Smart CCTV uses Facebook-esque 'tagging', follows people

Eerie surveillance equipment developed by scientists that can ‘tag’ and track people over CCTV has beaten big name tech firms to a security prize.

London’s Kingston University has landed an award as ‘CCTV system of the year’ for the surveillance software which is able to pinpoint suspicious people and monitor them over a whole network of cameras.

As soon as operators notice something they consider suspicious, they can ‘tag’ an individual by clicking on their image, like in Facebook, allowing the computer to search through its systems to find out past movements, and even predict what the individual will do next.

So far, so ‘Big Brother’, then.  But the lead computer scientist on the project, one Dr James Orwell, believes it could really help policing.

With the automated tracking, named Tag and Track, police could drastically improve efficiency in poring over CCTV footage, making it even easier to keep tabs on the populace.

The surveillance software developed with Orwell’s team managed to fight off competition from Samsung and Panasonic at the annual International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference (IFSEC) to take the top prize.

Tag and Track could be useful in finding missing kids, locating flight passengers who check in bags but don’t show up at the gate, or even predicting bottlenecks at queuing points before they even happen.

Whether this list will also include the monitoring of a futuristic dystopian society in order to break the will of those who oppose it was not noted by the university.