Electrical and computer engineering professor's video surveillance patent approved

After seven years of hard work, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Nabil Sarhan recently had his patent approved for his automated video surveillance system to keep people safer.

“My main motivation is that I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Sarhan. “Science is very important in making changes, and this is the kind of science we do here.”

Most large-scale security systems have multiple, constantly changing displays monitored by humans. It is possible to miss a crime due to distraction or the wrong display being shown on a camera. Sarhan’s system is monitored entirely by computers.

According to Sarhan, many video surveillance systems are used to deter criminals and to view evidence after a crime. Sarhan’s patent works live; the system is constantly scanning for potential threats determined by the user.

The surveillance system uses technologies such as facial and license plate recognition to recognize threats using high-quality video that the computer will analyze. The system also allows for certain areas observed by the cameras to be placed at a higher level of importance.  

“There are so many considerations that we take and then solve mathematically to get the recordings in the best way possible,” said Sarhan. “It’s unique.”

Sarhan’s other research interests include server and network support for multimedia applications, design of scalable multimedia servers, video streaming over the internet and wireless networks, video-on-demand, multimedia and data networks, computer architecture, and performance evaluation.