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Fujitsu Laboratories Develops Industry's First Image-Sensing Technology for Thorough Motion Path Tracking of Individuals

-Enables blind spot-free video surveillance in retail and workplace applications-

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Kawasaki, Japan, May 13, 2008

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. announced today, as an industry first, the development of a new image-sensing technology(1) that can thoroughly and accurately track - without blind spots - the motion paths of multiple individuals as they move while indoor. By employing ceiling-mounted multiple compact surveillance cameras to monitor designated areas, and enabling automatic and accurate extraction of the motion paths of individuals shown in images from those cameras, this technology has potential for practical use in a wide variety of applications, including surveillance of suspicious behavior, observation of consumer purchasing behavior as retail marketing, and task analysis as part of visualization of work efficiencies.

This technology will be exhibited at Fujitsu Forum 2008, which will be held May 15 and 16 at Tokyo International Forum.

Figure 1: Visual overview of Fujitsu Laboratories' new image-sensing technology

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In recent years, there has been growing demand from various fields for technology capable of automatic and quantitative monitoring of human behavior, in ways that thus far could only be handled by human observation. For security, the ability to track human behavior would make it possible to automatically monitor comings and goings at restricted-access locations. In retail marketing, such technology could be used to analyze the purchasing behaviors of customers in stores, including the frequency that specific in-store areas are visited and the time spent in those areas. Thus, as a method to quantify such human behavior, there is increasing demand for image-sensing technology that can automatically extract the motion paths of individuals from video.

Technological Challenges

In the field of automated video monitoring, in which images are analyzed by computers, technologies already exist that can extract a person's movement lines from video. These technologies are already used in the surveillance cameras seen in convenience stores, typically mounted near the ceiling and shooting at a diagonal angle. However, in such methods of surveillance, image processing is conducted separately for each camera, thereby resulting in such problems as the presence of a single individual that is accounted for multiple times by several cameras, or lead to blind spots caused when an individual is hidden behind another individual from certain cameras, making it difficult to accurately assess the number of individuals shown in images and extract each individual's motion path from the images.

Newly-Developed Technology

As a solution for the aforementioned technological issue, Fujitsu Laboratories developed the industry's first image sensing technology that can thoroughly track the motion paths of individuals from an image without the risk of blind spots.

Key features of this technology are as below (see Figure 1):

  1. Offers video imagery free of blind spots
    On the ceiling of the surveillance area, multiple compact surveillance cameras are affixed to shoot directly below to obtain accurate and detailed video images from multiple cameras in varying locations. These images are then synthesized into a single video stream while taking into account the location of each camera, thereby offering an accurate and thorough image free of blind spots.
  2. People-tracking using multiple video streams
    The video stream free of blind spots is comprised of various recorded images of the same person from multiple cameras in varying locations. By assessing the size and shape of each person, the new technology can verify whether the shapes shown are of the same person. Therefore, it is now possible to accurately assess and track, without overlap, the motion path of each individual shown in an image.


16 cameras were installed in a store with approximately 50 square meters of floor space, and testing was conducted with a total of 243 people passing by the cameras. The path of each passerby was individually extracted and detected from the images with 100% accuracy, thereby confirming that this technology can accurately track indoor paths taken by individuals.

The experiment system consisted of 16 cameras attached to a single mid-range PC (Intel® Pentium® 4, 3 GHz) capturing 30 frames per second and processing them in real time. Since the number of and location of the cameras can easily be altered, the technology is applicable to a wide variety of indoor spaces with varying sizes and shapes.

Future Developments

Various feasible applications for this new technology from Fujitsu Laboratories include the following:

  1. Security
    When used in a room access (entry and exit) control system, the technology can monitor the movement paths of authorized and unauthorized individuals. This can be used to prevent or limit unauthorized individuals from entering restricted areas.
  2. Marketing
    The technology can also be utilized to monitor in-store routes that customers take while shopping and how long they dwell in particular in-store areas.
  3. Task Efficiency Analysis
    If applied in a workplace, the technology enables quantitative assessment of the efficiency of tasks, based on the length of a worker's motion path during tasks.

This new technology is scheduled for deployment in fiscal 2008 (April 2008 - March 2009) for room access control systems in data centers and other high-security facilities.

  • [1] Image-sensing technology

    Technology that employs computers to analyze images captured by cameras, to extract desired specified information from the image.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Multimedia, Personal Systems, Networks, Peripherals, Advanced Materials and Electronic Devices. For more information, please see:

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Technical Contacts

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Research Center for Image Processing and Biometrics Technologies

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Date: 13 May, 2008
City: Kawasaki, Japan
Company: Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., , , , ,