Sunday, June 07, 2009

Emerging global reach and sophistication of video surveillance

A couple of interesting recent insights on the emerging reach and sophistication of video surveillance:

Worldwide surveillance camera shipments growing at 45% per year
In its latest report on surveillance technologies, IDC says rapid advancements in network surveillance technology are shifting the emphasis away from guns, guards, gates, and dogs and placing it on “more sophisticated, scalable security solutions,” which the research firm predicts will see worldwide surveillance/monitoring camera shipments grow from 9.3 million in 2007 to 26.5 million in 2013: an average annual growth of 45.0%.
Source: “Technology taking over from guns, guards, gates & dogs!” – ITWire.com – 24 May 2009

Next generation of camera surveillance will have imbedded intelligence
Bir Bhanu, director of the Center for Research in Intelligent Systems, said the goal is “to understand the interaction of people from video networks, to figure out their intention.” Bhanu foresees a time, possibly within the next decade, when programs analyzing facial identification, emotional expressions, social interactions and contextual anomalies will be able to alert monitors or law enforcement personnel about someone who may be up to no good. He said a computer system could spot “person who brings a briefcase and does not normally carry a briefcase, or a person who is wearing a jacket in Riverside when it's 100 degrees outside. These simple things can be detected.”
Source: “UCR has eye on surveillance technology” – The Press-Enterprise - 27 May 2009

THOUGHTS: How can we be sure that the needs of state and commerce for pervasive video surveillance do not override the individual's right of privacy? These market signals are reminiscent of the themes expressed in that movie The Minority Report.

KEYWORDS: Democracy, Freedom, Surveillance, Video, Artificial Intelligence

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