Surveillance Company Increasing U.S. Footprint

By Yasmin Tadjdeh

As threats from terrorist organizations continue in the homeland and around the globe, one company believes that sales of surveillance equipment to help thwart potential attacks will flourish. 

“It’s a growing market,” said Mark Patrick, chief technology officer at Digital Barriers, a surveillance and security company based in the United Kingdom. 

The company — which works with countries around the world — expanded its footprint in the United States after it purchased a Virginia-based company called Brimtek earlier this year, he said.

“We see significant expansion within the U.S. market,” he said. The acquisition has “allowed us to service a much more increased demand.”

Much of the company’s technology can be used to counter asymmetric threats posed by lone wolf attackers or plots concocted by terror group cells, Patrick said.

“What we’re able to do is give an early warning and allow the appropriate response for that,” he said. “We’re also able to provide surveillance technology that allows our security teams here and abroad to be able to perform more effective surveillance on what unfortunately is a growing number of people that you need to watch.”

The company offers a wide range of technologies, including a camera that can tell if someone in an airport or train station is carrying items such as guns, money, drugs or powders, he said. The system — called ThruVis — can see through layers of clothes but can’t see anatomical details of a person. It can be used as a complementary system to the scanners often found at airports around the world, he said.

The system can also be combined with the company’s face recognition software, he said. Users can create a list of certain people who the system should flag if they enter a building, he said. It can collect this information from “non-compliant” sources, he added.

When someone goes to a passport gate, they “stand very compliant to get the lighting perfect, to get the camera angle perfect,” he said. However, Digital Barrier’s software can collect information from subjects as they are moving and with imperfect poses, he said.

One trend the company sees is the need for more affordable management of various video data streams, Patrick said.

“What we’re seeing more and more with defense and law enforcement and the general security world is there is just more and more video being collected at all times,” he said. 

However, the bandwidth needed to move all that data is not increasing fast enough, he said.

Digital Barriers offers its EdgeVis Live system to make use of low bandwidths. Instead of streaming video at 500 kilobytes or 1 megabyte a second, the company can send secure video anywhere using as little as 9 kilobytes a second, he said. 

Users are then able to pinpoint certain video streams and enhance the quality into a high-definition picture, he said. “This allows you to make video useful regardless of that bandwidth.”

Topics: Global Defense Market, Intelligence and Surveillance, International

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