JCT students develop 3D camera, detects violence against the elderly

3D Camera Detects Violence against the Elderly and Calls for Help

Following a year during which severe cases of elderly abuse were reported in the press, a unique development by students of the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT), in collaboration with GeronTech, seeks to combat the problem. The innovative devise features an advanced three-dimensional camera that sends real-time alerts when detecting that violence is in progress. The technique was developed by Eliya Strasser and Aryeh Striech, students of JCT’s Electronic Engineering Department.


The developers demonstrating the camera’s abilities
Unlike the surveillance cameras currently on the market, which document events of violence, the new three-dimensional camera was developed to provide real-time alerts by identifying indications of violence among people in a room utilizing the room’s particular depth. By utilizing sophisticated algorithms, the camera identifies the movements of the room’s occupants and analyzes them. As soon as the system suspects an act of violence is in progress, it sends an immediate alert to the supervisor.

For example, in the event that the camera detects the hand of one of the room’s occupants moving abnormally and at a significantly rapid pace, or if the system detects a sound that is abnormally loud that may indicate verbal violence, the system will identify the event as potentially violent and send a notification in real-time. To prevent false alarms, the system will only send alerts of physical violence if it detects rapid movement in the vicinity of another body. In cases where the system detects signs of both physical and verbal abuse, the system classifies the event as high-risk and sends a more urgent immediate alert.

In order to avoid intrusion of privacy while still ensuring protection, the video recording cannot be viewed in real-time. Rather, the system operates solely via alerts. It archives recordings and deletes those without alerts. However, when it detects any signs of violence, it saves the footage of the time of the alert and several minutes prior. This means that video footage is viewed only when necessary and can be used subsequently as evidence of foul play.

“In recent years, many videos of abuse of the elderly by their caregivers have been publicized, and public awareness is increasing,” says Aryeh Striech. He adds: “When we were contacted by GeronTech, which works to improve the quality of life of elderly people through collaboration with educational institutions for developing technologies for the protection of the elderly, we sought to address their pressing needs and eventually decided to develop this product. We were looking for a solution that would not compromise the privacy of the elderly, as hidden cameras tend to do, but still provide them with the utmost security.” He also notes that the technology can be adapted for the protection of infants and for any situations involving caregivers.

Translated from an article that appeared in: http://www.nrg.co.il/online/13/ART2/702/831.html?hp=13&cat=137&loc=30