VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing image processing technology that will improve surveillance of abandoned luggage in public places.
Numerous CCTV systems are in use in public places which have the capacity to gather large amounts of image material. For the time being, however, there are no effective ways to analyse the mass of video data automatically and recognise potential risk situations in advance. VTT is involved in an EU research project aimed at developing IT solutions to this end.
A risk may be posed, for example, by luggage left in a public place which may contain explosives or other dangerous substances. Terror attacks based on this tactic have already claimed many civilian lives. Luggage surveillance is particularly important at airports, railway stations, trade fairs, and public spaces in nationally significant infrastructure.
The aim of the SUBITO project, which is funded by the European Commission, is to improve image analysis technology in existing CCTV systems. With the help of an application developed as part of the project, cameras recognise abandoned luggage automatically and rapidly identify, locate and track the person who left it there.
The new application has significant commercial potential, since it can be used to exploit image material before any incident takes place.