Smart Cameras Can Prevent Terror Attacks

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 @ 08:09 PM gHale

For security purposes, video via closed circuit television (CCTV) systems are in use all over and they have the capacity to gather large amounts of image material.
The problem is, however, there are no real effective ways to analyze the mass of video data automatically and recognize potential risks. That may soon end.
A risk from luggage left in a public place which may contain explosives or other dangerous substances. Terror attacks based on this tactic have already claimed countless lives. Luggage surveillance is particularly important at airports, railway stations, trade fairs, and public spaces in nationally significant infrastructure.
The aim of the SUBITO project, funded by the European Commission, is to improve image analysis technology in existing CCTV systems. With the help of an application developed as part of the project, cameras recognize abandoned luggage automatically and rapidly identify, locate and track the person who left it there.
The new application has significant commercial potential, since it can exploit image material before any incident takes place.
During the project, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland developed tools for using smart cameras more effectively.
With the help of the smart cameras, security authorities can move abandoned luggage quickly aside if they feel it poses a potential risk. If it proves to be a false alarm, the luggage can ship over to the airport’s lost property office.
SUBITO enhances security in a cost-efficient manner, since the new technology can add into legacy CCTV systems. Individual privacy issues are thus easier to take into account, because the end users must already take note of them in operating the system.
Effective CCTV surveillance strengthens deterrence: Often, awareness alone of strengthened surveillance is enough to improve security in public places.

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