HU software speeds review of surveillance images

A full day’s video can be checked in just minutes.

shmuel peleg 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
shmuel peleg 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Video surveillance cameras have been installed in public and private places all over Israel and around the world to monitor crimes and accidents and to promote security around the clock. But going over the reams of images takes a great deal of manpower and is very time consuming.
Now Hebrew University researchers have found a solution in the form of computer software that provides a synopsis of recorded video, generating a very short video preserving the essential activities of the original video captured over a very long period. For example, a video covering a full day can be summarized in a synopsis only a few minutes long.
For his work in developing this useful software, Prof. Shmuel Peleg ofHU’s Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering has been named aKaye Innovation Award winner. He and other winners will receive theirprizes at a special ceremony on Wednesday during the current HU boardof governors meetings. The Kaye Innovation Awards have been givenannually at the HU board of governors meetings since 1994. England’sIsaac Kaye, a prominent industrialist in the pharmaceutical industry,established the awards to encourage HU faculty and students.
The invention can help even for those who are able to dedicate enoughmanpower to review long segments of video surveillance materials, sincestudies indicate that human operators lose their attention after about20 minutes when watching such videos. Rapid apprehension of the man whorecently tried to set off a car bomb in Manhattan’s Time Square was asensational example of the benefits of surveillance cameras. However,since video browsing and retrieval in the millions of cameras is timeconsuming – involving sometimes days or weeks of review – most recordedvideo is never watched or examined.
Video synopsis separates between the static background and the movingobjects (also called events). The short synopsis is made possible bysimultaneously presenting multiple events that have occurred atdifferent times. Synopsis user can view all events in a very short timeand, when necessary, can revert to the original video for furtherexamination. Peleg’s invention has been patented by the university’sR&D company Yissum and licensed to an Israeli startup company,BriefCam Ltd.