June 15, 2010, Updated September 24, 2012
Kaye Peleg

New computer software that generates a very short synopsis from video recorded over an extended period of time has been developed at Israel’s Hebrew University (HU).

The software facilitates quicker, more efficient use of surveillance videos. It preserves the essential activities of the original video and can summarize footage from a full day in a synopsis that is only a few minutes long.

Millions of surveillance cameras around the world monitor public and private areas 24/7. However, browsing and retrieving information from the cameras is so time-consuming that most recorded material is never watched or examined.

Even companies with enough manpower to review long segments of video can benefit from the new software, since studies indicate that the attention of human operators tends to wander after about 20 minutes when watching such videos.

Video synopsis separates between static background and moving objects (also called ‘events’). The short synopsis is made possible by simultaneously presenting multiple events that occur at different times. If necessary, users can revert to the original video for further examination.

Developed by HU’s Prof. Shmuel Peleg the software has been patented by Yissum, the university’s technology transfer company, and licensed to Israeli start-up BriefCam.

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