JANE'S AIRPORT REVIEW - Video analytics platform enables proactive security

A UK firm has developed a tool that aims to go beyond post-event analysis

The November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and the Brussels bombings in March 2016 underline the need for sophisticated systems to monitor public infrastructure.
Demand for video analytics at airports is high and the market is competitive, but UK-based Ipsotek claims to offer a unique approach that enables security agencies to act in a timelier fashion.
"Our focus is in transportation and other critical infrastructures and facilities, and within those broader verticals our concentration is mainly on airports," CEO Bill Flind told IHS Jane's . To date, he added, Ipsotek has secured 22 large airports as customers, and the company is lining up six more to follow by the end of 2016.

"We process and analyse considerably more data in the live CCTV streams, and then by applying scenario-based rules that are strengthened with Boolean logic and cognitive analysis, we are capable of delivering real-time solutions into complex crowded environments."

The Ipsotek Tag and Track system can track multiple individuals inside a multicamera network in real time, or can be used retrospectively to understand the movements of a 'tracked' individual in forensic investigations. Tagging can be performed manually by operators, or automatically when certain conditions are met (such as an intrusion into a secure area, back-tracking through a gate, or a facial recognition watchlist alert).
Tag and Track gathers all relevant metadata in the background, and can then use that data to inform security officials where a target came from and the precise path that was taken. This provides immediate situational awareness that is especially useful if multiple targets are identified, as it can be seen where they came from, how they interacted, and where they subsequently went.
The system provides an immediate overview of the 'live' situation as it unfolds - and gives security response teams the chance to intervene and avert a potential incident.

This marks a step-change in the use of CCTV surveillance, which until this point has been utilised mainly for post-event forensic analysis. "I think the reason that airports and other critical facilities are interested in Tag and Track is because of that desire for a level of situation awareness that could be used to avert a catastrophic incident, rather than just a post-event examination of the evidence of what happened," Flind said.
The future for Tag and Track is in deeper integration with facial recognition systems and other data inputs (via WiFi and Bluetooth or boarding card scanners, for instance). Detection of different data sources removes a dependency on video, enabling a more complete security picture to be developed.

Operational benefits are also possible. A CCTV feed could be blended with boarding card scanner data. A particular passenger who has not yet checked in, is sitting in a particular café having a cup of coffee, would be detected and airport staff alerted to find him. "You will know where every passenger is every second of the day," Flind said.
He explained how Ipsotek is deploying facial recognition technology at an unnamed airport. Key data from every face is recorded, along with location and time data, and links to the relevant normal CCTV footage for forensic analysis.

"We are successfully capturing most faces that enter or pass through the airport, and that data is being constantly gathered," Flind said. This allows a situation where the relevant stakeholder can say, 'We have just become aware of this particular person who is perceived as a threat, and we want to know if they have been in the airport and when that was, where they went, who with, and what were they doing'."
The image of the person is scanned into the system, which then searches through all the faces that have been seen in the airport, finding any matches, and then displays the instances of those matches with the face shots and overview video (before and after their face was captured), along with the time stamps and location data.
Flind claims that this fusion approach helps to solve a universal problem. It has often been the case that, after a terrorist attack, security services will say that they were aware of the culprits before they acted, so it is useful to be able to test an environment such as an airport to see whether or not that suspect has already visited, and if so, when and where, and who they were with.




IFSEC, London 2018


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