By: Bienson Jones
I know I’m not the only one that does this but let me set the stage for you. You’ve had a long week at work and with the weekend approaching a nice relaxing time on the couch with a good movie is on your agenda. You enjoy action movies, explosions, secrecy, spy – those of the Jason Bourne variety. As you kick back with the latest action flick, you begin chuckling at a scene that’s clearly not meant to be funny. Why are you laughing? Well, because you are a security technology professional and the clear inaccuracies being depicted are comical. Now, instead of enjoying this action-packed blockbuster, you find yourself paying more attention to how many security inaccuracies you can pick up on than the actual plot of the movie.
One security faux pas in particular that always gives me a good laugh is when someone says “freeze that video, zoom in and enhance.” Here is the problem with the scene, if you digitally zoom in on a frame of a video and it’s pixelated to the point that you cannot recognize or forensically identify an individual, there is no way to enhance the image and magically fill in data because it never existed. It’s just not technologically possible, but that is Hollywood, and that’s entertainment, right? I get it, but as an industry geek, it makes the scene comical instead of nailbiting.
Here is the deal; the advancements in film technology and CGI make these security features look so real the audience believes that this technology is available. Maybe Hollywood has a crystal ball telling them the future of technology – I mean we do have hover boards. Thank you Back to the Future!
It’s just not real, yet, leaving the security industry to play catch up.
Even though the industry is not quite up to Hollywood’s portrayal, what we do have, especially in the realm of intelligent video surveillance and video analytics, is catching up. Such as the ability to implement pattern-based analytic algorithms, by deploying analytics in its infancy period, the user can tailor the system or set rules. This feature teaches the analytic to differentiate what it’s capturing such as vehicles, boats, humans and animals, making the system autonomous. Over the next few years, there is expected to be significant improvements in the availability and reliability of these analytics to support projects like self-driving vehicles, real-time video processing, and object identification. While this all sounds very Hollywood it is in fact very real and can be utilized in conjunction with other security platforms like Access Control and Intrusion Detection Systems for some very “Bourne” situations.
The fact is no matter how advanced security technology becomes if the data is not there you can’t enhance! Although, if you properly design your video surveillance system with the technology capable of gathering the forensic and identifiable detail that you may need, you will never need to “freeze and enhance.”