Thought those of you who are involved in commercial/ industrial/ gov't side of things may be interested...

IBM enters video surveillance software market Tue Nov 7, 2006 12:01 AM ET

BOSTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - IBM said on Tuesday it has started selling security software that analyzes data from video surveillance cameras in real time, generating instant alerts of potential security breeches.

The new product, dubbed Smart Surveillance System or S3, can transmit information collected by digital video cameras over computer networks, allowing it to be monitored remotely.

The software automatically combs through those feeds, cross referencing and analyzing the digital information. It issues alarms when it identifies suspicious activity.

In addition to video, the software can integrate information from audio feeds, radar systems and chemical detection units as it analyzes the data.

International Business Machines Corp. will be competing with similar products from companies including Nice Systems Ltd. , Tyco International Ltd.'s ADT Security Services and Verint Systems Inc. , said Joseph LaRocca, vice president of loss prevention for the National Retail Federation. Other providers include privately held IntelliVid Corp. and Westec InterActive, he said.

LaRocca said he had seen a limited demonstration of S3 and did not get a close enough look to to evaluate how it compares to rival products.

Intelligent video analysis systems have come of age over the past few years and are now deployed in supermarkets, department stores, pharmacy chains and other types of retail outlets, LaRocca said.

Those systems can identify questionable situations such as when large quantities of merchandise are removed from store shelves. They can also identify a cashier who is ringing up a large order when there is no customer at the checkout booth, or a clerk who unlocks a jewelry case, then walks away, he said.

IDC analyst Allan Carey, who was briefed on S3, said that demand for such software is growing as companies and government agencies buy digital video systems to replace aging black-and-white, analog surveillance equipment.

"The business benefits make a lot of sense," Carey said.

IBM said that S3's target market includes retail outlets, banks, airports, freight terminals and mass transit systems. It is also being sold to public security agencies and other government departments.

IBM said it plans to sell S3 in combination with other types of software, security consulting services, systems integration work and computer hardware.

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It will be interesting to see if it is their own stuff or something they bought or licensed from another vendor. "J.>"

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