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Entries in visual intelligence (5)


Unique Combination of Technology is Bad News for Criminals

I know I'll be sleeping more soundly tonight.

Police in my town of Addison, Texas, have a new weapon in the fight against crime. The innovative new process uses surveillance cameras, proprietary software and equipment recently installed at the police department's dispatch center. The program, developed by Stealth Monitoring Inc. of Dallas, operates at no cost to taxpayers and is scheduled for a nationwide roll-out this year.

"Video analytics and trained operators are what sets this program apart from others that use video technology," said Norm Charney, Stealth Monitoring CEO. "The interaction of software and human intelligence allows the Stealth control room to cost effectively monitor thousands of cameras from its customers. Any unusual motion or activity instantly draws the attention of the operator by placing an individual camera's live video on the computer screen for quick action."

How does it work? When Stealth employees see suspicious activity, rather than making a phone call and describing the suspect or their actions they can instantly "push" the technology to the Addison Police dispatch center and provide police with the same live video they are observing. The dispatchers determine when a suspect's actions warrant dispatching officers.

Responding officers are provided with real-time suspect descriptions, actions, vehicles and changes in location. Not only will the video provide better information, but it will improve safety for officers as well. A dispatcher might see a suspect hide behind a dumpster just as the officers arrive on the scene and can relay the suspect's movements to the officers in real time.  

Addison is upgrading its dispatch center so that they will be able to provide video directly to patrol cars, PDAs or even cell phones of officers who are responding. In addition, the video provides an after action recording feature that can include post-event descriptions of the vehicle used in the crime, video of the criminals and often the vehicle's license plate number.

"This program puts Addison on the cutting edge of technology that will make our city safer and our police officers more effective," said Ron Davis, Addison Chief of Police. "As more businesses and other venues take advantage of this type of technology our dispatchers and police officers will be able to respond more quickly and effectively making it harder for criminals to commit crimes or get away with crimes they have committed."

"Monitoring video feeds isn't new," Charney said. "What is new is our ability to actively live monitor thousands of video feeds from our customers in a cost-effective manner, identify suspicious activity and notify authorities quickly. This is taking technology beyond the event based monitoring that some companies offer. While video from security cameras can be helpful, immediate notification and confirmation of suspicious activity as well as a video feed directly to the police is a major advancement in the reduction of false alarms and crime."

Businesses pay for the monitoring service and equipment. The equipment from Stealth is installed for free at the police department and allows Addison to create a video fusion center without the expenses normally associated with this technology.

"In today's tough economic times a program that provides our department with state-of-the-art technology, monitoring services and video monitoring equipment at no cost to taxpayers, made this a win-win proposal," Davis said.


Smarter UAVs Mean More UAVs in War Zones


The Pentagon is intent on continually growing its numbers of remotely piloted, unmanned aircraft in war zones. But with each unmanned aerial device requiring two pilots, how will the military deal with the coming manpower crunch?

The answer, of course, is to build a smarter UAV.

Today, each UAV needs a two-person team: one soldier to fly it and another to operate its sensors for intelligence and surveillance purposes. But the military is having trouble keeping up with all the recruiting and training that this advanced technology requires.

That's why Air Force and Wright State University researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, a key UAV hub, are researching ways to automate many of the vital functions of a UAV. Enabling the UAV to fly itself, for example, would allow a single operator to oversee multiple craft at once. And he or she would be better able to examine objects of interest seen in video feeds from the aircraft’s cameras.

The results can support other research designed to help operators identify objects of interest from hours of video-feed data, the researchers said--just like smart cameras that use intelligent search.


Ruby the Robot Solves Rubik's Cube in Just 10 Seconds

In a mere 10 seconds, Ruby the robot officially became the fastest Rubik's Cube-solving android on Earth. (But a human still owns the overall record at 6.24 seconds!)

The secret to Ruby's success starts with an intelligent camera. The bot scans the scrambled Rubik's using a webcam. The computer vision-tracking system tells the real-time embedded control system what movements need to happen to solve the puzzle. And the two robotic arms set to work.


Artificial Intelligence 'Revolution' Driven by Intelligent Video

We now live in a world in which machines and devices are visually aware and able to make decisions based upon what they see. And, according to market researchers at IMS Research, it's all thanks to the rise of intelligent video. 

Analysts at IMS have been tracking the video analytics market for more than seven years. Of course, intelligent video has already been used in the security industry for years, and many new applications are already under development: cars that are able to see road conditions and warning signs and react accordingly; consumer devices and game consoles that can be controlled by, and interact with, users through gestures and facial expressions; and digital displays that can show different content depending upon who is viewing it and how they react to what they see.

Why are these ideas finally becoming a reality today? IMS Research’s President, Ian Weightman, explains:

“The basis of our prediction is that the key elements of an intelligent video solution, including compute engines capable of processing HD digital video streams in real-time, high capacity solid state storage capabilities, and advanced video analytic algorithms, have finally evolved to the point where performance has increased and costs have fallen sufficiently to enable commercial products to be developed.”

In the future, continuing improvements in facial and object recognition -- as well as spatial awareness -- will lead to more advanced intelligence. IMS predicts that before the end of the next decade, there is the very real possibility that many machines and robots will be able to see and interact with their environment, people and other visually intelligent devices.

But will companies be willing to make the huge R&D investment needed to make this happen?

“The innovative major corporations, such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft and Sony, are already making significant investment in intelligent video," Weightman said. "This is encouraging many other companies to join the revolution. I think the momentum has already reached the point that these things will happen, the only question now is how quickly.”


Future Cameras May Understand What They're Seeing

Cyberdyne Systems...I mean, DARPA seeks to develop machines with visual intelligence,  meaning computers with spatial judgment, that can learn new spatiotemporal concepts directly from visual information, visualize scenes and objects, as well as the actions involving those objects, then process the scenes to solve problems.

The Mind’s Eye program wants to add perceptual and cognitive abilities for recognizing and reasoning about objects in a scenes.

Specifically, the military wants a smart camera with visual intelligence to report on activity in an area of observation. Applications include fixed surveillance systems and camera‐equipped perch‐and‐stare micro air vehicles.