Subscriber Discussion

Want To See The CSI Effect Plus Serious Paranoia At Work?

John Lowry
Jun 20, 2013

NPR has an article about surveillance cameras in public places being used by the police.

Take a look at the comments on either the article page or the Facebook posting, and you can get a good taste of some of the paranoia that "big government is watching and tracking all you do."

I blame a lot of this on Hollywood and the CSI Effect. But not all of it can be laid at their feet; far too many manufacturers claim to be able to do things that aren't even possible. The things that are possible usually require very controlled conditions; and are not nearly as prevalent as Hollywood thinks nor as prevalent as some manufacturers would have everyone believe.

NPR's article doesn't help in this realm either making it sound like software that read and records license plates, tracks car color, and speed are common place. And face tracking/matching software is easily available and highly accurate.

Based on my experience and observations, on a whole for the surveillance industry, I would say that a small percentage of video...

  • Is deployed with PTZ cameras.
  • Is watched live.
  • Has any analytics running on it.
  • Is being stored long enough to search more than 6 months back.

Would you disagree? Or add any other bullets to that list?

John Honovich
Jun 20, 2013

John, thanks for sharing. That article is particularly ironic. My favorite section:

"[3VR] offers facial recognition, license plate readers and object-based searches. Elk Grove doesn't use all of these services yet, but it could add new ones at any time."

And then the reporter goes on to talk all about the things 3VR can do, but evidently the user at the heart of this article does not use.

I blame the manufacturer and the main stream press for this nonsense. It would be one thing if Elk Grove actually used 3VR advanced technologies to do something practical but the story is held together by an incredibly weak link.

Btw, 3VR is a master of this.

John Honovich
Jun 20, 2013

Also, see integrator's top complaints about end users - the CSI effect made the list.

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