Video analytics ID people, objects
Video surveillance has become commonplace in security and public-safety circles, but the software used to manage data must be smart. It must recognize perils and know the difference between humans and objects. It also has to survive in a mobile environment so crucial information from an incident can be sent to decision-makers at central command-and-control centers.
Software developer Aimetis recently released a mobile version of its video-analytic software suite that can do just that: decipher events and alert authorities to criminal activity while enduring harsh environments. On-Board is an intelligent video software suite for mobile environments that integrates the company’s Symphony video and event-management software with ruggedized hardware.
Symphony was introduced to meet the needs of existing clients, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, that use it for security purposes, said Marc Holtenhoff, CEO of Aimetis. Other targeted markets include public safety, public transportation, maritime and other organizations that need analytics for mining vast amounts of video data.
With video analytics, the software recognizes certain events that could be identified as interesting to authorities — items left behind or removed, camera tampering, or events specified by the agency using the software. When the software flags an event, it sends an image to mobile devices.
“Common applications might be identifying when someone leaves a knapsack in the corner or people counting,” Holtenhoff said. “In a mobile environment, the software can estimate the occupancy on a commuter railcar as passengers get on and off.”
Using MPEG-4 compression, On-Board supports real-time video capture at 25 to 30 frames per second for a maximum of eight IP cameras. As an open-architecture platform, it also supports information sharing with third-party systems and devices, including cameras from more than 20 different manufacturers.
Although the On-Board hard drive — sealed in a waterproof and dustproof enclosure — is removable, built-in Wi-Fi support limits the need to take the hard drive out of its casing. For example, as buses move in and out of a Wi-Fi-equipped transportation depot during their daily shifts, video data can be transmitted automatically to central command and operations.
System integrator Dynamic Security has used the system for municipal and government deployments. Barton Kartoz, the company’s vice president of sales, said the system is flexible enough to meet government customers’ budgetary constraints. As well, command-and-control needs software analytic tools for real-time situational awareness and data mining, he said.
In a saturated video-surveillance market, Kartoz said municipalities determine what type of surveillance coverage is needed in each targeted location before choosing a vendor — or deciding on a business model. In one Dynamic Security deployment, the system was used within a high-crime area in a New Jersey town. However, the town could spend only $2000 per camera, so a private/public partnership was needed to pay for the project, he said.
Municipalities also should consider performance, cost and long-term flexibility of the system, Kartoz said. The Aimetis advanced analytics support these needs by offering a management system that can be rewritten to add capabilities without changing the architecture of the system. The user interface also has to be simple to use.
“This system’s user interface is extremely intuitive.” he said. “Ease of use is important, because officers who are often not technologists are using these systems. I can walk into [a command center] and download the software, and users already have it figured out before I walk in to do training.”
Astron Wireless Technologies unveiled the P2400 series of yagi antennas in the 2375-2500 MHz frequency band. The ruggedized antennas are intended for moderate- to high-gain directional antenna requirements. Polarization is vertical, VSWR is 1.5:1, and the antennas have a power capability is 200 W. Connectors are N female bulkhead, according to the company.
Astron also introduced a low-profile, dual-band antenna for indoor and outdoor use. The antenna has a power capability of 50 W and operates in frequencies ranging from 18501990 MHz, based on model. The company also launched a rugged, waterproof marine omnidirectional antenna that features a heavy wall fiberglass encasement. The antenna has a frequency range of 2400-2500 MHz.
Agilent Technologies introduced new thermocouple power sensors that cover a power range of -35 dBm to 20 dBm and a frequency range of 100 kHz to 33 GHz. The sensors provide 55 dB dynamic range in a single sensor, according to the company.
EXALT UNVEILS 5 GHZ RADIOS
Exalt Communications released the EX-r 5 GHz radios to meet the needs of public-safety users who demand high throughput and reliable backhaul connectivity, said Amir Zoufonoun, the company’s CEO.
The EX-r was developed to meet the needs of next-generation applications and to act as the backbone for any communications system that connects to other communications hardware, such as two-way radios, Zoufonoun said. It operates in all three 5 GHz bands and is encased in one ruggedized enclosure. It offers a software-controllable channel bandwidth and built-in spectrum analyzer, which lets the device operate on frequencies from 5.2 GHz to 5.8 GHz. In addition, it provides 440 Mb/s aggregate user-available throughput and AES 128- and 256-bit encryption for secure communications.
“So the user has lots of choices of frequencies, and with the built-in spectrum analyzer in the product, the user working remotely from anywhere in world can look at any node, any radio and find the quietest spot — through an RF environment point of view — and park the signal in the quietest spot,” Zoufonoun said.
The ruggedized enclosure protects internal electronics from -40° to 65°C ambient temperature, as well as against lighting strikes and dust and water. The unit is powered using power-over-Ethernet technology.
“That’s the only connection a user needs for the device — one cable coming down from the rooftop or tower into the switch or router,” he said.
The radios start at $20,000.
—MARY ROSE ROBERTS
WIRELESS BIOMETRIC DEVICE
Sagem Morpho introduced Morpho RapID 1100, a handheld, software-based biometric device that integrates a digital camera to support facial recognition, a larger screen, a keyboard and enhanced wireless communication capabilities. The software is loaded on Psion Teklogix’s iKon, a rugged handheld PDA. It supports Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth and GPS, and it provides rapid data transfer. A 500-pixel, forensic-quality ruggedized scanner captures digital images of a suspect’s fingerprints that can be transmitted wirelessly for automated identification against a centralized database. Mug shots also can be captured with the integrated 2-megapixel camera.