice potentially suspicious behavior, they can tag the person concerned by clicking on their image. This triggers the system to go back to the database and immediately create a full route for the person concerned using notes it has stored. The technology can provide predictions about individuals’ steps beforehand as well as find out where they move on to afterwards," says Dr. Orwell.
Not only does the software make real-time tracking more effective, it also makes checking footage after an incident much easier. "Around 60 per cent of police CCTV research time is spent looking back at footage before an incident. Tag and Track will drastically reduce that," says Professor Sergio Velastin, a specialist in applied computer vision at Kingston University and co-founder of Ipsotek.
The technology has already been tested in Rome's Termini train station, Manchester airport and Kingston town centre with promising results.
Interested in reading more about developments in CCTV surveillance? Here's a compendium of five of the top stories on the subject that Vision Systems Design has published over the past year.
Engineers at Behavioral Recognition Systems (BRS; Houston, TX, USA) have developed video surveillance recognition software that can learn to identify abnormal behavior of individuals in CCTV video footage.
2. Vision system helps automate car park management
An automatic license-plate recognition system has been developed by Niaar (Dubai, UAE) for plate recognition at check-point gates in multi-story parking plazas.
3. Radar system spots luggage on the tracks
Engineers at the Universite Lille Nord de France (Lille, France) have developed an ultrawideband radar system that could be fitted in train stations to quickly identify objects that have fallen on the tracks, preventing serious accidents and reducing delays.
4. Smart security systems employ off-the-shelf hardware
Viseum (Chatham Maritime, UK) has developed a CCTV camera system known as the Intelligent Moving Camera that integrates off-the-shelf pan/tilt/zoom camera hardware with proprietary image-processing software.
5. Imaging upgrades border and port control
Daytime and nighttime WAVcam sensors from Innovative Signal Analysis are being evaluated in an operational testbed environment at Angel's Gate in California, which is the mouth to the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.
-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design