ThinkSmart V1, Using Blackfin In Delivering Intelligent Video Security & Surveillance
In an effort to improve the effectiveness of video surveillance, reduce the workload of guards, and deter crime, many public agencies and businesses are now looking to update their existing security systems. Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS) is an emerging technology that allows users to easily monitor and secure areas with security cameras while decreasing labor costs and increasing productivity.
Nanjing Topsky Technology Co. Ltd. (Topsky) of China, in cooperation with the University of Hong Kong, has developed a state-of-the-art intelligent video surveillance device called ThinkSmart that makes detecting threats or unwanted visitors both simple and effective. At the heart of ThinkSmart is ADI's Blackfin BF561. Blackfin 561's unique dual core design enables ThinkSmart to run image processing and system control tasks on separate cores in order to achieve the best overall performance.
Video Surveillance Gets Smart
The ThinkSmart V1 is an intelligent, independent video analytics device that works by monitoring live video data, detecting, tracking and classifying objects, analyzing behavior, and sending alerts in real time. These alerts send immediate notification when there is a threat, or when unusual activity or specific behaviors are detected. It works continuously in all kinds of environments and in the presence of diverse kinds of interference. It is easy to install and works seamlessly with existing security and surveillance systems. It can also be integrated into other devices, such as DVRs.
IMS Research forecasts that the Video Analytics market will explode over the next five years, growing from $67.7 million in 2004 to $839.2 million in 2009, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 65.5%.
Patented algorithms examine each pixel of video and identify all pixel changes. If many pixels are changing in one area, the software considers this to be motion. Depending on pre-determined policies and alerts, the detection of movement or changes in live and recorded video will trigger a diverse alarm interface to relay a buzzer or voice alarm, email or SMS message, on-screen alert, or other action to alert the proper authorities.
ThinkSmart V1's advanced video motion detection function can detect multiple moving objects precisely in all kinds of environments, both indoors and outdoors, and even in low light situations, 24/7. It can also determine the speed, direction and size of objects. For example, ThinkSmart VI can be used to count the number of people moving in and out of a building, analyze action and determine abnormal behavior, or seek congested and vacant areas to help with crowd control. It can also be used in general traffic applications to determine car statistics, excessive speeds, illegal parking, etc.
The algorithms are also customizable to meet special security requirements. For example, ThinkSmart VI can protect museum collections by detecting when an object is lost, has shifted placement, or has acted against defined surveillance rules, such as forbidden zones, tripwires, etc. It can monitor when an object stays in an area for some time, which is particularly important at airports, railway and subway stations to locate potential terrorist devices. It is also useful for fire and smoke detection. Because the product can detect numerous possible threats, fewer personnel are needed to view video, which in turn decreases labor costs and increases productivity.
Dual Core Design, Real Time processing
ThinkSmart V1 uses numerous, patented image processing algorithms to do real-time intelligent video surveillance, so signal processing performance was the key criteria for Topsky when choosing a processor solution. The company was also looking for an advanced DSP technology that could support diverse peripheral devices, and provide advanced software development tools.
Already having development experience with ADI's DSPs, Topsky decided upon ADI's BF561. The BF561 offered a better price/performance ratio than competing DSPs, and more important was its unique dual core design, which enabled Topsky to partition image processing tasks in a separate computing domain from system control tasks in order to achieve the most stable real-time performance.
The BF561's PPI is used to transfer video in and out of peripheral devices. And an asynchronous memory interface is used to connect Flash and LAN or RS232, which allows users to configure the IVS and retrieve objects and event lists.
What the Future Holds
With the help of ADI and Blackfin, Topsky fully intends to become the leading technology company in the intelligent video surveillance field. Already, Topsky is developing additional algorithms that will be able to detect human faces from video surveillance taken at ATM machines, video door phones, etc., as part of the company's next generation of IVS products.
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