Visual surveillance specialists at Kingston have played a major role in devising an award-winning new intelligent surveillance system. Known as Tag and Track, the technology was developed with security companies Ipsotek and BAE Systems and enables a network of CCTV cameras to track people and objects continuously.
Earlier this year, Tag and Track was awarded the runner-up prize in the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism's Technology Demonstrator Two competition.
Last week, having won a regional heat, it took part in the Global Security Challenge worldwide finals – a competition aimed to identify new technologies and top innovations within the security sector that make airports, cities and enterprises safer. Although not being selected as an overall winner, this was a great achievement for all involved.
Enterprise Support and the School Of Computing And Information Systems have had a very successful relationship with Ipsotek. Tag and Track was initially developed by researchers led by Dr James Orwell at Kingston following on from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project which used the university's expertise in video analytics to improve its technology for counting crowds.
Dr Orwell said: "Tag and track allows security staff to rapidly carry out 'forensic analysis' of CCTV footage. Once they notice an incident has occurred they can tag the suspect by clicking on their image. The technology tracks his or her steps beforehand and finds out where a person moves to."
The system has been trialled at Manchester Airport and looks set to be installed at other sites in the next few years to help in the fight against terrorism and wider crime prevention. Other advantages include: enabling security operators to find missing children; locating passengers who delay flights by checking in bags but not appearing at the gate; and predicting bottlenecks at queuing points.
Andy Wright, director of technology acquisition at BAE Systems, said they had got involved with the project as it "enables us to work with excellent academic and business enterprises not only to accelerate the development of capability such as Tag and Track, but to build strong relationships and share valuable learning across organisations."
Andrew Eggington, Chief Finance Officer at Ipsotek said: "We are particularly pleased to be working closely with Kingston University, which has a well-known research team in digital imaging. Academics work in different ways to other consultants and often spark off valuable ideas because they're interested in pure research and tackle questions in an in-depth, detailed and rigorous way."