Scientists have developed a new type of surveillance that can differentiate between a friendly hug or a punch in the face.
The smart surveillance system, developed by boffins at the University of Texas, is capable of automatically detecting violent crimes.The system could soon be available to monitor huge quantities of CCTV security footage.
The software behind the system analyses each frame of footage to spot any suspicious behaviour.
Real CCTV is low resolution and people don't usually walk up 'nicely' to one another.
The system was tested using six pairs of people who were asked to carry out various actions on one another, including sequences where the actors throw a few (fake) punches and push each other around.
Each frame was then analysed by the system with 92 per cent of single actions (for example, a simple shake of the hand) accurately detected and two-thirds of longer sequences correctly spotted.The images used to test the surveillance system are of a high resolution. "Real CCTV is low resolution," adding "people don't usually walk up 'nicely' to one another".