How not to lose a single detail out of your CCTV footage

giugno 9, 2010 Technology No Commenti

When you are using a closed circuit TV system, in case of particular events it may happen to have to sit and closely watch hours and hours of footage that always looks the same, to find those few seconds in which something important is happening, and try to extract clues or information out of those scarce, and sometimes blurred images, while the risk of losing important details because of an understandable lapse of attention is always present.

In order to avoid losing details which might be of vital importance for any kind of investigation, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a software to analyze video surveillance footage.

This software quickly scans and analyzes the footage shot by a surveillance camera, for example during a night when something happened to the area under control, squeezing everything into a few minutes of footage which will contain only images showing events of relevance; all this is achieved thanks to an algorithm which can tell a still image from one which contains moving parts or objects.

In practice, what the software does is getting rid of all those hours in which absolutely nothing happens inside the camera’s visual range, saving only the moments in which cameras detect a motion. In this way, those who later analyze the footage can, in case they notice something important, return to the original video and view it normally to place the images in a context.

This kind of software might find a field of application for video surveillance of areas where nothing is supposed to happen during the night, for example like the dark halls of a museum, while it may not be very useful if used, for example, to monitor areas with a lot of traffic, for example transportation companies with cargo trucks moving around.

360-degree video surveillance for a complete visual coverage

giugno 9, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Surveillance cameras, which nowadays can be seen at any street corner in our cities, use “fish-eye” lenses to cover an angle as wide as possible. Of course though, a fish-eye lens would end up providing a distorted image, especially on the outer edges, offering a wide view but a lack of clarity or of proportions.

In order to sort out the issue, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working on the development of a video surveillance system which would provide clear images at a very high resolution without losing a single detail.

This result can be achieved by using several single cameras, all mounted together on some sort of dome, which can shoot videos of the same area from different angles, providing a 360 degree image. The footage shot by the eyes of each single camera is then “stitched” together by a software which would eliminate the overlapping electronically, thus creating a single 360-degree video image.

Furthermore, each single camera is capable of zooming into a specific area of interest, to have a better specific view without losing visual contact with the rest of the environment under surveillance, and all this while maintaining the clarity of detail provided by a resolution of approximately 100 megapixel.

It is also possible to create an “exclusion zone”, like for example the vault of a bank: as soon as an intruder enters the area, the alarm would immediately go off.
The core of the system is a software which can stitch images together, just like you can do with photographs, with the difference that in this case we are talking about moving images, and that the stitching is done in real time while the image is being filmed, in order to guarantee a complete coverage of the entire area, and to be able to observe closely any potentially dangerous situation.


giugno: 2010
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