SEOUL, KOREA – Over the course of the past few years, 3D movies have been rapidly gaining in popularity in the footsteps of blockbusters like Avatar. With Avatar setting box office records all over the world, 3D movies found themselves back in the spotlight. The number of movies produced in 3D is increasing to make the visual stimulation both spectacular and realistic. 3D in entertainment areas such as movies and television is very common these days. The question is, can it also be helpful for our lives as well as providing entertainment Yes, and this is the idea behind 3D CCTV(Closed Circuit Television). This technology allows us to places in a more lively fashion. Screens in current control centers show only two-dimensional space. As a result, this leaves a gap between reality and the image which is actually produced in a three dimensional space. However, if we are able to view our problems in a 3D environment, we will be better able to manage them.
The differences between 2D and 3D were also highlighted in the movie Avatar. To attack the Na’vi people, the attackers developed strategies by analyzing the village in a 3D space. With the 3D screen, they could attain more accurate information regarding the village with less errors and more efficiency in setting up attacking points and location. The current model of 2D CCTV limits the image information, although recently it improved marginally as it evolved to increase resolution and to have storage functionality. Based on this function, some technologies such as face recognition and intelligent track system were also developed. However, they still have stark limitations of figuring out exact spatial information and structure in an emergency.
KDC’s ‘3D CCTV control system’
KDC(http://www.kdccorp.co.kr/en/index.html), a 3D specialist company, has succeeded in developing the world’s first ‘3D CCTV control system’. The company, second only to RealD, a US based company, has led the global market in digital 3D equipment, exporting 1,500 products to 45 countries last year. The 3D CCTV system enables users to shoot full HD 3D video using a stereo camera. The principle of the camera is the same as how people visualize and perceive objects. The human eyes are approximately 6.5cm apart on average, each with a slightly different viewpoint of the world from another. When people see objects, their brain and eyes function together to produce “stereoscopic vision”, which allows them to perceive 3D images of the objects surrounding them. A stereo camera also has two lenses which focus on the same point but from slightly different angles, creating 3D images of the object. With this stereo camera being applied to CCTV, the functions go beyond merely watching videos to analyze them.
The 3D CCTV features an algorithm which accurately measures the distance between the two cameras and the subject, and between two subjects to increase total realism. As the camera is also Internet protocol based technology, information can be transferred anytime and anywhere with the presence of a wired or wireless network.
“It took almost two years for KDC to progress this exclusive algorithm technology from planning to development stages,” said Mr. Kim Tae-sub, a chairman of KDC group. The idea of developing 3D CCTV initially came from his personal experience. “When I stood guard duty at the ceasefire line at an early age, because of the cold weather, I thought it would be more efficient if there was CCTV which was able to perceive subjects more realistically. Conventional 2D CCTV only records video and does not recognize subjects. It cannot perceive new objects and does not provide distances estimates.”
3D CCTV for various uses
“The technology we have developed will be particularly useful in places such as laboratories, nuclear power plants, and army bases which require strict security or which are difficult for people to observe first-hand. In regards to application within military installations, complete unmanned security systems can be realized as approaching objects can be accurately measured through monitors in situation rooms and subjects can be clearly identified through stereoscopic images. 2D CCTV cameras cannot recognize accurate distance even if someone approaches a border line. However, 3D CCTV works by a similar mechanism as the human eye, and can perceive how many miles people are from the border.”
He added that “CCTV cameras attached at wholesale stores today are able to identify whether the customers are male or female. In order to determine their sex, however, computers must analyze the average shape of thousands of male and female customers from a database. With 3D CCTV, however, the recognition will be much more efficient, better perceiving an individual’s shape.
KDC has already applied for a patent on relevant technologies. At present, the development of the basic algorithm is already completed. Various functions are being developed for commercialization and complete products will be produced later this year. Once commercialized, the system will be sold to established companies producing CCTV solutions rather than targeting new consumers. The sales will not generally be business to consumer but rather business to business.
Great attention at Hong Kong Electronics Fair
Last month, KDC participated in the Hong Kong Electronics Fair as they unveiled their diverse range of new 3D related products and attracted great attention from overseas buyers. Products the company showed off included the world’s first full HD 3D CCTV, 42 inch 3D TV, 3D eye glasses and software for CCTV. In particular, 3D CCTV which was able to recognize distance drew attention not only from ordinary visitors but also from specialized markets such as security, defense and power plant facilities. “We had over 100 inquires of sample price, period of delivery and mass production plans from overseas buyers, particularly from Europe where the special security industry is already highly developed, and also the Middle Eastern region in which advanced security systems are in high demand.”
The company is also planning to advance into the 3D smart phone market. “Although glasses free 3D displays are quite costly, if they are applied to small panels such as smart phones, PMP, and navigation, the cost will become more reasonable for the average consumer.” Late last year, KDC succeeded in developing a 10 inch glasses free 3D display panel using parallex barrier technology, marking the first time this technology had succeeded in the industry. Even though it is glasses free, it is much brighter and has higher resolution than displays with glasses, improving the 3D effects.
“With long years of experience and knowhow in 3D areas, we aim to develop technologies to keep pace with the trend of demanding more accurate and realistic images in diverse areas including not only entertainment but also industrial and security sectors. Even though the 3D CCTV market is still an infant industry, we will do our best to secure the global market where demand is on the rise.”