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Dr Henry Detmold (email)
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Snap Network Surveillance Pty Ltd
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Surveillance software solves security snag

Monday, 14 September 2009

Sophisticated network surveillance technology developed at the University of Adelaide will help solve a security dilemma currently facing airports, casinos, CBDs, shopping malls and large sporting and entertainment venues around the world.

New software will automatically integrate data from thousands of security cameras in a video surveillance network into a single sensor, eliminating existing problems with huge information overloads.

Developed at the University's Australian Centre for Visual Technologies (ACVT), the software is being commercialised by Snap Network Video Surveillance Pty Ltd., a University spin-out company funded with a major investment from the Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF).

Dr Henry Detmold, Snap's Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, says this patented technology will provide significant benefits to large-scale surveillance applications in Australia and internationally.

"Security personnel at these sites are struggling against a huge information overload, trying to spot events in video walls displaying hundreds or thousands of cameras and trying to follow the action as it moves from camera to camera.

"The new technology acts as a force multiplier, saving security companies time, resources and money as well as boosting the chances of security staff spotting potentially harmful events. Having found events of interest, staff can then perform virtual walkthroughs to investigate without risking their personal safety," Dr Detmold says.

"Network security monitoring is currently limited by the inability of operators to recall the relationships between more than about 40 cameras in a network.

"Snap automatically finds the relationships between all the cameras in a network. This allows a single operator to follow people throughout the whole network, in real time, and is scalable to many thousands of cameras."

ACVT Director and Snap co-founder Professor Anton van den Hengel says the technology has applications across the full spectrum of large-scale video surveillance, including airports and the 2012 London Olympics.

Snap will receive equity funding of $500,000 from the Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund (TTCF), a $30 million venture collaboration of South Australia's three public universities, Monash University in Victoria and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, with capital funding from the WA-based industry superannuation fund Westscheme.

"Snap is the first South Australian spinout company to receive equity funding from TTCF," says Roger Coats, the South Australian based investment manager for the TTCF, which is headquartered in Melbourne.

The South Australian universities' participation in the TTCF is facilitated by the South Australian Government, which contributes support for the fund's operating costs. The Governments of Victoria and New Zealand likewise provide financial support for operating costs.

Adelaide Research & Innovation Managing Director Robert Chalmers says the video surveillance software is an "exciting development for the University of Adelaide, reinforcing its reputation as a hub of world-class research and innovation".

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