Examining DvTel's 3D HD Technology

By John Honovich, Published Oct 11, 2010, 08:00pm EDT

In October 2010, DvTel announced an upcoming technology that provides 3D HD analysis as a module for the DvTel VMS.

DvTel's 3D approach differs from traditional 3D use in video surveillance. The most common historical use has been to build immersive 'fly through' maps that allow monitoring large areas (see examples from Boeing VSOC [link no longer available], L3 Praetorian VideoFlashlight and Feeling Software's Omnipresence [link no longer available]). This software takes CAD drawings and aerial photography to create a 'life-like' 3D view of the area monitored. Cameras are then virtually embedded into the 3D view enhancing situational awareness over large areas (think cities, airports, military bases, etc.).

DvTel's 3D approach focuses on enhancing the monitoring of specific areas for both automated and real time monitor review. Rather than pre-build 3D images from maps and photography, DvTel plans to use multiple surveillance cameras (or stereoscopic cameras) to dynamically generate 3D views (traditional surveillance cameras will be required to be deployed in pairs). This will eliminate the need (and expense) of building 3D maps. It will also allow the system to understand the topology and positioning of objects in the scene (not possible with traditional 3D mapping).

DvTel suggests a few potential applications of the technology:

  • Improved analytics as the system can better understand, for example, which luggage is associated with which people
  • Improved tracking as the system can better understand where exactly people are and where they are headed
  • Improved PTZ handoff as the PTZ can more accurately pan, tilt and zoom on the subject being tracked

In addition to the automated applications, operators would be able to view the 3D scenes themselves to better view and understand a given scene. This would require specialized 3D monitors and 3D glasses.

DvTel 3D is not planned for commercial release until sometime in 2011 and, not surprisingly, neither pricing nor detailed product specifications are available. Our gut feel, based on very limited information is that automated applications will have the most practical value but the real time 3D viewing will provide more 'eye candy'.

Given the need for multiple cameras, processing and/or stereoscopic cameras, this will clearly will be an expensive option (thousands of dollars or more in additional costs per camera) best fit for high and maximum security facilities that have the budget and unmet security issues to justify the extra investment.

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