In this 5-part series, we take a close look at new security hardware and software solutions. We will uncover how those solutions are being applied to tried and true security challenges as well as to new health, safety, and business operations challenges.
This week we start with video surveillance as our focus for Part 1, perhaps one of the most updated and repurposed categories when it comes to security.
New Video Surveillance Technology
Over the past few years, major technology breakthroughs have improved the quality and reliability of video surveillance systems. Likely the most impactful improvement has been to the resolution that cameras can deliver to the screen. Now, we are seeing 4K ultra high definition cameras on the verge of becoming common place for new projects as well as projects being upgraded. With higher resolution at your fingertips, live surveillance as well as investigation post-incident have the benefit of being able to see much more detail. From a technical perspective this is referred to as an increase in “pixels on target.”
This increase in detail can allow wider angle cameras to see more of the facility without losing small details. This can be helpful when watching expansive areas like parking lots, hospital entrances, or school cafeterias. Now, more area can be covered by the same number of cameras.
It can also allow for keeping the same field of view as before, with much greater resolution. This allows for more evidence to be captured than before. For example, a camera at the entrance of a building may have only been able to determine if a person or vehicle was passing by along the street. With higher resolution cameras, there are greater odds that not only will you see a person, but you may be able to gather more evidence like color of clothes, length of hair, and even the identity of the person. This is especially important if you are seeing video on a smart phone.
And when you add high resolution to new cameras that have extremely wide field of view capability, also known as panoramic cameras, you can see along both sides of a wall or around an entire room with a single, high resolution camera.
Caveats: As always, there is always a cost to the improvement. And while higher resolution and wide-angle cameras cost slightly more to purchase, they require more computer processing to view, playback and store the video images.
Video Surveillance Ease of Use
Video management systems have evolved significantly, allowing for a streamlined graphical user interface experience for system operators during live surveillance or for investigators performing post-incident reviews. Additionally, ONVIF and improved direct integration between manufacturers allows system owners to see exactly what they need to see while simultaneously controlling other system alarms like intrusion detection, intercom, and fence detection from the same user interface. This simplifies operations by keeping most activities on one or two screens.
New Applications for Video Surveillance
Aside from security officers watching live security cameras and investigators watching recorded video during the review process, there is a new sense of urgency to provide employee and visitor distancing and improved voice communication. Additionally, business operations and marketing teams are using security cameras as well.
Video analytics can also be used to create alerts when unsafe activity is taking place. For example, virtual fences can be monitored by intelligent cameras that can create an alert when a worker approaches a dangerous work area. And even the C Suite can benefit from new video surveillance advances. For example, security camera analytics can provide meta data that can be compiled to determine shopping trends for retailers, allowing them to know when peak shopping times are, real-time occupancy, and even heat maps that tell the story of where their customers spend their time in the store.
Local and Nationwide Implications
Advances in video surveillance and other security systems can have an impact on your organization that you never imagined. From single facility operations to nationwide organizations, new technology can help secure and grow your operation.
And, with the right planning and integration partner, you can realize the benefits immediately. Nationwide Security Corporation provides integrated security systems for businesses, government, utilities, schools, and medical facilities throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island. We are the holder of the State contract for security services. We also specialize in integrated security systems for national accounts, those clients with facilities throughout the country who want to utilize one company for all their security needs.