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Taiwan unveils new visual surveillance technologies

Taiwan unveils new visual surveillance technologies

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese researchers working under a government-sponsored research project unveiled on Friday new visual surveillance technologies that they said can identify illegal acts while still protecting individuals' privacy.
Tsai Wen-hsiang, a professor at National Chiao Tung University, demonstrated a technology that can make human movements in designated areas disappear from surveillance footage to avoid privacy infringements.
"Security cameras are everywhere now. For example, it will be a privacy concern if these cameras happen to shoot someone's window and someone in the window happens to be doing something private, " he said at a press briefing.
The technology can erase human activity in windows and other places from the footage, but "authorized people, such as the police, can access these hidden sections by using a password, " the professor said.
Tsai's technology can also put authentication codes in the footage to indicate altered areas if any exist.
The professor said the technology is particularly timely given the rising prominence of visual surveillance throughout the world in response to high-profile attacks.
"The world has attached great importance to the development of visual surveillance following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the London subway bombing, hotel attacks in India and others, " Tsai said.
This and other technologies introduced at Friday's press briefing were the latest results of an ongoing government project led by Tsai aimed at building an intelligent monitoring environment based on computer vision.
A total of 150 technologies have been launched under the project in the past seven years.
More than 60 of the 150 technologies have been transferred to some 40 local companies, and the transfers have led the private sector to invest NT$300 million (US$9.4 million) in the industry, according to Tsai.
The project is designed to help local companies obtain a leading position in the security surveillance industry and further explore overseas business opportunities, the professor said.
Among other systems displayed at Friday's press briefing included one that can detect banned behavior in public places.
"This system can analyze hand and facial movements, such as smoking, drinking or making cell phone calls. It can automatically identify such behavior, which may not be allowed in some public places, " said National Taiwan Ocean University professor Hsieh Jun-wei.
After detecting "unusual behavior, " the system will immediately send out an alert, which Hsieh believes will reduce the need for a large deployment of manpower.
Mark Liao, a research fellow with Taiwan's top academic research institute Academia Sinica, introduced another technology that can count the number of visitors to places, such as movie theaters, without showing a full image of all visitors.
The technology can also be used to monitor the elderly at home in case they fall to the floor accidentally, Liao noted.
(By Alex Jiang)




Updated : 2021-06-19 16:45 GMT+08:00