August 24, 2010
There are many different tools for surveillance users, such as,
...however video analytics utilizing tracking technology and object
recognition are ushering in a new era in surveillance.
Tomorrow's video surveillance screens will resemble the television feeds of
ESPN and CNBC where sports scores and stock tickers are streaming across the
bottom of the screen, says Charlie Morrison, director of full motion
video solutions at Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services.
There will be,
"multi-intelligence collected within the
video so that it will be more than a picture."
This technology is already out there in the
commercial world, he says.
Augmented ID is a concept
that visualizes the digital identities of people you meet in real life.
With a mobile device and face
recognition software from Polar Rose,
Augmented ID enables anybody
utilizing the service to discover selected information about others.
Morrison's team at Lockheed Martin along with
engineers at Harris Corp. in Melbourne, Fla., are taking that technology and
applying if to military surveillance and intelligence applications, Morrison
"We're looking to integrate commercial
technology for DOD video."
"Full-motion video has exceptional potential for intelligence collection
and analysis," says Jim Kohlhaas, Lockheed Martin's vice president of
"Thousands of platforms are collecting
important video intelligence every day. The challenge is to collect and
catalogue that huge volume of footage, and give analysts the tools they
need to find, interpret, and share the critical intelligence that can be
gleaned from that mountain of data."
The main Lockheed Martin video analytics tool is
called Audacity. It tags sorts, and catalogues digital footage.
According to a Lockheed Martin public release it
also has intelligence tools such as video mosaic creation, facial
recognition, object tracking, and smart auto-alerts based around geospatial
areas of interest.
Military veteran and surveillance specialist Chris Calder notes that
military applications now combine facial recognition and mind reading
"It's a standard part of intelligence
operations and concerns about privacy are one of the most controversial
aspects of this type of technology."
Calder says the military has integrated
applications within invasive devices which can target any individual from
miles away and not only confirm their identity but interpret their thought
patterns, motive and future behavior.
"These are not futuristic applications,
they're available at their disposal right now."
Intel has only recently caught up with what's
been available for almost a decade under classified direction and authority.
Intel's scientists are now creating detailed
maps of the activity in the brain and have a working prototype that can
detect words such as "screwdriver", "house" and "barn", by measuring around
20,000 points in the brain.
Justin Ratner, director of Intel Laboratories and the company's chief
technology officer, said:
"Mind reading is the ultimate user
interface. There will be concerns about privacy with this sort of thing
and we will have to overcome them."
At the corporate level, the Daily Mail
Face.com has produced technology that can identify individuals
on social networking sites and online galleries by comparing their image
against a known picture of them.
It means detailed profiles of individuals can be built up purely from online
photographs and critics have said it could lead to exploitation by
The company says it is 90% accurate when scanning typical images which
appear on social networking sites.
Gil Hirsch, chief executive of Face.com, told The Sunday Times:
'We have launched a service that allows
developers to take our facial recognition technology and apply it
immediately to their own applications.'
Other interactive internet giants such as
InterActive Corp who own subsidiary branches such as
are prime portals to access personal images and information.
myWebFace is downloaded as a toolbar
for your browser and it enables you to create an,
"online cartoon avatar by choosing from a
huge selection of facial features, characteristics and accessories," as
stated in their license agreement.
They then provide you with the opportunity to
use your myWebFace cartoon for your Facebook profile or other social
Another myWebFace invention
oldyourself.com digitizes and ages any portrait
image to simulate 20 years in the future, thus an an older version of
yourself. The site uses clever tactics such as applying the software to age
celebrities to attract more users.
FACEinHOLE uses similar methods to entice users to upload photos of
themselves for integration into specific scenarios.
Want to look like a bodybuilder, model or actor?
Faceinhole.com has thousands of scenarios to attract unsuspecting users to
submit their personal photos. Registrants use an upload interface (instead
of a browser integrated toolbar) to submit their photos.
Opponents to facial recognition technology are well aware that its
acceptance and integration within society are growing in combination with
wider use of video surveillance, which is likely to grow increasingly
invasive over time.
Once installed, this kind of a surveillance
system rarely remains confined to its original purpose. New ways of applying
the technology are leading to abuse as authorities or operators find them to
be an irresistible expansion of their power.
Ultimately, the privacy of
citizens will suffer another blow.
The threat is that widespread surveillance will
change the character, feel, and quality of our lives.