IBM system to scan streets at Beijing Olympics, NYC

Beijing is deploying IBM's S3 video surveillance system to combat terrorism at the 2008 Olympic Games.

When the 2008 Olympic Games kick off in Beijing next year, organizers will be using a sophisticated computer system to scan video images of city streets looking for everything from troublemakers to terrorists.

The IBM system, called the Smart Surveillance System, or S3, uses analytic tools to index digital video recordings and then issue real-time alerts when certain patterns are detected. It can be used to warn security guards when someone has entered a secure area or keep track of cars coming in and out of a parking lot.

Beijing's S3 network is already being rolled out and is expected to be operational by the time the Games begin in August 2008, said Julie Donahue, vice president of security and privacy services with IBM.

Terrorists have used the Olympic spotlight to grab international attention for their causes, and at next year's event terrorism will be the top security concern, Beijing officials have said.

That means that IBM's S3 system could end up being tested in a very public fashion.

"I was at the Kennedy School (of Government at Harvard University) a couple of weeks ago, and some guy got up and said, "If there's a security incident at the Beijing Olympics, it's going to change the course of capitalism forever," and I'm like, 'Oh man!'" Donahue said.

IBM is also developing a similar surveillance system for lower Manhattan, but has not yet begun deploying that project, she added.

Just one year ago, the S3 system was little more than a research project at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, but in the past year the company's service group has been working hard to develop it into a profitable line of business, selling it to retail and banking customers such as Italy's UniCredit bank.

IBM is also integrating the S3 system into the city of Chicago's existing surveillance infrastructure, as part of the city's Operation Virtual Shield emergency response project.

This ability to weave S3 into an existing network and video surveillance infrastructure is an important selling point for the product, Donahue said. "It's expensive to get that video infrastructure in place just for even basic analog cameras," she said. "So what we do is, we can hook in your analog cameras and reuse that infrastructure, put in IP-based cameras and then architect it so that we can do the right level of analytics."

"Physical security and IT security are stating to come together," she said. "A lot of the guys I'm meeting on the IT side are just starting to get involved on the physical side."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?