A former BT communications manager, turned inventor, reckons that his intelligent CCTV surveillance company has developed a “Guardian Angel” video surveillance technology, which can keep us all safe from crime and violence whilst protecting our Right to Privacy. Stuart Thompson was a recognized innovator with British Telecom, where he led in the development of the high speed modems that introduced broadband internet. He has now used his high-speed expertise and ingenuity to develop an award-winning intelligent moving camera system that will passively observe and ignore innocent goings-on, but quickly alert human operators to suspicious or dangerous activity. In addition to crime-busting on Britain's streets, Stuart Thompson claims the system can significantly enhance Homeland Security whilst unobtrusively safeguarding our schools or our elderly and vulnerable citizens in care homes and hospitals.
Thompson is President and owner of Viseum UK. He reminds us how the Director General of MI5 recently warned that thousands of Islamic extremists living in the UK, currently saw their British home as a legitimate target. He adds that the UK Home Office also admitted the E-Borders programme had failed to detect and intercept major crime suspects at our national borders. Elsewhere at another end of the spectrum, the CQC recently recommended surveillance camera installation in care homes to protect vulnerable adults from abuse by a few reckless and abusive members of staff. In a busy, populated area, these all represent significant albeit very different security challenges that have dogged ordinary CCTV providers and the security industry for decade. As Stuart Thompson puts it;
“Discerning suspicious and potentially harmful indicators within a sea of mundane, innocent routine is a needle-in-the-haystack task, that human beings are exceptionally bad at.”
However the London inventor, claims he has the solution in a computer-automated CCTV system, optimised for the complex and busy environments that we live and work in. Viseum UK’s globally patented Intelligent Moving Camera (IMC) is controlled by iVOS (an Intelligent Virtual Operator system). Viseum intelligent CCTV systems can recognize and track suspicious activity and a known hooligan, criminal or terrorist, with far greater reliability than any human CCTV operator. The system uses a ring of automated surveillance cameras to passively gaze in every direction and be aware of all activity around them. The system quickly learns its surroundings and “normal” activity. However, Thompson points out that footage of routine events largely stays within the camera unit unseen by a human. Only when the iVOS Virtual Operator detects unusual or potentially suspicious and dangerous activity, will a human operator in a central control room, be alerted. The security operator will be shown edited footage of what the Viseum system spotted. He can then alert the authorities, emergency services or security patrols and guide them onto the scene. In the meantime, the Intelligent Moving Camera system has automatically fired into evidence collection mode. It takes control of a high clarity pan, tilt zoon camera to capture forensic quality images of what is going on and who is involved. Thompson explains that his Find, Fix, Follow (F3) capability uses behaviour algorithms, plus face, person and vehicle number plate recognition technology to track a suspect or perpetrator wherever they go within the streets, buildings and corridors covered by the Viseum camera network. Viseum iVOS is just as adept at spotting a suspiciously abandoned holdall, agitated behaviour, a neglected patient, or a harassed lone female late at night. However, should there be nothing untoward going on, then the images stay within the system’s hard-drive to be recorded over at a specified point. “I designed the IMC and iVOS systems to be virtual guardian angels, benignly gazing upon our daily lives, but ready to intervene should we be threatened,”
Depending on the camera hardware used, each of these Viseum camera units delivers surveillance security from close quarters in a bedroom, through an airport and up to an area the size of an Olympic Park. Viseum's technology is well known to several police forces and borough councils, for the positive impact they have had upon crime and anti-social behaviour in the UK's public spaces. Conviction statistics show that criminals and ASBO offenders have good reason to fear them. Optimised for busy streets and crowded cities, with 360-degree coverage up to extreme distances, the Intelligent Moving Camera never blinks, never gets tired, looks in the wrong direction or gets distracted.
Viseum emphasises that it aims to optimise and supplement the human response to security incidents, rather than replace them completely. Viseum’s military force-protection & security experts, term this as "force-multiplication" freeing up people to do what they do best - interact with other people. Thompson explains,"Our surveillance solutions are the best. We offer security practitioners a continuous 360 degree unblinking stare across any area of responsibility, without the need for hundreds of CCTV cameras and valuable monitoring staff. It will also provide instantaneous forensic analysis of a previously unknown perpetrator's movements before and after the event. We can present patrols, incident commanders and the judiciary with an unbroken golden thread of video evidence, about what happened and who was involved. Viseum adds,"Viseum iVOS can also contribute to and enhance wider security at hospitals and care homes where intruders may attempt access or confused patients might wander off”.
Viseum has recently visited the USA to take part in a technology showcase at “Government Security Expo” in Dallas Texas. It was striking though not surprising that we share so many security challenges with the States,” said Thompson. “Local police chiefs, military base commanders, university campus supervisors, care home providers and Homeland Security practitioners all shared a fear of the low probability but high impact event that could occur within their area of responsibility. To use military parlance, they want perfect “Situational Awareness and Ground Truth” before, during and after an incident. We think that Viseum can deliver this for them and are actively involved in talks to secure an American partner to introduce our technology in this region.