GE Security kicks off interoperability initiative with London seminar
BRADENTON, Fla.--Continuing its push to deliver increasingly integrated security solutions, GE Homeland Protection, a business of GE Security, has launched a strategic initiative to promote greater interoperability among security products globally that aims to create a free and open security sensor communication protocol.
The cornerstone of GE's effort is a software communication module called Detection Systems Fusion Protocol (DSFP). An open protocol, DSFP could be adopted by any manufacturer to allow their security products plug-and-play connections to DSFP-powered networks.
While the concept of sensor fusion is not new, GE's approach is unique in that it would essentially allow the data collected by one sensor to influence or affect the "decisions" or behavior of another sensor linked to it in a network, according to Yotam Margalit, director of interoperability at GE Homeland Protection.
Outlining a possible scenario, Margalit imagined a car pulling into a parking garage at an airport. Captured by video surveillance, the car could be checked against a central records point like the Department of Motor Vehicles. In the event of something suspicious, it would be assigned a "score" slightly to the negative side, which would then be conveyed to other points along the subject's security pathway. This score would draw additional scrutiny, for example, as he reached a check-in kiosk or biometric identification point. In the event of further flags, scrutiny would intensify at points such as baggage screening, and on down the security chain.
"The idea is that you have a DSFP communication protocol in every one of the sensors that follows the passenger from the moment they enter the system until they're finally sitting on the train or plane," said Margalit. "All this communication makes the system more refined, adding to the probability of detection while decreasing false alarms," he added, noting that this has applications beyond aviation or transport, to things like government-building, prison or event-venue security.
To advance the goal of making DSFP available in a package for any third-party that wants to turn its sensor into a DSFP-enabled sensor, GE has set up a development lab and is organizing seminars to spread the word about its shared network approach. The first was held this April in London at Identity Loop 2008. "We want to find other sensor manufacturers that would like the opportunity to learn about DSFP, come to our lab and help populate it with sensors and prove the value this creates for end users," Margalit said.
The project really goes to the heart of GE's goal of delivering more and better integrated solutions, according to Steve Hill, GE Security's global head of public relations. "We recognize that sometimes creating the right integrated solution to solve a problem may require us to work cooperatively outside of GE. In this case, that means bringing in the right sensors," he said.