U.K. marketCompany profile: Aralia Systems

Published 26 March 2008

In a recent demonstration, utilizing standard IT servers, the company’s Aster video analytics software performed an automated forensic retrospective search of twenty years’ worth of recorded video data in twenty minutes

Horsham, West Sussex, U.K.-based Aralia Systems has since 1997 been shaving minutes and seconds off the time it takes to deliver critical situation-awareness information — and has been successful enough to be able to claim that its delivery is virtually instantaneous. Because information, to be useful, has first to be received and understood, another major concern for Aralia is integration with the client’s system, whether analog, fully digital, or IP-based.

Aralia’s time-consciousness is evident even when considerations of scope and exhaustiveness take precedence over speed. On 12 February, in New York, the company put its proprietary Aster video analytics software through its paces to demonstrate how quickly a user might collect all data pertinent to a specific project. Utilizing standard IT servers, the program performed an automated forensic retrospective search of twenty years’ worth of recorded video data in twenty minutes — a remarkable performance by any objective criterion.

Supporting Aster is the Ilex database for storage of security policy and video data — including analytic metadata which enhance the querying and data-processing functions of a large-scale SQL database. The third component of the Aralia surveillance solution is Iberis, a workhorse of a relational database whichthat manages the security video, alarm distribution, configuration, and upgrade of large systems. Iberis can be structured for automatic response to alarms triggered by Ilex video servers.

Aralia believes it is the only monitoring software provider to offer one-shop control of all aspects of a forensic video surveillance system: capture, encryption, management, storage, analytics, alarm, search, report. Products offering some of these are on the market, but the full array would be available only through partnership. Given the worry-points of piecemeal assembly — proprietary hardware, uncertain concordance — the Aralia bundled software package would appear to be a bargain in a marketplace in which security comes at a price.

Another feature of Aralia’s surveillance package will resonate with anyone who has had to examine a seemingly endless stream of video for a particular object or incident. This tedious scrutiny “can be cumbersome,” according to the company, in a striking understatement. Suspicious activity usually takes place in the blinking of an eye. The sharpest eyes get tired. While general file systems and linear searches are impractical and time-consuming, never more so than in an emergency, Aralia’s relational databases promise real-time retrieval of events and identification of discrete objects by shape, dimension, color, and behavior.

“Our objective is to replace the serried ranks of monitors in surveillance centers with a single workstation,” Dr. Glynn Wright, chief executive officer of Aralia Systems, told the HS Daily Wire. Even as the client is being apprised of a threat, the company’s intelligent surveillance software suite will have already identified individuals and objects that may be linked to an event. This capability rests on the database technology and classification algorithms pioneered by Aralia more than a decade ago.

“Our relational database technology is being proposed for datasets running into several Petabytes,” says Wright. “The architecture doesn’t just deal with a snapshot in time — it links historical and future events in way that provides far greater insight for the client.”