Feeds

China funds devs to write smog-clearing vidcam code

Air pollution and the surveillance state just don't mix

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Chinese government has been forced to ask digital experts to solve a particularly trying problem: how to adapt surveillance camera technology to see through the cripplingly thick smog that regularly blankets urban areas in the middle kingdom.

The National Natural Science Foundation of China has funded two teams of boffins with the aim of finding a solution within four years, according to the South China Morning Post.

Kong Zilong, a senior project engineer with Shenzhen Yichengan Technology, told the Hong Kong-based paper that if visibility is reduced to three metres, as it was in the city of Harbin last month, even top end cameras couldn’t see beyond 10 metres.

Smog particles are apparently so thick that, unlike regular fog or smoke, they can even block infrared imaging.

Yang Aipang, a digital imaging boffin with the School of Electronic Information Engineering in Tianjin University, said that much work needs to be done.

“We need to heavily revise, if not completely rewrite, algorithms in some mathematical models. We also need to do lots of computer simulation and extensive field tests,” she told SCMP.

Given the Communist Party’s paranoia about the maintenance of social harmony and order, and the recent wake-up call that was the Tiananmen Square car bomb attack, the pressure will no doubt be coming right from the top to find a solution.

However, the likelihood of a terror attack being launched in Beijing or elsewhere on a particularly smoggy day is pretty low, given that the terrorists would probably have trouble seeing where they were going too.

China is entering its worst season for smog, thanks to winter days bringing on an increase in the use of domestic coal fired burners. Cold-but-still weather conditions mean more days like that seen in Harbin – which shut the entire city down – are more than likely. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.