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NEC technology detects changes in crowd behavior and promotes security

*** For immediate use November 7, 2013

Tokyo, November 7, 2013 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) has developed the world's first (*) "crowd behavior analysis technology" that utilizes security camera footage to understand the behavior of crowds and to detect abnormalities. This technology is expected to contribute to greater safety and security through the early detection of unusual conditions and accidents.

When a large-scale facility or public space attracts a large amount of people, there is always the risk of an unexpected incident taking place, including accidents and acts of crime. As a result, a wide range of heavily trafficked facilities are equipped with security cameras in order to help prevent accidents and to minimize possible damages. However, in a crowded environment, where hundreds of people are interacting in a complex mixture of activity, it is difficult for conventional technologies to quickly detect and identify the characteristics of a disturbance.

NEC's newly developed technology analyzes the influence that an unexpected incident, or the signs of an incident, has on the behavior of a crowd in order to accurately identify changes in the crowd's behavior. As a result, existing security cameras can be used to detect disturbances, such as a sudden change in the flow of foot traffic or a crowd formed around a fallen individual, and to accurately estimate the degree of congestion, even in an extremely crowded environment, such as an event venue or train station during rush-hour.

Key features of this technology include the following:

  1. Accurate understanding of crowd conditions
    This technology creates pseudo-images through simulations that demonstrate a wide range of different conditions, such as varying degrees of crowd congestion and each individual's behavior. Image recognition technologies then employ a proprietary algorithm to match and analyze security camera images against pseudo images. This enables crowd conditions to be understood with a high degree of accuracy even when people in the images appear to be heavily overlapped.

  2. Fast and accurate analysis of changing crowd conditions
    Special focus is placed on the behavior of people in the vicinity of any unusual occurrence. If, for example, two individuals begin to quarrel in a public space, the technology closely analyzes the behavioral patterns of people surrounding the incident, such as temporary pauses or large gatherings. Moreover, the level of an incident can be estimated based on a pre-determined threshold value that helps measure the magnitude of a crowd's change.

Going forward, NEC will continue driving research and development in support of image analysis technologies and the expansion of safety related business that promotes greater security for communities throughout the world.

NEC exhibits these technologies at the C&C User Forum & iEXPO 2013 at the Tokyo International Forum from 14 - 15 November 2013. For more information, please visit



(*) According to NEC research as of October 31, 2013

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