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05/18/2020

Intro to BLK247

By afontana

Andy Fontana is here to introduce the BLK247, a real-time reality capture sensor that fuses LiDAR, video, and thermal imaging with edge computing and intelligent algorithms to detect and report physical changes within a space. It also creates digital fences to protect restricted or secured areas and objects.

Video transcript:

The BLK247 is a complete LiDAR-based security system that constantly monitors everything in 3D space. Each BLK247 is a compact security device that consists of a LiDAR system, visual cameras, and thermal cameras. Leica Geosystems has a long history and reputation of creating extremely accurate laser-based surveying equipment, and they brought the same technology to the 247.

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. And this is just a technical term for measuring something with light. The LiDAR system in the BLK247 allows it to capture and record everything that happens around it in 3D. It starts off by shooting a pulse of light down towards the small mirror. This mirror reflects the light in a very specific direction. So, this pulse flies through the air until it hits an object. Once it hits this object, some of the light is reflected right back to the 247. Now based on the speed of light and the time that it took for that pulse to return, it can calculate the distance to that object. Then the mirror rotates ever so slightly, and it shoots the next pulse in a different direction.

But this is all happening extremely fast, up to 700,000 times a second. The mirror is constantly spinning, capturing measurements in every vertical direction and the entire LiDAR system spins all the way around, capturing everything in 3D in every direction around the 247. The laser that the BLK247 uses is completely invisible to the human eye and will continue to work in complete darkness. The BLK247 can see 360 degrees around itself and 240 degrees vertically. Each unit has a range of 30 meters or about 100 feet. The area that each unit can cover varies depending on how high it's mounted off the ground. But if a unit is mounted about 4 meters or about 12 feet off the ground, then it can cover 2,750 square meters or about 30,000 square feet.

Any number of BLK247s can be set up together as a complete system. Depending on the layout of the building, they could be set up up to 40 meters or about 130 feet apart without creating any blind spots. Along with the LiDAR, each BLK247 has two wide-angle video cameras and four thermal cameras to capture everything around it. You can set the system to constantly stream all of the footage directly to your operation center or you can have it only send footage when the LiDAR detects an incident.

The advantage to using a LiDAR-based security system is the fact that we're no longer relying on what you think you can see in the picture. Instead, we're using physical measurements of what is actually there. Using this LiDAR, we can now measure the true size and 3D direction of any moving object. The onboard intelligent algorithms can automatically differentiate between different things, like a human versus an animal. This type of automation works around the clock. It decreases the need for security personnel and cuts down on false alarms. All those extra data provide an enormous amount of intelligence for security teams.

This automation is also extremely helpful in very busy environments where traditional security systems can really struggle. And because the BLK247 uses LiDAR, all of this is still possible in extremely low light conditions and even complete darkness. Using the included software, you can create virtual 3D zones that act as fences around particular areas or objects. What this means is essentially BLK247 can monitor all activity automatically, even in very busy environments, and send an alert when something or someone has intruded over this boundary that you have set. The BLK247 also offers an API, so you can integrate this technology into your already existing system. The BLK247 is really using some cutting-edge technology and it's allowing security teams to do their jobs more confidently and with peace of mind.

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