Thinking About Video Motion Detection?

Video motion detection (VMD) is rapidly changing how security professionals use video. The term "motion detection" as it is applied to digital video is ambiguous. It can refer to capabilities ranging from simple activity detection to the search of massive...

If a primary purpose of the video is documentation for prosecution or litigation, changes of the field of view to accommodate the movement should be minimal, and more cameras should be implemented to confirm the events. Also, the graphic enhancement of the VMD, the storage methods of the video, and the signal compression methods must be more closely scrutinized when selected to minimize controversy. If the detected movement requires identification or authorization, the VMD processor must be capable of interaction with the corrected database. Sometimes this requires the integration of video with access control or other file servers. The VMD may also be required to translate the required video information for comparison to the database information.

The considerable range of products and their complex capabilities bring uncertainty to the implementation of VMD systems. What is certain, however, is that VMD will continue to develop new capabilities for application to security issues. Therefore, for any CCTV system that now has, or may have, need of any but the simplest VMD products, the following should be considered:

  • Apply imagination. If you think it can be done, it probably can.
  • Plan for continual upgrades to the system and to the functions it performs. Phasing of VMD projects can be beneficial.
  • Don?t skimp. Off the shelf is fine for basic needs, but complex solutions require study, design and funds.

Though the complexities bring uncertainty, the innovations offered by VMD create an exciting new potential to provide safer and better managed environments. Keeping informed is, therefore, the best tool for VMD.

Kenneth L. Gentile, P.E. is a senior consulting engineer with the Houston, TX, office of Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc. To learn more about RJA, visit its Web site at