The 3D Security Landscape

Here's how systems integrators can leverage its capabilities in their business practices

Bosch Security Systems,' Fairport, N.Y., 3D Diffuser technology is embedded in some of its infrared illuminators and infrared imagers, which enables the beam pattern of an LED array to be altered. "Most LED illuminators use a circular beam pattern, which means that much of the infrared illumination is wasted up into the sky," said Anne Insero, manager of Public Relations and Media for Bosch. "3D Diffuser takes this energy and redirects it (via micro-refracting technology) toward the back of the scene to increase the viewing distance and to create a more evenly illuminated image (not a 3D image in the traditional sense of the word)."

"An end-user who implements this technology would benefit from full and accurate video information in low light situations, as these devices help to produce night-time surveillance video that more closely resembles the crisp, monochrome images captured during daylight hours," added Willem Ryan, senior product manager for Bosch. "3D Diffuser technology eliminates hotspots and underexposure by lighting the entire scene," as seen in the figure centered below. "It is ideally suited for high definition surveillance as its beam pattern matches the wider field of view captured by cameras that produce images in a 16:9 aspect ratio," he said.

An area which Laforte sees as exciting is in 3D cameras, of which he claimed the Microsoft Kinect is the best representative. "Capturing 3D video with depth will unlock new benefits like better video analytics and more reliable and unintrusive facial recognition," he confirmed. "I expect it will take three to five years before video surveillance manufacturers offer mainstream 3D cameras with specifications that go beyond the Kinect."

Yet in the realm of monitors for video surveillance, High Definition (HD) continues to heavily outweigh the need for 3D capabilities.

"For the purpose of monitoring or forensic research, I don't see a hook yet for 3D," said Sergio Collazo, director, Sales & Marketing, Imaging Systems Division, Toshiba America Information Systems, Irvine, Calif. "Video surveillance in our world-the technology really follows the consumer, especially in the imaging. I think there is a possible play for 3D in the future, but right now what seems to be catching on well is the high resolution images that a megapixel can provide."

Collazo stressed the importance in the ability of the monitor to support the resolution of a camera. "That is critical right now," he said. "Not every monitor can support the resolution of a two megapixel camera, let alone support a four- or five-megapixel camera. Matching the resolution of the monitor to the resolution of the camera-that is something that is not considered enough." (To see a remote monitoring live demonstration, visit

In addition to this, Collazo attributed the shift of the monitor business in the security industry to the consumer products. "We used to sell thousands of security monitors but that business is gone because from an economic perspective, one can go to Best Buy and purchase a VGA computer monitor," he continued. "If a dealer wants to sell a megapixel system, my guess is that he will buy a consumer television that has the resolution support-and I imagine a lot of that business is not going to the security channel. And the reason goes back to the technology. The display technology is not as prolific in the security industry as it is in the consumer market."

The concept of 3D is familiar and while the technology is still far from being heavily adopted in the electronic security industry, systems integrators and dealers must stay abreast of its developments. Maximize your IP investment and get in-tune with your network and IT skills to better prepare yourself for 3D technologies.