iOmniscient on Shortlist for IFSEC Award 2013

Having won the top prize at the IFSEC Exhibition in the UK twice in less than a decade, iOmniscient is once again a finalist for the Best CCTV Technology of the Year* – this time for its new patented Automated Response System which is described in this newsletter. The winner will be announced on 13th May.
*not including cameras and lenses

See us atIFSEC, Birmingham (13th-16th May): Hall 4/ Booth i10.To set up meetings write to

Boston : Could better technology have helped?
It is with great sadness that we remember the victims of the tragic bombing during the recent Boston Marathon. And we pay tribute to the brave law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions involved.

Is there any technology that is available that would have made their job easier? Over the last two weeks many organizations have claimed that they could have provided such technology. Unfortunately they have not considered the fact that a marathon is a very crowded, uncontrolled environment. All the traditional motion based video analytics technology and even our own entry level products would be useless in such a situation because they would not cope with the crowds and would generate too many false alarms.

However our more advanced products are designed to cope with crowded and complex scenes. So the technology does exist for such situations – hence our slogan: SEE THROUGH THE CROWD.

iOmniscient’s patented IQ 140 system can detect a bag in a crowded scene even if has been significantly obscured by passersby. If the bags had been detected before the bombs went off, several lives might have been saved.

iOmniscient’s patented IQ Hawk Automated Surveillance system can automatically capture the face of the person who left the bag.
iOmniscient’s Face Recognition in a Crowd system could have matched the face with images held in the police data base and identified the culprits. It could also have tracked them as they attempted to move away in the crowd. Again this is not easy as most Face Recognition systems today cannot cope with low resolution images from crowded scenes. However iOmniscient’s “Face Recognition in a Crowd” system which requires only 22 pixels between the eyes and can simultaneously process the recognition of numerous faces with reasonable accuracy if both eyes are visible has been proven to always beat a human at this task.

The Automated Response system would have passed all the information to the smart phone of the nearest policeman.

Its unique Jump to Event capability would, at the press of a single button, take the policeman to the start of the event and show who brought the bag into the scene and how. This is important as it helps to quickly sift through alarms, eliminating what may be an innocent mother standing next to a pram while focussing on a potentially dangerous situation where a person has left a bag and walked away.

With the above technology the culprits could possibly have been identified in minutes and it is possible that the area could have been evacuated in time to avoid the tragedy.

What if there were no cameras around? The

cameras are the eyes and the software is the brain. Without cameras nothing would have been seen. However just having cameras with no intelligence would not have helped except after the event. And having the right type of cameras is important. Too often law enforcement agencies are hampered with “eyes” that cannot see well.

Are we sure we could have made a difference? There are no certainties with security. But the technology could certainly increase the probabilities in favour of the law enforcement team providing them with a powerful tool for beating those who are out to cause chaos and misery.

What price does society put on a human life? This is a political question rather than a technical one. Should such systems always be bought based on the lowest price or is it important that they can actually perform in the complex environment of a real city. To understand the level of sophistication of the technology that is available today visit

All the technologies that we have described have been implemented for many customers around the world. If you want to see all of them working together visit Singapore. We will be giving you more information on this in a future newsletter.
Automated Response
Automated Surveillance Action Platform (ASAP)

The focus over the past decade has been to develop systems that would raise alarms based on certain events that might be detected. From that moment on the action was manual. A human operator had to understand the alarm, the nearest available responder had to be found and dispatched to the incident and before that he had to be briefed on the incident. All this took time.

ASAP is an Automated Response system. When an event is detected, the system automatically locates the nearest available responder and sends him all the relevant information about the event.

For instance if there is an accident at a road junction the system will find the police vehicle or police officer that is closest to the accident site based on their GPS co-ordinates and provide it (or him/ her) with information on the location of the accident and a video clip showing what has happened. If the vehicle is on fire, the system will detect the smoke and automatically send similar information to the nearest fire station.

In situations where the system has been implemented it has reduced the response time from an average of 25 minutes to under 5 minutes. Such a breakthrough improvement in response time can be the difference between life and death for an accident victim. It can also significantly reduce the time that traffic is disrupted.

The ASAP system is a logical extension for iOmniscient’s Automated Surveillance Systems and it is tightly integrated with this. An effective Video Analytics system has to sit at the core of any Automated Response system. If the video analytics system is not robust and throws up too many false alarms, the response system cannot be automated.

Continuing to Lead in Crowded Scenes

When iOmniscient was founded it started off with a single unique product capability for Detecting Objects in Crowded Scenes. This capability was internationally patented and allowed iOmniscient systems to operate in situations where all other systems failed. The pictures below shows the difference between the type of scene that iOmniscient can operate in relative to other suppliers.

Object Detection as performed by Competitors

Object detection in a Crowded scene from iOmniscientís

iOmniscient is able to handle crowded and complex scenes because it does not use the standard motion based techniques used by other suppliers. The system can cope with the object being partially or totally obscured by passersby for up to 50% of the time. This product has an IQ rating of 140 and is classified as a genius product

And it has another special capability. Normally one does not wish to detect a bag that is put down for a few seconds since in locations such as airports and railways one would then catch too many bags as many people put their bags down temporarily. The detection time on the IQ 140 product can be adjusted to ignore all bags that are left for short period and to only detect a bag that has been left for a longer pre-determined period such as 5 or 10 minutes.

A higher level capability (IQ 180) can detect the bag even if it is invisible to the human eye.

And the system has a unique Jump to Event capability. One can click on any abandoned bag in the image and see when that bag was brought into the scene and by whom.

IQ 140 is useful in a number of applications beyond the detection of abandoned baggage. It can be used to detect graffiti, vandalism, illegally parked cars and theft. Its uniqueness is that it can do these things in crowded and complex scenes.

Since the success of that first product, the company has continued to focus on building applications for Crowded Scenes (eg Counting in Crowds, Face Recognition in Crowds, etc) – hence the tag line: SEE THROUGH THE CROWD. |