UTSA professor receives grant to develop video surveillance solution

A University of Texas at San Antonio computer science professor has received a $399,067 grant from the Department of the Army to develop video surveillance technology that will be able to perform large-scale image retrieval searches, according to a report by San Antonio Business Journal.

UTSA officials used the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing as an example, where investigators scoured through massive amounts of surveillance video to correctly identify the Tsarnaev brothers among the thousands of spectators.

Qi Tian, a computer science professor at UT San Antonio, said he and his team are developing technology that will be able to capture an individual’s face in a crowd.

The solution will then cross-reference large amounts of surveillance videos from other locations throughout a city or a country to find accurate matches.

“You can find the bad guys a little quicker,” said Tian. “Otherwise, you’re sitting and looking at an unimaginable number of surveillance videos, looking for this person.”

UTSA officials said the technology could also have potential business applications.

“We teach the computer to see, to recognize a world or an object, and yes, a person’s face, which can be especially challenging,” said Tian. “That’s the future. One day you might not need your credit card. You can pay with your face.”

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