This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

July 13, 2005

Let the Robber Beware

Is your home or business protected against intruders by an alarm system? When the alarm is triggered, a signal is sent to a central monitoring station. An employee of the security company calls the police to respond. This scenario is played out thousands of times a day, dispatching patrol cars that rush to the scene. Fast response to false alarms is an unnecessary and costly risk, for which many communities are beginning to charge.

Now new technology developed by General Electric’s Security researchers can practically eliminate local law enforcement’s response to false alarms. Intelligent Video Verification is now available to dramatically enhance the value and effectiveness of alarm systems. Here’s how it works.

Small video cameras are installed in strategic places in the building that is protected by the alarm. When the alarm goes off, the cameras click into action, quietly searching the premises for the cause of the alarm. The intelligent technology uses movement, size, color, and shape to distinguish a harmless problem like a plant falling over from an intruder.. If the detected movement is not a human being, the motion is “painted” with a yellow border. If the system identifies one or more persons, the image is boxed in red. The image is viewed in real time by an employee at the central alarm monitoring station, who notifies the police.

While the Intelligent Video is recording the perpetrator, collecting evidence for prosecution, law enforcement officers are responding with the knowledge that there really is someone on the premises. Valuable information can be provided to the officers, so they know what they will find upon arrival. What’s next? The technology to transmit the images directly to screens in the patrol car so responding officers can see who they are looking for and where they should look.

For privacy purposes, the cameras are only activated when the alarm is triggered. They can not be turned on outside. Initial introduction of this technology will be in Europe, probably in early 2006. Intelligent Video Verification will reduce police workload, so governments can better manage their law enforcement workforce and other resources.


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