B.M., known as "Big Blue", announced last month that it would offer a new package of consulting and system-design services for digital network-based video surveillance systems. I.B.M. wants retail stores, corporations and government agencies to abandon older analog videotape systems and move the management of these surveillance operations to corporate information technology departments. Unlike videotape systems, digital images stored on DVD's or CD's can be indexed and searched easily. Using digital video, investigators can, for instance, nearly instantly retrieve images of every person who passed through a door on a certain day.
Digital video's other feature is that its images can be quickly transmitted over networks. Police officers responding to a robbery can view surveillance images in their squad cars. And digital video systems can be used in conjunction with other corporate security systems, like badge readers and alarms. With criminal databases and pattern-matching algorithms, new digital equipment can analyze activity caught on camera, even as it is taking place, and can detect the presence of weapons.
Now Digital, Spy Camera Technology Widens Gaze New York Times, April 21, 2003
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