London: Scientists have developed a new `intelligent` CCTV camera which they say works just like the human eye and is able to spot trouble in large crowds.
The `Smart Eyes` device, which is expected to make the task of security personnel easy in detecting trouble makers in large crowds, records and analyses a scene in real time and
flags up anything that is out of the ordinary to a human operator.
The device, according to its developers, is able to distinguish different objects, even if they are moving on front of a busy background just like the human eye, a newspaper reported.
"That is invaluable for video surveillance of public buildings or places," said Dr Martina Kolesnik, a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology,
which developed the system.
"In certain circumstances the capabilities of a human observer are limited. Ask someone to keep an eye on a certain stand in a football stadium and they are bound to miss many
"That same person can only carefully monitor certain sections of the whole area and will quickly get tired. That`s where Smart Eyes clearly comes into its own."
According to the scientists, the system uses fixed surveillance camera, which covers a certain area, and two ultra-active stereo cameras.
Like human eyes, these can fix on and follow various points very quickly in succession, but also zoom in on details, they said.
At the heart of Smart Eyes is innovative software that automatically analyses the image sequences. It replicates key strategies of the human eye and brain.
It can calculate the degree of movement for each pixel, which allows it to identify the particular active areas in each scene. From this it learns motion patterns and stores
them as typical models.
On the basis of these models the system then identifies events and classifies them. For instance, the software can distinguish between passive spectators and fans jumping up and down.
Image patterns such as empty seats or steps are also identified. The application picks out events that are of interest and focuses on these using the cameras.
Depending on the priorities set by the security experts, various events are designated as important. The programme can, where necessary, filter out objects such as flags being waved to focus specifically on other objects.
"Our image analysis software is compatible with camera systems produced by all vendors. It can be installed easily. The user doesn`t have to make any adjustments," Dr Kolesnik said.
First Published: Sunday, September 26, 2010, 18:31