Zivile Sicherheit ohne Ueberwachung
Matthias Heyde/ Fraunhofer FOKUS

Civil security without surveillance

News from Mar. 10, 2014

The Smart-City-Institute FOKUS with the joint project SAFEST (Social-Area Framework for Early Security Triggers at Airports) will show at this year’s CeBIT, that security systems in airports, railway stations and other highly frequented public spaces need not dependent on video or personal data.

More security in public spaces without forfeiting privacy or personal rights. The Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) exhibits at the CeBIT 2014 (Hall 9, Stall E40), that this need not be contradictory. The crisis management system SAFEST with the help of infrared cameras, recognizes critical situations in crowds and guides people in danger away from the dangerous zone. In doing so neither movement profiles nor personal data is recorded.

Two core components of SAFEST will be presented at the trade-fair: a camera system that uses infrared to reliably recognize sudden changes and critical situations in crowds, in order to prevent mass panic in times of danger. And the Open Source operating system RIOT, with which small gadgets like lamps or local sensors can be integrated into the evacuation system with standard wireless interfaces. The design of SAFEST is such that it meets the requirement of the general public for the highest level of civil security without recording personal data.


How does SAFEST work?

SAFEST recognizes critical situations in crowds

If in a public place a warning is sounded (e.g. bomb threat, fire, terror warning), many people must be brought to safety as soon as possible without mass panic or accidents. The infrared cameras of SAFEST identify critical build-up and unrest in crowds and passes on this information to a control center for evaluation. Thereby the people are not shown as individuals but rather as data-points, the deciding factor is the density and unusual movement patterns within the situation as a whole.


Orderly evacuation through industry 4.0
With the second system component, it is attempted to bring the people to safety in an orderly fashion. The Open Source software RIOT connects via wireless interfaces local gadgets (e.g. bulbs or temperature sensors) with local early warning systems and encrypts the protocols so that the data is not sent as plain text. For example sensors can report high heat generation early on and lamps can be programmed such that they in times of danger provide a light channel to the exit.


For the first time, visitors to the CeBIT will experience how in an emergency SAFEST activates a lighting system that can be controlled from a wristwatch. In the case of panic situations the security personnel could initiate a large scale evacuation from the wrist itself.

Visit Fraunhofer FOKUS at the CeBIT

When: 10. to 14. March 2014
Where: Hall 9, Stall E40