Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/08/dhs_vid_quilt/
DHS deploys HD 'video quilting' chandeliers in Boston
'You can zoom in close... AND CLOSER'
The Department of Homeland Security, gigantic government security octopus of the USA, has announced plans to wrap Americans in a huge "high resolution video quilt".
The DHS vid-quilt tech is called the Imaging System for Immersive Surveillance (ISIS), and uses a "discreet, chandelier-like frame — no bigger than a basketball" holding an array of HD cameras pointing in all directions with their images seamlessly "stitched" together to form a single mighty goldfish bowl style image.
This allows CCTV operators to follow people easily back and forth in time through the vid-quilt files without losing them as they pass from one camera's field to another. Also it avoids a traditional hazard of wide-view cameras - as for example using a fisheye lens - in that the imagery doesn't deteriorate at the edges.
According to a statement released yesterday by the DHS Science & Technology Directorate:
You can zoom in close... and closer... without losing clarity.
The stitching together of several images isn’t exactly cutting-edge magic. For years, creative photographers have used low-cost stitching software to create breathtaking high-res images. But those are still images, created days or weeks after a scene was shot.
ISIS is quilting video — in real time! And a unique interface allows you to maintain the full field of view, while a focal point of your choice can be magnified.
The system is said to be as detailed "as 50 full-HDTV movies playing at once, with optical detail to spare": or around 50 wrists, in Reg units.
It seems that a pilot vid-quilt chandelier basketball goldfish bowl has been enwrapping the citizenry passing through Boston's Logan International Airport since December.
"We've seen that terrorists are determined to do us harm, and ISIS is a great example of one way we can improve our security by leveraging our strengths," enthuses DHS Q-Branch boffin Dr John Fortune. ®