Hawthorne (NY) - The all-seeing 'Eye of Sauron' from the Lord of the Rings has got nothing on IBM's new S3 surveillance system. The Smart Surveillance System, S3 for short, can shift through multiple camera feeds and give real-time alerts along with showing most recent cars and people. It can even catalog and display the last the last 100 license plates, name badges or faces.
IBM has been working on this system for a few years and we have a slideshow with pictures from 2005. One of the main problems with modern surveillance is the huge backlog of data to sift through. An average-sized shopping mall could have a few dozen to more than a hundred cameras, all recording 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
S3 solves this problem by tagging XML metadata to events in the video. The software can tag faces, cars, license plates and even name badges. The XML data, stored in a backend DB2 database, also contains a timecode pointer to the source video. Video is stored on a separate database. Queries reference the XML and quickly access the exact point in the video and this allows security employees to easily search the last 100 cars or people without having to rewind and fast-forward through video.
Virtual 'tripwires' can also be implemented which alert security to when an area has been entered. This might be good for a back entranceway or for tracking employee access into the inventory room.
IBM will sell the S3 system through its Global Technology Services unit. Other vendors could make money from S3 because it was developed on IBM's open standard middleware which allows other security applications to plug in.