Friday, June 14, 2013

New Surveillance Cam Technology Saves Investigation Time

Reviewing of boring surveillance footage just got more fun! Almost everyone’s got one or many surveillance cameras shooting away 24-7, leading to hours and hours of viewing time required to spot a sought-after event. Now a video analysis system has been developed which not only speeds up the process, but makes it more effective.

BriefCam’s Video Synopsis system has been credited with helping to catch the Boston Bombers. With the power to isolate an object or event, time-stamp multiple events shown simultaneously and slow down or speed up the footage, the investigators were able to focus on the backpack, which suddenly appeared. They were able to ignore all the slack time before its appearance, as an hour of footage was condensed into one minute. This was possible because of the simultaneous view feature. With ten hours of footage from one camera, BriefCam software can condense it to ten minutes as events are presented simultaneously. The zoom feature also lets the viewer zoom in on targets when their movements have changed during the filming. For these reasons, it has been called a “search engine for video”.

Boston proved the worth of BriefCam’s ingenuity, but many investigative types already appreciated that, as it’s been used in several countries besides the US, China, and Taiwan, since its inception three years ago.

The company’s intent is to enable the efficient viewing of cam footage for safety and security reasons. Winner of several awards -- the 2013 SIA New Product Showcase for Video Analytics; the 2012 Israel HLS Technology Innovation Award; the 2011 ASIS Accolades Award – Surveillance; the 2010 IFSEC Security Industry Award – Best CCTV System Product; the 2010 Wall St. Journal Technology Innovation Award – Physical Security and others – the BriefCam is compatible with several operating systems. The software is easy to install on existing systems. An additional feature is that it allows the export of the synopsis/original as evidence video file.

For those who want to get a bit technical, during recording, motion detection algorithms are used which separate the non-moving background images from the moving target images. The motions are tracked and analyzed within the frame. With this information, a database of backgrounds, events, objects and activities is created. The moving items are collected to make the synopsis.

It’s easy to see how BriefCam technology helps companies with security-related issues. By the looks of the website, the company markets the systems to businesses and government entities. So far, it’s not intended as a homeowner’s toy, though it is described as easy to use without special training.

Surveillance cameras can even be accessed remotely by mobile phone, no matter the distance. Nanny cams and even puppy surveillance systems make being away from home that much less worrisome. Many apps are available for download. They can be custom-built as well, with all the features a person wants, with an app builder such as the one offered by

If a person can find their way around an iPhone, they can design their own surveillance cam app, since the Conduit app creator provides the templates and instructions to succeed. This could become a necessity for all web-cam users, so that surveillance and peace of mind goes everywhere the mobile goes.

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