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Synchronization of video surveillance and transaction records via optical signaling

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000188644D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Oct-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Oct-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a digital video surveillance (DVS) system to be able to synchronize stored video information with transaction detail stored in a point of sale system.

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Synchronization of video surveillance and transaction records via optical signaling

In a typical large format retail store (such as grocery, hypermarket, etc.) it is not unusual for the retailer to employ a video surveillance system to monitor the checkout area. This system is used to monitor all activities that occur during the checkout process and is primarily used to detect theft…both from shoppers and employees that may work in cooperation with a shopper where not all goods are recorded in a transaction (this is typically called "sweethearting" in the retail business).

A recent trend has been for the video surveillance system to be "digital" based, where the signal from the camera is fed to a computer system where the images are digitized and stored. Numerous operations can then be done by a computer on the images, a common example being to look for known thieves using facial recognition software, etc. (For the purpose of this document, the digital video surveillance system will be referred to as DVS.)

It is also true that in a typical point of sale (POS) system, the retailer records all the details about each transaction on a server (typically in an office area of the store.) Eventually all of this data is consolidated at the headquarters of the enterprise where various programs are used to analyze the data. This stored data is typically called a "transaction log" (or TLOG for short.)

Other than a simple "time stamp" type of match (where the time of the transaction in the TLOG is manually matched with the timestamp of the recorded image) , there is no current methodology that can synchronize the TLOG with the images stored on the DVS. This is a requirement of high importance to the retailer, because there is a strong need to be able to quickly find data in one system based on the data in another independent system (for instance, to see something on the DVS system, and find the matching TLOG data in the POS system, or vice versa.)

Proposed is a system where there is an optical device connected to the POS system. This optical device flashes a sequence of lights (that is tied to the TLOG data) during each transaction that is detected and recorded by the DVS system. This optical sequence is unique to each transaction, and can easily be detected by the DVS system. The DVS system...