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Project Brief

Open Competition 3 - Information Technology

Active Alert for Video Monitoring

Develop an automated security surveillance system that combines closed circuit video cameras, radio-frequency identification technology, and computer modeling and analysis of human behaviors, with the aim of achieving rapid, reliable detection of suspicious events warranting the attention of security personnel.

Sponsor: ActivEye, Inc.

286 Broadway
Pleasantville, NY 10570
  • Project Performance Period: 10/1/2003 - 9/30/2006
  • Total project (est.): $2,804,853.00
  • Requested ATP funds: $1,868,275.00

Fuse closed-circuit television (CCTV) with wireless sensing, then instill intelligence in the form of computer models of human behavior, and the massive challenge of securing airports, government buildings, and other critical facilities could be reduced to much more manageable proportions. ActivEye aims to refine and integrate the three stand-alone technologies into an automated surveillance system that is quick to detect suspicious activities and to alert security personnel to potential threats. The start-up company s approach would greatly ease the mind-numbing task of scrutinizing waves of video data for signs of unusual incidents within a sea of normal activity. It also would shield against evasive measures taken by would-be terrorists or other intruders. The proposed multi-sensor surveillance method will combine CCTV with radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors and intelligent computing modules capable of differentiating between normal and abnormal behavior. Given to authorized personnel and attached to luggage, equipment, or other items, RFID tags would be verified continuously, rather than intermittently at strategic checkpoints, as the technology is employed today. Computer models would classify each authorized person or permitted object in a monitored area and "learn" what is normal in terms of behavior and contents. Deviations from normal would be captured on video and then collated and presented, in real time, for review by security personnel. Highly unusual events perceived by the system would trigger an alarm immediately. To aid assessment of abnormal occurrences, ActivEye will develop search and retrieval tools for rapid compilation and presentation of relevant video clips. The company faces significant technical challenges, including integrating and developing efficient algorithms that enable accurate, reliable analysis of human behaviors in sometimes crowded environments. The envisioned system would significantly increase the productivity of security operations as well as the quality and utility of surveillance data. The initial application--a system for restricted areas of airports--could save millions of dollars by reducing the number of guards needed. Other potential uses include prison security, protection against retail theft, and monitoring nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for falls, erratic behavior, or other incidents requiring immediate staff attention. ATP funding for the three-year project will help ActivEye surmount significant technical hurdles, such as combining disparate sensor technologies and developing robust computer reasoning modules, which place the project beyond the time horizons of alternative funding sources.

For project information:
Carolyn C. Ramsey, (914) 882-8087

ATP Project Manager
Francis Barros, (301) 975-2617

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