A Sixth Sense in the War on Terrorism
31 October 2010 , 13:29
A Sixth Sense in the War on Terrorism
The new Sixth Sense technology will enable security forces to identify suspicious behavior and objects using two simple video cameras. Photo: Bamahane magazine
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The new Sixth Sense technology will enable security forces to identify suspicious behavior and objects using two simple video cameras

Nathanael Roseman, Bamahane magazine

Forces specialized in fighting terror as well as security officials will soon acquire a sixth sense: though it sounds like science fiction, its actually new technology for preemptive action against terror attacks and crime.

The system, manufactured by Ness Technologies, will identify suspicious activity in allotted areas and will thus alert of any unusual activity which could lead to acts of terrorism.

The project, dubbed Sixth Sense, was recently developed by the Israeli Ministry of Defenses Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (Mafat).

The new technology creates a three dimensional scan of a given area using two simple video cameras. By interpreting the information composed of people and objects, the system creates the normal image of an area, indicating change in the event of unusual activity. A man standing in the same place for a long time, a car driving in an unlikely direction or strange objects are all examples of the signs that will raise a red flag. In the event of unusual activity, the system marks the suspicious objects with a red square, such that a guard will be able to examine the area.

Like in the movies, the problem is that most places are equipped with security cameras but it is very hard to see whats going on and identify dangerous activity in the moment of truth, explained Deborah Avi Sira, Director of the Fusion, Information and Simulation division at Ness. Today, in every act of terrorism there is secret preparation that can be detected. In the moment of truth, it will be possible to alert security forces within seconds and prevent a disaster. The system is unique in that it learns the daily routine in a given area and sounds the alarm if an unusual event occurs.

Ness Technologies began developing the system after a soldier was stabbed three years ago in the Old City in Jerusalem. On the videotape recording of the event, the attacker could be seen suspiciously walking around the area for several minutes activity likely indicating an attack which could have been detected by and notified using the Sixth Sense.