Hitachi reveals new AI for real-time identity detection and tracking

Hitachi developed a smarter and faster method to search surveillance footage. Its new image analysis system uses AI for real-time people tracking and detection.

Hitachi reveals new AI for real-time identity detection and tracking
Credit: Michelle Maher

Hitachi announced it has developed a new image analysis system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) for real-time people tracking and detection. The AI can detect an individual in real time by combining over 100 external characteristics and then track that person using wide-area security and surveillance systems.

Systems that capture facial images and color of clothing have previously been deployed in public areas, but according to Hitachi, it is difficult for security staff to find and track a person based on an eyewitness account or poor surveillance camera footage.

The new image analysis system developed by Hitachi researchers is smarter due to the AI. The news release reads:

Using this technology, it will be possible to detect a suspicious individual or a lost child using information from eyewitness accounts to detect a person fitting that description from public security cameras set up in large facilities or city areas. Further, by analyzing the entire image of the person detected, it will be possible to follow the person from camera images where only the rear-view is captured and the face cannot be seen, or the person is captured from a distance.

Hitachi doesn’t list all of the “more than 100” appearance and movement characteristics that the AI uses for high-speed detection and tracking of a person.

However, it does explain that its AI "can perform real-time simultaneous detection to identify from camera images, more than 100 characteristics related to 12 types of appearance such as sex, age, hair style, color and form of clothing, and carried items, and movement characteristics from 10 categories such as walking, running, and bending."

Each of those characteristics would need to be calculated separately by conventional systems, but Hitachi’s AI can simultaneous calculate those things, reducing calculation time to 1/40th of what it would take other systems.

“As a result, by providing specific conditions based on characteristics categorized in real-time by AI, high-speed detection of an individual is now possible,” the company says.

hitachi image analysis technology for ai 2 Hitachi Ltd.

Hitachi claims its high-speed person tracking technology can track the same person “by analyzing and converting the image of the entire body into a numerical description so that the same person will be recognized regardless of a change in body angle or lighting.” The company’s new AI can extract images of the same person “from among several ten thousands of recorded images in less than 1 second.”

The point of the new system is to “contribute to public safety and security.” Hitachi suggests that it can help to “prevent emergencies” by being able to “immediately close-in on images of a suspicious person or a lost child based on eyewitness accounts from persons on the scene and locate in real time the whereabouts of the person sought after from the wide-area surveillance camera network.”

There is no mention of specific privacy protections; Hitachi only noted, “In installing such technology, sufficient discussion will be held with the customer to ensure measures that are introduced to protect personal information and privacy.”

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