Smart cameras help to solve and prevent crimes in Shenzhen

Updated: 2016-06-17 08:04

By Deng Zhangyu(China Daily)

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Smart cameras help to solve and prevent crimes in Shenzhen

Chen Ning, co-founder of IntelliFusion Technologies. His products are used by Shenzhen's security bureau. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Where is the least likely place that criminals would dare to go in the world? Probably China's Shenzhen. Why? Because it only needs a few seconds to locate a criminal among millions of people after the city's surveillance cameras were embedded with intelligent chips in November.

"In 2018, Shenzhen will be probably the safest city in the world," says Chen Ning, who helps maintain the intelligent-camera system for Shenzhen's public security bureau in Longgang district.

Like God's Eye in the movie The Fast and the Furious 7 that can track a target through all the cameras in a city, Chen's intelligent-camera system can detect a criminal in less than a second once he's in view of the lens.

In November, all the monitoring cameras in Longgang district in Shenzhen were embedded with intelligent chips designed by Shenzhen-based IntelliFusion Technologies Company, where Chen is CEO. Every camera in Shen-zhen will be so equipped in 2018.

Chen says the system is based on artificial intelligence and big data. Instead of simply recording suspects' movements, they're able to discover suspects and send alarms to police or security staff. It also offers analyses of the suspects.

People tracking like what we usually see in sci-fi movies has become reality in China.

"China is definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to applying visual intelligence to the security field," says Chen.

In the past few months, some long-wanted suspects have been found by these intelligent cameras after they entered Longgang, according to Shenzhen police records.

Chen says his primary business is now cooperating with governments in the security field. The upcoming G20 summit in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, in September will use the intelligent-security system.

Such countries as Australia and Thailand are also turning to him for cooperation and assistance, adds Chen.

The 41-year-old returned from Silicon Valley in 2014 and established his business, focusing on visual intelligence and intelligent chips with his partner Tian Dihong, an expert in computer vision.

Chen and Tian are longtime friends. They both studied for their PhDs at Georgia Institute of Technology.

After graduation, they worked for different companies in the United States.

For many years, they have argued constantly about which would be more important, intelligent chips or computer vision. In 2013, they saw a bright future in the field of artificial intelligence and were determined to set up their own company.

They established IntelliFusion in Shenzhen in 2014, a place labeled "China's Silicon Valley" because it attracts lots of technology startups from home and abroad. Several months later, the public security bureau in Shenzhen's Longgang district began to use their visual-intelligence system.

In May, an international supermarket brand in the area equipped their cameras with intelligent chips. Security guards of the supermarket caught 20 thieves in the first week based on the alarm messages sent by intelligent cameras. Two were caught stealing goods.

"There are almost no thieves in that supermarket. It's very interesting that other stores near the supermarket complain that robbers go to their stores since that they dare not go to the supermarket," says Chen.

The intelligent cameras can recognize a man from how he walks and even a view of his back. They also can learn by themselves like humans do from constant practice, says Chen. They have the ability to give a timeline of a man's movements over two years in a few seconds based on facial recognition.

"Probably there will be no more lost children in cities equipped with these intelligent cameras," says Chen, a father of three.

These "cameras with brains" will frighten criminals, thieves and gangs trafficking children, he says.

He is also confident that in the near future China will become one of the safest nations in the world because it has installed cameras in cities during its modernization.

"In the field of artificial intelligence, the whole world is competing on the same level. But in the application of this technology in the security field, China is ahead," says Chen.


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