Feeds

DARPA says surveillance vid-search tool is ready for use

To roll out across 'multiple military programmes'

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

US military warboffins claim that they have found one of the internet's holiest grails – that of true, tagless searchable-video technology.

For most of us, searching a video archive is a chancy matter. The perfect piece of footage we want to see may well be in there, but the only chance of finding it is usually that a person has already seen it and attached suitable text for a search engine to index and find for us.

This is a particularly major snag for the US military and intelligence communities, whose fleets of drone aircraft, aerostat balloons, satellites etc produce a flood of full-motion surveillance video which is usually seen once by a human being at best – often not at all – before pouring away into the secret archives.

Hence the war-boffins of DARPA naturally sought to develop wonder-software which could work with the actual video itself and highlight "specific events or activities at specific locations or over a range of locations" or carry out "fast, content-based searches of existing video archives".

As with most DARPA projects, chances of success seemed slim; most of the agency's efforts achieve no success (or unexpected successes largely irrelevant to the original goal), as DARPA is specifically tasked with high-risk research.

However the Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool (VIRAT) effort seems to have actually worked – at least to some degree, anyway. We learn from a mandatory federal contract announcement issued yesterday that success is within reach and that VIRAT will now be deployed into various operational military-intelligence video archives and systems:

This sole source contract is for the integration of software code into multiple programs of record for full motion video (FMV) exploitation for the Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool (VIRAT). This third phase of the VIRAT program will demonstrate rapid refinement of query results and the capability to accommodate complex searches that include multiple, dynamic events within a single query ...

The job will be done by US defence megacorp Lockheed for an unspecified sum.

Just how well VIRAT actually works probably won't become public knowledge anytime soon: but the mere knowledge that it exists and works to a useful degree will no doubt cause some excitement at the major search providers.

Just as DARPA gave birth to the internet and thus to Google's original business model, so it seems that the military boffins may in time build the search colossus – or its rivals – a new one. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.