Smart CCTV monitors the masses from one PC
By Nick Booth: Friday, 01 February 2008, 11:55 AM
NO DOUBT IT meant well, but Hitachi has created a monster that could wipe out whatever’s left of our civil liberties.
Its Tokyo-based boffins have created a powerful mass monitoring tool that can be used for good or evil purposes.
They haven't given in a name yet, so lets call it the Orwellian Solution.
It could, apparently, be used to enable a single attendant to monitor an airport and safeguard our security. Or – if you live in camera-crazy Britain - it could be used to tax motorists 100 quid a time for petty offences.
The boffins managed to edit the bandwidth needs of the system, so that hundreds of cameras can be watched by single attendant. Since only the four most important camera feeds – the old lady parked on the yellow line and the 12-year old cycling on the pavement - are sent in high resolution, while the data feeds from the other scenes – featuring, say, the wild-eyed fundamentalist from the easily-offended community issuing death threats - are low priority and low res .
So a set of 100 cameras feed transmissions would eat up just 70 megabits per second, that’s 10 per cent of the normal load.
This means there’s no need for special hardware and the civil liberty busting system can be built for peanuts.
Hitachi plans to sell this system later this year to security companies and financial institutions. It didn't state how many pairs of eyes the jobsworth monitoring all the feeds will have to have.
They want to phone up Kingston Council, they’d snap it up. µ
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