It’s easier to keep an eye on one big picture than 1,000 little ones.
That’s the premise behind AWARE, an automated warning and response engine developed by New Jersey’s Abeo Technical Solutions. The company’s approach to large-scale surveillance was born out of research by the Department of Homeland Security and Florida State University that found, not surprisingly, that two or three security guards couldn’t adequately monitor 500 camera feeds.
“Human vigilance only has so much elasticity,” said Bob Allen, head of business development at Abeo. “We watch cameras for camera watchers at the speed of electrons.”
AWARE software gives security professionals a look at an entire property and the location of each camera on the grounds. The system takes into account a client’s internal policies. It becomes accustomed to regularly occurring activities and sends alerts to appropriate parties when something out of the ordinary occurs.
Activities are tracked on an image that can be viewed in different formats, including as a Google Earth map or 3-D computer-aided design. Threats appear as icons that change colors as potentially dangerous activities are captured by sensors and cameras. For example, an orange icon will pop up on the screen if someone walks the wrong way through a door at the airport. If that person drops a bag off and then leaves through the same door, the icon turns red, signifying a greater threat. The system’s operator can watch a live feed from the camera nearest the activity without abandoning the overall picture of the airport grounds.