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By Lee J. Nelson
Based on an amalgam of complementary vision techniques, Active Presence Detection and Identification (APDI) reliably discriminates human presence (vs. passive sensing of an object, a weight or a signal). Furthermore, APDI uniquely identifies the permitted operator by facial attributes, effectively thwarting all non-approved users.
A small, innovative computer vision firm, Viion Systems Inc. (Montréal, Québec) was one of the first to introduce truly automatic APDI. Last year, the company filed for patent protection, covering the underlying technologies that empower its Sentinel family of products.
Not simply facial recognition, Viion Systems’ APDI employs proprietary facial feature verification and motion analysis algorithms. Engineered specifically to address walk-away detection and confer a practical, effective manner for securing computers and electronic data, Sentinel extends three distinct but related functions: user identification, tracking and re-entry detection.
By combining video imaging with active detection technology, Sentinel confirms the presence of a pre-enrolled individual. It affords wide-area visual sensing, enabling personnel to do their jobs without intervention or novel restriction. There is no need to modify one’s routine nor carry an auxiliary device. In fact, Sentinel integrates seamlessly with any existing authentication system and is completely transparent: most users are not even aware it is there.
Once Sentinel logs in an authorized user, the system switches to tracking mode and continues checking the operator as long as (s)he remains visible. In cases where several people are evident simultaneously, the system reliably distinguishes the validated person from inert articles and differentiates him/her from non-authenticated users. Sentinel maintains its vigilance even when a worker is not directly facing the screen.