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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Israeli security device wins top award


Twenty-four hours reduced to a few minutes.

Cameras as we know are everywhere these days. But what happens to the footage they record? Often nothing happens, because there's no one to sit and sift through the endless hours of video. It's usually only after a major disaster or attack that officials check the video, hoping to get clues as to whom or what caused the problem.

Briefcam's solution is its Video Synopsis product. Instead of watching the entire video, a viewer can see a synopsis - with the option of focusing in on objects or people of interest from a 24-hour period within a few minutes.

If viewers notice something odd in the behavior of an individual, they can focus in on that individual, and receive an index of all his or her movements in the entire range of footage. With Briefcam VS, security personnel have a more efficient way to watch and analyze footage, making it more likely that they will catch problems before they occur.

Israel's Briefcam recently won the 2010 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the area of physical security for its invention, which offers an innovative solution to quick review of information from security cameras.

Surveillance cameras generate a prodigious amount of video that someone has to watch. Other video-surveillance technologies may address this challenge by fast-forwarding through recordings or capturing only moving images using motion detectors.

BriefCam, developed by Prof. Shmuel Peleg of the Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, takes a different approach.

The patented technology he developed, dubbed Video Synopsis, uses computer software that creates a synopsis of recorded information and generates a very short video that preserves the essential activities of the original video captured over a very long time period.

For example, the movement of vehicles passing through a security gate over many hours can be condensed into a few minutes, showing each vehicle's entry followed immediately by the next one.

"Five hours of video is not five hours anymore," says Peleg, who is also the company's chief scientist. "It's five minutes."

In recent years, numerous video surveillance technologies have emanated from Israel.