If there’s one job on CSI that doesn’t look like much fun (besides boiling the flesh off human heads), it’s having to watch hours upon hours of surveillance camera footage in the hopes of seeing some kind of clue. In real life, footage sometimes ends up going unwatched because there are simply not enough man-hours in which to do it. Even when there is, studies have shown that viewers’ attention starts to decline within 20 minutes when watching such videos. Fortunately, new software developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem can help with this problem.
Designed by Prof. Shmuel Peleg of the university’s Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering, the software creates a sort of highlights reel, condensing all the pertinent images from several hours of tape into as little as a few minutes. It does this by being able to distinguish between static background scenery and moving objects, also known as events.