Now, a self-operating spycam to detect fires at a radius of 11 km

Canberra, Dec 30 (ANI): Researchers in Sydney, Australia, have created a new high-tech spy camera which can detect fire at a radius of about 11km using recognition software which enables it to virtually think for itself.

Known as "Firecam", a trial for this camera is underway in Sydney's northern suburbs to detect fires within minutes of them being lit.

"This new system has been specially designed to automatically detect smoke plumes, using recognition software that does not require an operator," Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW told the website

"Once a fire is detected by the cameras, the system sounds an alarm and firefighters are alerted. The camera can then zoom-in on the blaze to locate and monitor the flames," he added.

"If the trial was successful, another five would be located at high points across Sydney to cover the metropolitan area," said Emergency Services Minister and architect of the initiative Nathan Rees.

The cameras could be rolled out across NSW (New South Wales) in high population areas to act not only as early warning devices for bushfires, but also as evidentiary weapons in the fight against arson.

New statistics reveal that every five days, a juvenile is being charged, cautioned or sent for youth conferencing for lighting fires.

But now, the network of new generation spy cameras would be able to catch them in the act.

The technology, adapted from cameras used to detect fires on oil rigs, can record car number plates and criminals' faces while also recording data of the size, heat and speed of the developing blaze.

According to Premier Morris Lemma, this new device was a much needed weapon to catch what appeared to be a growing number of arsonists.

"If there are suspicious people or vehicles nearby, high resolution images can be captured to assist police and fire investigators," said Lemma. (ANI)