An emerging trend in video surveillance technology could help tip off school leaders to potential acts of theft or violence before they even happen.

Researchers and security companies are developing cameras that not only watch the world but also interpret what they see. Soon, some cameras might be able to find unattended bags at airports, guess your height, or analyze the way you walk to see if you're hiding something.

Most of the cameras widely used today are used as forensic tools to identify perpetrators after the fact. To stop an act of theft or violence before--or while--it occurs, you'd need to...

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