Coming soon: ‘Smart Fence’ that recognizes threatening footsteps!

Friday, February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - A new sensor system modelled after the human brain can help make security smarter by being able to distinguish between potential threats and normal disturbances.

The system, called ‘Smart Fence’, consists of small, low-powered devices that can be placed in the ground or attached to a fence, sending an alert wirelessly to a command centre under certain conditions, such as an attempt to climb the fence, reports Discovery News.

Each one has seismic sensors programmed to recognize types of movements, including footsteps.

“We’ve been commissioned by the TSA and the Navy to develop these technologies for areas where a camera can’t be installed,” said Alireza Dibazar, a research professor at University of Southern California’s Biomedical Engineering Department who is leading the project.

“We are trying to make it like how a human brain functions and performs,” she added.

Unlike optical vibration-based system, the USC devices are battery-powered and go only into full-power mode when they detect unauthorized movement.

The team has tested ‘Smart Fence’ devices at high schools and several small airports around Los Angeles, and did a successful large-scale demonstration at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

Now, the researchers are looking for a company that can commercialise the technology.

According to Robert Josefek, an adjunct professor at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Centre for Homeland Defense and Security, the devices’ ability to identify potentially threatening sounds and vibrations is important for securing international borders, airports and critical infrastructure facilities.

“Using various technologies - video, above-ground motion sensing, acoustic and vibration recognition systems in combination - and matching the technology to the environment makes for a sensible, multi-layered approach to border security,” he writes in a forthcoming article for Homeland Security Journal that describes the devices. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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