Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Security: Keeping An Eye On The Inauguration

Date:
February 4, 2009
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
One of the toughest technological challenges for law enforcement is to simultaneously monitor live feeds from the wireless cameras scattered across their jurisdictions. A nearly impossible task under any circumstances, it was an even greater one for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration.

One of the toughest technological challenges for law enforcement is to simultaneously monitor live feeds from the wireless cameras scattered across their jurisdictions. A nearly impossible task under any circumstances, it was an even greater one for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration.

In planning to safeguard the millions of visitors and residents in the city for the Inauguration events, Washington, D.C. required a new surveillance approach.

In response, law enforcement adapted a "virtual office" system called VSee to overcome the bandwidth obstacles that had prevented simultaneous access to all of the city's cameras.

Developed with National Science Foundation (NSF) support as part of the Small Business Innovation Research Program, VSee is a combination of hardware and software that allows users to securely receive and share large amounts of information, usually within a virtual office environment.

Though originally created as a telework platform, VSee was adapted to enable security officers to watch multiple remote cameras in real time from a single command center. Because the changes to the system shrank the cameras' data-streaming bandwidth to a fraction of its original size, even police cruisers were able to access the feeds via cellular networks.

The technology originally emerged as the Ph.D. work of Milton Chen, then at Stanford University, where he focused on videoconferencing and remote collaboration. "After I completed my Ph.D., my advisors and some of my colleagues who worked on the project decided to form VSee with me," says Chen.

Not satisfied with existing virtual office approaches, Chen wanted to find a way to capture the advantages of telework without the usual technical shortfalls and impact on office social dynamics--both burdens on productivity. Even today, with the support of funds from NSF and other sources, Chen and his team modify the software based on findings from research studies of the social dynamics of both the workplace and home work environments.

Existing collaboration tools limited the remote work experience in significant ways, with handicaps including difficulties sharing on-screen applications, limited webcam feeds and poor video, which can cloud the critical social cues necessary for remote communication.

"From a technology standpoint, what resonated most with NSF was the clever bandwidth-management enabled by VSee's approach," says Errol Arkilic, the NSF program officer who oversees VSee's grants. It was the bandwidth management that made the Inauguration monitoring possible. "VSee engineered a solution that bypasses the constraints of various communications protocols, a breakthrough that has the potential to span across many platforms, including wireless."

Within the remote-work system that Chen and his collaborators developed, all users can clearly see each other at once, work together on an on-screen document or other object, and trust that their environment is secure from intruders. And unlike a virtual meeting, the VSee platform is on all day, with options for privacy, so it becomes a true virtual office environment.

For the Inauguration application, the interface was the same, with each camera taking the role of a "user". With VSee managing the bandwidth, for the first time, security officials could keep all cameras active and bring real-time situational awareness to law enforcement officers wherever they were in the city.

VSee also solved the key problem of inter-agency collaboration. During the Inauguration, VSee was used by half a dozen intelligence agencies to share information and collaborate in real-time.

While security applications are still new, the system's adoption for telework has expanded rapidly since its release in 2003, with several Fortune 500 companies and federal agencies adopting VSee for remote work or for traceless, secure collaborations.

The employees at VSee are continuing to refine their software, modifying it as they use it for their internal use in offices around the world. Says Chen,"By focusing on the collaboration requirements of a team like ours, we aim to create a simple tool to achieve the productivity of a bullpen in a tech startup."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Security: Keeping An Eye On The Inauguration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204174301.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2009, February 4). Security: Keeping An Eye On The Inauguration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204174301.htm
National Science Foundation. "Security: Keeping An Eye On The Inauguration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204174301.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins