It is estimated the average American citizen is captured on security video about 75 times per day. Surprised? Going about their day, people pass by security cameras installed in restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, traffic controls, dry cleaners, elevators, gas stations, ATMs, gyms, schools, offices – the list goes on.
With the proliferation of these security cameras, events such as vehicle accidents, trip and falls, and bullying are becoming more frequently captured on video. Unfortunately, these events are not always captured up close, centered, and/or in hi-definition. Some events are captured by the camera, but in the background, away from its primary point of attention.
Sometimes the security footage is from a cell phone that video-taped a security monitor before the monitor system recycled the video memory. In this case, the captured video resolution is limited and less than the original native camera resolution. CED Technologies has been approached to enhance video surveillance footage, often we are asked to do two things:
- Locate the relevant event. Do not underestimate this step. The event could be a blurred few seconds in the background among hours of available footage.
- Enhance the event. Once the incident is located, that area is enlarged and enhanced for better viewing.
This is where it gets interesting. Hollywood cinema has led us to believe that incidental video captures can be enhanced to near perfect clarity. This is simply not the case. If there is not enough data collected by the camera to render a recognizable face, there is no way to add data without losing credibility. So, what is left after enlargement and enhancement is still a somewhat blurry blob at first glance. This needs emphasizing – At first glance – At first viewing, the image may appear enlarged and pixelated without clarity. Only after explanation of the incident and repeated viewings, the observer begins to sort out who is who and recognition clarifies. In addition, marker arrows or circles inserted to help identify the relevant parties or objects, the enhanced video becomes credibly informative. What was blurry and confusing ten minutes before becomes more clear and obvious.
CED Technologies can assist in video enhancement to provide additional evidence and incident explanation. When working with video enhancement it is important to keep expectations realistic and recognize how video surveillance can be an important evidentiary component.