Fastcom Technology S.A.,

SMACS, the SMart Airlock Control System, is a video-based security hardware and software product designed to secure the passage of persons. In particular SMACS performs singularisation analysis, i.e. ensuring that only one person is present to enter the secure zone.

The main difference between the standard SMACS and the SMACS FastFace is that this version of SMACS, in addition to singularisation control in airlocks, offers the possibility to save an image of the face of each person that has used the airlock.

To use video analysis, the environment in which this system is installed becomes very important.
Despite being one of the most versatile singularisation systems that exists, SMACS requires the following factors to be taken into consideration at the design stage:

Stable lighting - Video-based analysis systems require proper lighting conditions for reliable analysis. In total darkness or dim light no analysis is possible, and strongly varying lighting poses an equal problem. Direct sunlight is to be avoided, as it can saturate the camera image, cast strong shadows, and fluctuate rapidly. If the airlock is made partly of glass it would be possible, if necessary, to make the glass more opaque.

Ceiling height - The principle of SMACS is based on a "bird's-eye view" of the activity inside the corridor. If the camera is too low, not only is it difficult to see everywhere in the airlock, but also a tall person standing under the camera would occupy the whole image. This would not pose a security issue (SMACS would never open the airlock in such a case), but tall people would not be authorised as SMACS cannot be 100% sure that the person is alone.

High-contrast design elements - For high reliability, standard SMACS requires high-contrast elements in the airlock. This allows accurate detection and avoids ambiguity in the case where part of a user's clothing is similar in colour to the airlock walls or floor. In case of the SMACS Corridor, the high-contrast design elements could be a contrasted carpet, fixed on the floor, only in front of the secure door.


The standard SMACS FastFace configuration is:

  • 2 doors which are controlled by the SMACS (airlock effect, i.e. only one door can be open at a time). Note that 3 doors can be managed by SMACS if necessary.
  • 1 top-view camera mounted on the ceiling.
  • 1 side-view camera mounted on one of the walls.
  • A contrasted floor inside the airlock. This contrasted floor could be a carpet with a logo drawn on it.

In the following figure you can see a standard SMACS FastFace configuration:

standard SMACS FastFace configuration

The hardware configuration of the SMACS FastFace is the same as the hardware configuration of standard SMACS:

Basic SMACS components

  1. SMACS analysing unit (industrial PC)
  2. Power supply cable for the analysing unit
  3. 2 × Termination board of 37 IO signals for mounting on DIN rail
  4. 2 × Low voltage computer cable with 37 pins (DB37), length 1m
  5. Split cable to connect keyboard and mouse to the analysing unit
  6. Dongle USB
  7. SMACS FastFace software, pre-installed
  8. Windows 2000 Pro-Licence (English version)
  9. Documentation (SMACS Hardware Installation Guide and SMACS Software Installation Guide)

Basic camera components
A camera is part of the SMACS standard equipment and is delivered with SMACS. Its components include:

  1. Digital CCTV camera with integrated power supply
  2. Wide angle lens
  3. Coaxial cable, length 10m, 75 Ohms
  4. Camera support

Operating configuration
The most common configuration of SMACS FastFace is as follows:
When someone enters the airlock, SMACS can detect his/her face in the video image and save a still image of it. In the same time, the singularisation process is performed. Then, SMACS saves a copy of the top-view image with the person's face overlaid in the corner. If a problem or alarm occurs, you can then know very easily who is responsible for it.

Moreover, Fastcom Technology is currently working on a face recognition system that would be able to search automatically for someone in your log images, only by comparing them to a picture of the person you search.

For low flow airlocks, SMACS FastFace can be combined with SMACS BioVisual for a very high security level. SMACS Biovisual is based on the fact that each person has a personal visual signature in the image; it uses identification information to know who is currently inside the airlock and to adapt the singularisation process to him. A registering procedure for each person that will use the airlock is needed first.

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