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Intelligent Video Analytics at Karbala

Al-Attaba Holy Shrine, attributed to Imam al-Hussayn’s (peace be upon him) brother al-Abbas (peace be upon him), places world’s most advanced video analytics system to protect millions of devotees it attracts every year

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As of September 28th 2021, the Secretariat General of the al-Abbas’s (p) Holy Shrine announced that the number of visitors during the Arba’een of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) as of the year 1443 AH reached 16,327,542 since 7th Safar to mid-noon of 20th Safar.  

The number of devotees has increased from previous years, adding an average of 1.06 million visitors every year since 2017 (1438 AH), revealed by the data collected from an electronic counting system installed at five entering points of the holy city of Karbala.

With an increasing number of guests at the al-Abbas’s (peace be upon him) Holy Shrine, crowd control, and management becomes more critical for the authorities of the Holy Shrine. Realizing this, back in 2014, the Holy Shrine management reached out to a Sydney based video analytics company – iOmniscient. 

In collaboration with its Iraqi IT partner, Al-Moashour Co, iOmniscient worked on providing the al-Abbas’s (p) Shrine with a robust video analytics system that could meet the tremendous crowd requirement of the client.

The design of the project included installation of hundreds of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in and around the Holy Shrine that are then connected to an artificial intelligence based video analytics system. 

The powerful features of AI based video analytics system include: “..facial recognition in a crowd, people counting, crowd management, abandoned object detection in a crowd, License Plate Recognition, Driver Match for vehicles entering the area and many other important features” cites iOmniscient.

Al-Attaba Holy Shrine is a very crowded place. It was very difficult to find a system that can work in this environment and still give good results with acceptable accuracy.” said Engr. Faris Abbas

After investigating many systems, the team reached to select iOmniscientʼs IQ system setting trial for an extensive period of over one year. “The system proved to be robust and accurate”, stated Eng Firas.

Another important step in the facilitation of security was acquiring of a high resolution video wall from Eyevis, an LCD company, that carried 27 screens mounted in a control room within the Holy Shrine. The powerful resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels enables a deeper and lucid visualization across the Holy Mosque.

A glimpse of the Control Room at the al-Abass’s (p) Holy Shrine/Digital Security Magazine

Technology behind Karbala’s Video Analytics

The technology is a patent of iOmniscient, who’s a pioneer and uptill date a world leading video analytics software provider. The company has an impressive presence in 60+ countries and carries an excellent profile of 70+ international patents.   

As per the company sources, iOmniscient’s intelligent video analytics utilize a comprehensive artificial intelligence framework, incorporating Multiple Sensor Fusion to use sound, smell, and video graphics to power crowd management. 

This multi sensor data is then fed to a system that is a hybrid of neural network processing and heuristic (or rules based) system. The CEO of iOmniscient, Rustom Kanga says, the hybrid approach combines individual benefits of both techniques and mitigates the weaknesses, thereby achieving excellent capabilities in highly crowded, complex, and realistic use cases. 

Named IQ software, it’s capable of enabling 100 analytics features that are offered to clients based on their custom needs. 

The present system at the Holy Shrine of al-Abbas (peace be upon him) serves the security officials with following capabilities:

  1. Crowd Behavior Analytics, which also includes the graceful detection of abandoned objects, theft, graffiti, vandalism and car accidents, even in obscuration scenarios
  1. Face Recognition in a extreme crowd
  1. Dwell Time Analysis, that identifies abnormal dwelling by people, or unusual and too large vehicle parking corresponding to high dwell time and signifying a potential threat to security
  1. Automated Response systems which can locate the nearest appropriate responder and tell him where to go and what to do
  1. Video Utilities where multiple stakeholders can use a common infrastructure to extract different types of information relevant only to themselves
  1. The use of depth sensing cameras for Security and Safety applications

Tight Regulations are in place for Privacy Protection

Rustom Kanga, the founder and CEO of iOmniscient, in a 2019 interview to the Financial Review talks about privacy concerns in facial recognition at length (the privacy protection claims are valid till date as confirmed from iOmniscient’s current Ethical AI compliance). Rustom says, our video analytics software works as per the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR). 

Dr. Rustom Kanga/Linkedin

To elaborate his point, the CEO states many examples including the case of Karbala. He says, its absolutely necessary to censor people’s faces in a shopping center; an action that’s reversible, for example – by an authorised person, only in case of a murder.  

Concerning the threat of potential changes in post-sales technology, Rustom says that the company maintains its control over the sold technology so that the focus of its softwares couldn’t be directed away from its main purpose of, say entering club members to spotting dissidents.

Talking about the case of Karbala, the CEO recalled an event in the city, back in 2014, where the crowd in the al-Attaba Holy Shrine panicked in fear of a potential terrorist attack. The automated system, installed at the site, immediately sent an emergency signal to the nearest rescue point, enabling the police to reach in just 3 mins, and ambulance in 10. Earlier, it took over 30 mins for rescue operators to reach the site.

Each society has to find its own balance of security and privacy”, says Rustom. When it comes to rescuing people from terror attack, or successfully catching a murdurer, victims are more happy to be alive foregoing the fact of not being private, he added.

Ayesha
Ayesha
I engineer the content and acquaint the science of analytics to empower rookies and professionals.
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Intelligent Video Analytics at Karbala

Al-Attaba Holy Shrine, attributed to Imam al-Hussayn’s (peace be upon him) brother al-Abbas (peace be upon him), places world’s most advanced video analytics system to protect millions of devotees it attracts every year

As of September 28th 2021, the Secretariat General of the al-Abbas’s (p) Holy Shrine announced that the number of visitors during the Arba’een of Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon him) as of the year 1443 AH reached 16,327,542 since 7th Safar to mid-noon of 20th Safar.  

The number of devotees has increased from previous years, adding an average of 1.06 million visitors every year since 2017 (1438 AH), revealed by the data collected from an electronic counting system installed at five entering points of the holy city of Karbala.

With an increasing number of guests at the al-Abbas’s (peace be upon him) Holy Shrine, crowd control, and management becomes more critical for the authorities of the Holy Shrine. Realizing this, back in 2014, the Holy Shrine management reached out to a Sydney based video analytics company – iOmniscient. 

In collaboration with its Iraqi IT partner, Al-Moashour Co, iOmniscient worked on providing the al-Abbas’s (p) Shrine with a robust video analytics system that could meet the tremendous crowd requirement of the client.

The design of the project included installation of hundreds of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in and around the Holy Shrine that are then connected to an artificial intelligence based video analytics system. 

The powerful features of AI based video analytics system include: “..facial recognition in a crowd, people counting, crowd management, abandoned object detection in a crowd, License Plate Recognition, Driver Match for vehicles entering the area and many other important features” cites iOmniscient.

Al-Attaba Holy Shrine is a very crowded place. It was very difficult to find a system that can work in this environment and still give good results with acceptable accuracy.” said Engr. Faris Abbas

After investigating many systems, the team reached to select iOmniscientʼs IQ system setting trial for an extensive period of over one year. “The system proved to be robust and accurate”, stated Eng Firas.

Another important step in the facilitation of security was acquiring of a high resolution video wall from Eyevis, an LCD company, that carried 27 screens mounted in a control room within the Holy Shrine. The powerful resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels enables a deeper and lucid visualization across the Holy Mosque.

A glimpse of the Control Room at the al-Abass’s (p) Holy Shrine/Digital Security Magazine

Technology behind Karbala’s Video Analytics

The technology is a patent of iOmniscient, who’s a pioneer and uptill date a world leading video analytics software provider. The company has an impressive presence in 60+ countries and carries an excellent profile of 70+ international patents.   

As per the company sources, iOmniscient’s intelligent video analytics utilize a comprehensive artificial intelligence framework, incorporating Multiple Sensor Fusion to use sound, smell, and video graphics to power crowd management. 

This multi sensor data is then fed to a system that is a hybrid of neural network processing and heuristic (or rules based) system. The CEO of iOmniscient, Rustom Kanga says, the hybrid approach combines individual benefits of both techniques and mitigates the weaknesses, thereby achieving excellent capabilities in highly crowded, complex, and realistic use cases. 

Named IQ software, it’s capable of enabling 100 analytics features that are offered to clients based on their custom needs. 

The present system at the Holy Shrine of al-Abbas (peace be upon him) serves the security officials with following capabilities:

  1. Crowd Behavior Analytics, which also includes the graceful detection of abandoned objects, theft, graffiti, vandalism and car accidents, even in obscuration scenarios
  1. Face Recognition in a extreme crowd
  1. Dwell Time Analysis, that identifies abnormal dwelling by people, or unusual and too large vehicle parking corresponding to high dwell time and signifying a potential threat to security
  1. Automated Response systems which can locate the nearest appropriate responder and tell him where to go and what to do
  1. Video Utilities where multiple stakeholders can use a common infrastructure to extract different types of information relevant only to themselves
  1. The use of depth sensing cameras for Security and Safety applications

Tight Regulations are in place for Privacy Protection

Rustom Kanga, the founder and CEO of iOmniscient, in a 2019 interview to the Financial Review talks about privacy concerns in facial recognition at length (the privacy protection claims are valid till date as confirmed from iOmniscient’s current Ethical AI compliance). Rustom says, our video analytics software works as per the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR). 

Dr. Rustom Kanga/Linkedin

To elaborate his point, the CEO states many examples including the case of Karbala. He says, its absolutely necessary to censor people’s faces in a shopping center; an action that’s reversible, for example – by an authorised person, only in case of a murder.  

Concerning the threat of potential changes in post-sales technology, Rustom says that the company maintains its control over the sold technology so that the focus of its softwares couldn’t be directed away from its main purpose of, say entering club members to spotting dissidents.

Talking about the case of Karbala, the CEO recalled an event in the city, back in 2014, where the crowd in the al-Attaba Holy Shrine panicked in fear of a potential terrorist attack. The automated system, installed at the site, immediately sent an emergency signal to the nearest rescue point, enabling the police to reach in just 3 mins, and ambulance in 10. Earlier, it took over 30 mins for rescue operators to reach the site.

Each society has to find its own balance of security and privacy”, says Rustom. When it comes to rescuing people from terror attack, or successfully catching a murdurer, victims are more happy to be alive foregoing the fact of not being private, he added.

Ayesha
Ayesha
I engineer the content and acquaint the science of analytics to empower rookies and professionals.
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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