An $8 million balloon is the highlight of Olympics security

Eliza Mills Jul 29, 2016
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Photo courtesy Logos Technologies

An $8 million balloon is the highlight of Olympics security

Eliza Mills Jul 29, 2016
Photo courtesy Logos Technologies
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COPY

You’re not the only one who will be watching the Olympic games in Rio, Brazil when they kick off next Friday. Up in the sky, four balloons carrying high tech camera will be monitoring the games from above, part of a new security program from Logos Technologies.

The balloon cameras, called Simera, take three photos per second of an entire city area. Think of it like a live-streaming Google Maps satellite with the ability to track suspicious movements – people, cars, you name it – through Rio.

Logos typically works with the Department of Defense, using the Simera technology near military bases or on borders. And while the view from above is still a little fuzzy (not facial recognition or license plate number readings, yet), a key component of Simera is its ability to link up with cameras on the ground. That sky high view can easily turn into an on-the-ground peek through security cameras, or communication with law enforcement. 

This is the first time that Simera will be used at a large-scale civilian event – the technology is ready to go in Rio, though it is scaled back compared to Logos’ military tools.

So what does the future hold for surveillance tech? Logos’ $8 million dollar contract with Rio will serve as a test, not just for the company, but for how surveillance security technology could work in a non-military context.

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