Authorities in London did a remarkable job tracking down the perpetrators of last summer’s subway and bus bombings. Even so, they were using outdated video surveillance technology. With today’s IP-based video surveillance, the entire system can be networked and accessed by security officials anywhere, and imminent threats such as the July 2005 attacks in London can be much more rapidly analyzed and possibly even prevented.
An IP-based system also allows information to be shared by different users and leveraged for different purposes. Access can be granted based on security permissions. Remote cameras can be used to analyze the movement of people or traffic and analytical software can help identify potential threats or urgent situations.
“Unlike conventional proprietary systems that lock users into specific hardware and software, newer digital video surveillance technologies enable users to easily integrate their choice of third-party cameras, software and technologies to enable systems that scale massively and evolve easily as new technologies are introduced,” says Bill Stuntz, CEO of BroadWare Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.
Hundreds, even thousands, of cameras and surveillance technologies can be interconnected via digital networks. And storing the images remotely makes the information safer than with older VCR and DVR systems. If a VCR tape is destroyed, video images are lost, but IP-based data can be distributed, shared, stored and archived in safer, multiple locations.
The key is not to replace security personnel, but to make it easier for them to focus on certain events and threats. Studies show that humans can watch camera images for only 15 to 20 minutes before their effectiveness drops substantially. Technology-aided solutions are far more effective.
BroadWare provides an open platform that ties all of these together including video capture and network distribution. It can be interfaced with technologies including biometric and air sensors and used to grab clips or issue security alerts. BroadWare manages video and provides access to video data from almost any authorized security location. Biometric identification supplements traditional ID cards with facial recognition and fingerprints.
Examples of BroadWare users include the Delaware and Alaska Port Authorities, which use remote cameras to monitor ships as they arrive and depart. These systems can detect the difference between people and animals and can be implemented in remote, unattended areas. Highway cameras can view traffic at high frame rates and store recordings securely over the Internet for later access. Standalone cameras not only manage traffic flow, but provide security and protect infrastructure.