Computer tracks and records "suspicious people" automatically

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rasmasyean, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    OK you privacy freaks! What so you have to say about this...

    Smart Surveillance System Could Tag Suspicious or Lost People

    Engineers at Ohio State University are developing a computerized surveillance system that could recognize whether a person on the street is acting suspiciously or appears to be lost. The system would include intelligent video cameras, large video screens, and geo-referencing software. The team has completed the first three phases of the project: they have a software algorithm that creates a wide-angle video panorama of a street scene, another that maps the panorama onto a high-resolution aerial image of the scene, and a method for actively tracking a selected target.

    The technology aims to analyze and model the behavior patterns of people and vehicles moving through the scene, rather than attempting to determine the identity of people. The system will show what typical activity patterns exist in the monitored area, and then have the system look for atypical patterns that may signal a person of interest -- perhaps someone engaging in nefarious behavior or a person in need of help.

    The software takes a series of snapshots from every direction within a camera's field of view, and combines them into a 360-degree seamless panorama. A second piece of software maps locations within that view onto an aerial map of the scene, such as a detailed Google map. A computer calculates where the view spaces of the security cameras in an area overlap. Then it can determine the geo-referenced coordinates of each ground pixel in the panorama image.

    In the third software, the map/panorama is used for tracking. As a person walks across a scene, the computer calculates exactly where the person is on the map/panorama. That information is used to instruct a camera to follow the person. With this system, it will be possible for the computer to "hand-off" the tracking task between cameras as the person moves in and out of view of different cameras.

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    Discuss... :)
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    1984. They are hell bent on a police state while the rich rape the poor and middle class while destroying everyones civil liberties.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It's pretty great from a technological standpoint (and here I am complementing OSU :( ), but it's pretty awful from a sociopolitical standpoint. This enters the age-old question of what the scientist's responsibility is in releasing a technology with high abuse potential into the hands of the government, the public, or anyone else.
  4. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    funny part is it just pushes computers closers to being more of an AI. Humans already do this when looking for people.

    For example when you drive you brain filters out 90% of everything it sees. Instead it looks for things that break the pattern.

    Same goes in how cops are trained. I see it being useful in large crowds like concerts or political events just it can easily be abused.
  6. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    The panorama-into-an-aerial-map is pretty cool, but I think we can do without the tracking.
  8. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Jacqui's probably on the case already…

  9. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    I can see the benefits. I can also see the serious down sides.

    Strange as it may sound, my friends and I play an mondo sized version of hide and go seek tag in the busy city of shibuya (downtown tokyo)

    would we be flagged as suspicious?
  10. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    As long as you aren't cosplaying at the same time, because you'd be in the wrong neighborhood for that. :p
  11. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    For general usage, I think this might be overkill. For high-traffic/high-density areas, I think the benefits could outweigh the negatives.

    Be it Disney where the masses result in lost kids, airports where I'd rather have a machine than the TSA drones, or a massive public event like 1/20 where infrastructure will be strained, this would allow a more effective reallocation of manpower. This would be no different than looking at the footage/photos available in the event of an emergency.

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