Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
EE Times-India > Optoelectronics/Displays

Imec takes video surveillance to the next level

Posted: 07 Feb 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Imec  video surveillance  HD  hyperspectral  stereoscopic imaging 

The latest surveillance cameras are no longer installed in a "record just-in-case then delete" scheme. In fact they are already adding a sizable volume of big data to the cloud. With Imec's recent announcement that it now supplies hyperspectral imaging sensor technology to strategic partners for its deployment into commercial camera solutions including for global security markets, this capability will blend-in with the latest surveillance trends such as HD resolution and to some extent, stereoscopic vision.

Of course, hyperspectral imaging is amazingly efficient at discriminating materials for sorting products, at identifying substances to check the freshness of foodstuff or to detect hazardous or illicit ones in airports. Implementing this technology into industrial machine vision or medical imaging can bring huge benefits to society. Medical applications are plentiful, from skin and tissue analysis for cancer detection to blood vessel imaging, or bacteria detection based on characteristic spectra.

Because until now they were quite costly and bulky, hyperspectral imaging systems were mostly used in high-end remote sensing instruments such as satellites and airborne systems (for precision agriculture to assess crop quality or to identify different types of lands, contamination etc..). But Imec's breakthrough using narrow-band spectral filters at pixel level, applied through semiconductor thin-film processing, means that compact hyperspectral image sensors could be mass produced at low cost. This is a boon for camera vendors as it opens up new markets.

Yet, where will this drive surveillance?

How about performing real-time video analytics on your health status, churning data out of your skin's spectral signature and combining this with crowd control tactics or even discriminating video geofencing?

How about food and beverage vending machines spotting your blood-sugar level and making decisions (delivering a service or reversing to an "out of order" status) or reporting to insurance companies based on unstated health policies?

Not anything you would notice from looking back at that seemingly innocuous lens.

How much surveillance data is enough? The answer by authoritarian regimes is definitely "as much as technologically feasible." It does not differ much from what large commercial companies would want when scrutinizing their customers, except sometimes they get blamed for their lack of transparency. And since it's "for your own good," why would you blame your government for being even more hungry for such data?

The worldwide market for video surveillance equipment is expected to expand by more than 12 percent this year, according to market research firm IHS Technology, and any new feature that can help manufacturers differentiate from competition is good enough.

- Julien Happich
  EE Times Europe

Comment on "Imec takes video surveillance to the..."
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top