Basic Knowledge Smart Data Sources for Forensic Searches

The Smart Data Search allows for a forensic search based on the data transferred from the Smart Data sources and represents an enormous enrichment in addition to the considerable time savings for the user.

Smart Data Sources can provide a wide variety of data and allow a targeted search or narrowing of the video results based on the individual Smart Data search filters.

A Smart Data source provides metadata in a structured form that can provide additional information about an event. In an example from the logistics sector, the data of a scanned packet label could be transmitted to the MOBOTIX system as Smart Data information, such as:

  • Tracking number
  • Packet weight
  • Destination Location
  • Date and time of the scanning process

In this way, the video data can be combined with this metadata in addition to the classic filtering according to the time and the triggering event.
For example, show me the video data of packages weighing more than 5 kg or show me all video data for a specific tracking number.

The following types of smart data sources are currently available:

  • External smart data sources such as POS systems from Vectron, HUTH, Ratio, etc.

Screenshot 2023-01-02 at 09.03.09

  • P7 Camera App as a Smart Data source such as Vaxtor LPR Make Model Color, MOBOTIX Event Data and many more.

In principle, any application can integrate the Smart Data interface and transmit the metadata to the MOBOTIX SYSTEM in the predefined structured way.

The metadata is transferred from the Smart Data source to the internal database of the corresponding camera and can be subsequently read out by the MOBOTIX management and used as a search filter for video research.

Technically, this is quite simple and the data is transmitted in a specific order with indication of the data type (e.g. number or character), the MOBOTIX Management Center (MxMC) needs the exact order and types of the data to be read out in order to read out the data correctly.
Based on the logistics example above:
Tracking number (type number) , weight (type number in kg), destination (type text), time stamp (type date).

For the correct reading of this metadata, there is a description file for each Smart Data Source type that describes exactly this structure and the information on how the designation is to be made in the MxMC.

The description file (schemata) must be stored in the MxMC program folder in order to use the metadata of a Smart Data source in the Smart Data search as a search filter.

Especially for the MOBOTIX P7 Camera Apps (M73, S74, Q71, etc.), this description file (schemata) is offered in the respective app for the MxMC in order to make “new” apps or structure extensions of the metadata of existing apps available to MxMC users “automatically”.

From MxMC version 2.7 onwards, this function fetches the new description files of activated apps at the push of a button and automatically stores them in the MxMC. (Require Camera Version and the latest Certified APP Release)

Procedure for integrating new P7 Camera Apps in the MxMC as Smart Data sources.

Activate the corresponding app in the camera (the MxMC can be used for this (Configuration → Camera Apps) (camera reboot may be necessary depending on the app used).

In the MxMC, under the menu item “Components”, select the tab “Cameras” and there select the corresponding cameras and press the button “Get SmartData information of active Apps”. (the new description files are loaded in the background).

  1. Switch to the “SmartData Sources” tab where the new apps appear in the list. You can see that the new apps are listed without a file extension such as “.plate” or “.vehicle”.

Caution: If this is an app update, two factors play a role in the transition period:

  1. The app was already known to the MxMC in the old format (recognisable by the extension .Plate etc.). In this case, a new entry is made in the list. The old one is only used to access the “old” data until the metadata is overwritten. After that it will become obsolete
  2. The app (without a named extension, e.g. “.plate”) will be extended in the future by the app manufacturer to include further metadata; in this case, too, access to the old data (until it is overwritten) is possible with the previous version for reasons of compatibility. The corresponding version can be selected in the Smart Data Settings - Version in the tab “Smart Data Sources”.

In most cases, after overwriting the video memory (typically 7 or 14 days), the old metadata is no longer relevant and users can use the search filter permanently with the current version of the app and only work with two search filter types during the transition period.