Using Deep Learning Algorithms to Recognize Individual Faces

Finding a particular face in a crowd is something human minds have difficulty doing in settings much larger than a café. We are able to use context clues in such a setting, like a friend waving their arm or a table with just one person sitting at it. But in something more akin to a major league sports event with 40 thousand people such a task is impossible. Technology which can “fast-track” through massive amounts of data (hours of surveillance video with changing lighting and moving crowds) is now increasingly in demand. Facial recognition allows alerts to be sent out when a specific individual(s) enters a location and helps in post-event investigations as it can identify and track the movements of an individual.

As we have investigated previously, Deep Learning algorithms are the go to solution for these types of tasks. These are the same algorithms used in everything from predictive advertising, crime prediction, and chess/game playing software. Yet facial recognition is uniquely complex and comes with its own host of challenges. Pouring through vast amounts of data or trying to connect old images to the current appearance of an individual is just the beginning, but can still paralyze standard surveillance systems unable to make sense of the information. System hardware is simply too slowed down with the sheer volume of data necessary to perform the tasks needed. Furthermore, traditional “intelligent video” needs a consistent and stable background. It is for these reasons and more that this new, smarter breed of facial recognition is the future of video surveillance.

Something we have not looked at before in our “Security News” section are the two key steps of facial recognition algorithms; “Feature Extraction” and “Classification Learning”, defined briefly below.


Classification Learning makes use of so-called “shallow” learning and analysis; the kind used in old intelligent video solutions.

Feature Extraction sets the new technology apart from the old. This is where human design of features allow the system to perform adequately in specific environments even with subtle changes in background and lighting. However, this brings about some degree of sacrifice in accuracy.

 Employing Deep Learning in these tasks improves the accuracy of facial recognition to a significant degree. This is due to a greatly more sophisticated and modern algorithmic structure that more closely resembles human learning. The layers of such a program can reach above 100, permitting data processing in huge amounts and of increased complexity. Like the human learning around which it was designed, Deep Learning uses “layer by layer” feature-extraction processes. With each layer comes a different “weight”, which directly impacts what the program will learn about the components of visual data.


Because Deep Learning works alone and without human intervention, it can extract as many of these features  as possible, even if they are abstract or even impossible to describe. Features like this are why the programmers of these systems often cannot explains how their software was able to learn something new. The code is simply too abstract. With more features comes greater accuracy. Through these means, facial recognition above human levels can be achieved, and in a tiny fraction of the time.

 High level facial recognition of this caliber improves both security and investigation and has applications extending into many different industries. Banks, shops, hotels, and even bars and nightclubs all stand to benefit. Finding a face in a crowd of people almost instantly will only increase in demand in the near future.


Security Technology of South is proud to offer integration of this service and custom solutions for any and all security needs. Please contact us through email at on our website or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7


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Videofied for HOAs

Even as Summer closes, neighborhood and apartment swimming pools and related facilities face break-ins and the associated liabilities such as trespassing, vandalism and etc. Perhaps even more risky is the fact that in the case especially of children and teenagers who decide to sneak past your perimeter can cause a legal suit for you to deal with should they injure themselves.

We have discussed the Videofied platform before in this blog. A series of wireless IP cameras, motion detectors, sirens, and a 4G modem to communicate in the event of a wifi outage are considered the core components to a system.

This “wireless, cordless, and weatherproof security system, Videofied has proven to be an excellent candidate for a large variety of outdoor applications,” and now features the new “Look-in” smartphone app management, as well as video alarm transmission that is now faster than it has ever been previously.

Videofied provides a quicker police response to real crimes than human operators are able to filter out false alarms. This is because Videofied has what is known as a “Video Verified” system of human operators who dispatch police for burglars and break-ins, but do not summon police by accident when a stray cat or shadow crosses the camera’s view.

The IP cameras used for outdoor operations are weatherproof and sturdier than their indoor counterparts. Skilled installation can cover a surprisingly large outdoor area by using fully integral combinations of indoor and outdoor IP cameras, optional outdoor and indoor sirens, and motion detectors. Smoke detectors and a unique device called the “Outdoor Visual Verification Detection OMV-VX” are also available. All of these device link via Wifi to a central control panel, but the system can also be monitored and interacted with via the phone app.

When you are securing a pool, Videofied often makes the most sense because of the portability, weather hardiness, and the ability to do things like sound or not sound alarms, depending upon whether you want to just scare off the intruders, or silently have police come to catch them in the act. While this is certainly not the only way to secure a pool environment, it does offer in-suite access control ability through the use of key-fobs, quality video, and the quickest response times in the industry while reducing or eliminating the false alarm rate.

Security Technology of South Texas, Inc. has completed several such projects and our technicians have the skill and confidence to build the last system you will ever need to protect your neighborhood or apartment pool complex.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 210-446-4863 or email .

Using Integrated Security Solutions for Grades K-12



Just like the college campuses we looked at in the most recent article, K-12 level schools have security needs to protect against active shooters and other emergencies. Schools need the ability to instantly go into a lockdown while at the same time sending alerts to staff, students, and parents or guardians. These integrated security systems also serve the day to day needs of the school, restricting access to certain areas based on time of day, performing video surveillance, as well as access control.

When schools implement technology as single tools instead of holistic solutions, they miss out on control of the campus, reduction in operating cost, and overall effectiveness. With emergency management systems, it is important to use a layered approach with the ability to secure a perimeter, control access, send emergency messages, manage surveillance, and enter a lockdown state. The state of a full school lockdown is used in these smaller schools as it would be next to impossible to implement well in a university setting, but K-12 environments are small and institutional enough to be able to make use of it.

Using secured entrances and exits for all points of entry allows management to track everyone entering and exiting during the day. Door locks may be linked to security personnel who can open or close doorways in emergency situations. Integrating turnstiles, video analytics, intercoms, and intrusion detection devices are all options to be deployed at access control points. The school can assign different levels of access to students, staff, and visitors, and can track their movements and how long they spend in each location. This can all be valuable security data to mitigate future threats and to monitor in ongoing analysis.

Using IP-based video surveillance is a must. The cameras will be integrated into the larger system and backed up to the cloud. The school can then take advantage of digital storage, remote monitoring, and video analytics if desired. A well designed system will also include monitoring of individual room condition statuses, which are important in case of the need for a lockdown, evacuation, or order to shelter-in-place. All of these features work in concert to provide a truly next generation level of security at the K-12 level specifically designed to cater to the needs of schools of this size and with this young of a student population. The integration of the fundamentals, access control, IP-video, lockdown features, emergency messaging, and analytics makes it possible to have near total control over the campus in the case of an emergency.


Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom designed systems such as this from the ground up or integrated into existing infrastructure, where possible. We are available 24/7 at on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863.

Exploring Mass Notification Systems for Campuses




Mass notification systems have already been present on college campuses for a number of years. But these systems often either failed to respond quickly enough or to reach a majority of those on campus. Myriad threats, from active shooter situations, protests turned violent, and even outbreaks of diseases are present in these large institutions. These events require a school to arm itself with the technology to quickly communicate with large numbers of people to prevent loss of life. Here we will look at some current solutions campuses are employing in an effort to be proactive against shootings and other violence.

Because campuses can vary in size from small community colleges to massive military academies, it is important that a mass notification system be able to segment alerts based on location. Something going on a thousand acres across campus may not be relevant to the entire school. Having a hybrid system with at least some hosted in the cloud allows for scaling of the response system rapidly. So called “message fatigue” can prevent people from viewing these alerts, which makes it even more important to target based on location of the incident. In smaller campuses, it may be useful to expand the alerts to non-emergency messages about class cancellations or buildings closing. This is a balancing act the school must engage in to fit their needs.

Using SaaS and cloud based options will reduce Total Cost of Ownership by eliminating on-site hardware, maintenance, staffing, and other dedicated infrastructure. Most modern systems now work in this way. Of course, with any large system you must anticipate malicious activity and aim to thwart it. Data encryption “at-rest and in-transit”, using top tier data centers, recipient pin codes, and other features are must haves. An attacker could otherwise compromise the system and issue false alerts or even alerts designed to distract from some planned event such as a mass shooting or on campus riot. The vendor used should basically have uptime 100 percent of the time with support across all platforms, mobile and otherwise. Integrating security into a mass alert system will likely require a team of IT professionals, but not as many as would be needed without cloud hosting.

The design of the messaging itself is up to the school. Separate sets of protocols for emergencies versus simple announcements will make the difference between a useful system and a nuisance. The end user will need to be able to distinguish between alerts quickly, which can be achieved through emergency tones associated with the messages. Finally, you should be able to assign users different levels of access throughout the system within your IT team. Malicious individuals can and often do originate from the “inside”.

Security Technology of South Texas is happy to offer custom designed systems such as this from the ground up or integrated into existing infrastructure, where possible. We are available 24/7 at on our website or via phone at 210-446-4863.

Source: Campus Security Magazine