One of the big problems with video surveillance is that even the most alert security team can be lulled by fatigue and boredom into missing critical events and details on the closed-circuit television (CCTV).
Now there is a new technology called BriefCam (founded in 2007) from Hebrew University in Israel that summarizes hours of video in brief minutes.
What differentiates this new technology, according to The Economist (15 February 2011) is that rather than fast-forwarding or using motion detection to capture or select images, BriefCam captures everything, but "creates a summary of all moving events and play back a synopsis...not speeded up, each person moves at their actual pace. And at any time during the review an operator can switch [click-on the time stamp of the event of interest] to see the original video footage."
BriefCam creates like a time warp where "all moving events from the period of interest are collected and shifted in time to create the synopsis."
Essentially objects are overlaid on a timeless background, so you are seeing them occur simultaneously, each with a timestamp that can be selected and clicked to isolate the event.
What makes this an incredible forensic tool, is that there are controls for speed and density of what you watching, and for even moving objects out of the way on the screen.
The Chairman of BriefCam explains, "We don't try to replace human eyes, we just report what we see so that it is more comprehensible."
This is particularly helpful since according to CNBC (July 2010), which awarded BriefCam as number 2 of Europe's 25 Most Creative Companies, noted "the average person viewing surveillance footage has an effective attention span of about [only] 20 minutes."
This is why BriefCam can help our law enforcement and security personnel overcome the traditional video surveillance issues that the Wall Street Journal (27 September 2010) put as "there's not enough time and manpower to watch it all." This is one reason that the WSJ awarded BriefCam their 2010 Innovation Award.
Potential customers for this physical security technology includes police, homeland security, military, as well as commercial customers.
This is a very promising technology tool that with the addition or integration of recognition software and metadata tagging can help us monitor and safeguard our borders, streets, and critical infrastructure.