Summary of Surveillance Technology
Yi Li's Research
Yi Li's Research Among the growing number of surveillance sites on the web,
there are many sites that are beginning to emerge that have a strictly research
orientation. Yi Li at the University of Washington has produced several sites
reporting the results of a new Content Based image Retrieval. This new technology
allows surveillance cameras to think for themselves and determine what they
are looking at. Through complex computer algorithms, the images captured by
the camera are analyzed by the computer and the content can be identified in
numerous ways. This technology could allow surveillance cameras to tell the
year, make and model of every vehicle driving down the freeway. It also allows
surveillance cameras to determine the difference between a person and an animal
or between a tree and a boat. With smarter cameras, less time and man power
is necessary to keep track of surveillance monitors. Every time a noteworthy
event takes place, the human monitor can be simply notified and replay the tape
of the suspicious or desired event caught on tape. A more elaborate explanation
of how this technology works can be found in the report written by Li,
Bilmes, and Shapiro.
Many companies are scrambling to provide the latest technology in Web Surveillance.
Similar to the concept of a web cam, companies like Easy
are trying to find ways to allow employers or curious citizens to
plant surveillance cameras around their environment and monitor them from home
at their PC or while mobile via a wireless palm or pocket PC. This technology
would allow employers to monitor their employees at any time to keep track of
their productivity and make sure everyone remains on task. Some people like
the crew at Gai Security
view this new "job security" as a step in the wrong direction and
have turned to the web to examine the implications of constant monitoring at
work. However, this service is also being presented as a way for average citizens
to make themselves feel safer at home and abroad. By planting surveillance cameras
at home, an individual could keep watch over the house or the kids while at
work or on a quick trip to the store. It has also been suggested that this technology
could play a critical role in the war on terror by allowing more citizens to
watch out for their environments and report and track suspicious characters.
Cell Phone Surveillance
In the previous decade many have suggested that the world will become a place
devoid of privacy where "Big Brother" is constantly watching. However, some
new theories are beginning to emerge that present a different approach. Dr.
Donovan of Realnetworks is suggesting that we should be more concerned about
Little Bother and the innumerable surveillance cameras that will be lurking
in everyone's pocket in as little as two years. These Surveillance cameras will
be able to stream and download live videos and will hit the market summer 2004.
Already these Surveillance Cameras have caused trouble in exams and locker rooms
across the country. The development of this technology holds promising possibilities
as it may allow citizens to record life and perhaps catch a criminal by recording
a crime. However, it also causes many to question how all these little cameras
may contribute to further invasions of privacy and the full implications of
constantly being surveyed.