Use Your Eyes!

The future of video surveillance

Edge-based storage in a small camera system environment has many benefits and it will continue to get better. Today’s standard for a modern surveillance system is HDTV and, if configured properly, the user will never miss a single frame. With the evolution of SD cards, which are now available in 64 and 128 GB with more storage to come, we will easily be able to store weeks of high-quality video inside the camera or the encoder in the coming years.

And just as edge-based storage grows, so too does Internet bandwidth and availability. Just as our own human behavior has dictated the rising use of Gmail, online banking, movie streaming, personal storage, file sharing and other cloud-based services, a similar need for anytime, anywhere video access and offsite storage has led to the emergence of hosted video. While edge recording is perfect for single-site deployments, hosted video has seen success where the end-user has multiple, dispersed sites to monitor.

Yet a question I often get when speaking about the growth of edge-based and hosted video storage is if these technology trends mean the end of the VMS. The answer is simple: These cameras still need to be managed and what does this the best is a good VMS!

The real game changer will be in the smaller camera count market where we will see edge storage replace the DVR soon. This trend may be even more disruptive when we combine good camera-edge-recording and analytics. A third layer is when we combine edge recording with hosted video. Using analytics with increased edge storage capacities will be attractive because this solution does not require continuous Internet bandwidth.

So while humans can remember even our earliest memories, an IP surveillance system has the most reliable long-term memory and its short-term memory growth is far outpacing our own.


Man vs. machine

When we compare man vs. machine in the surveillance world, the one certainty is that we need to work together for maximum efficiency today and into the future.

Humans have higher pixel vision, but the IP camera helps us see in difficult light and pure darkness. Guards and officers in the field can scan quickly for signs of trouble, while their colleagues in the command post use cameras to zoom in for a closer—and safer—look. Our brains can analyze a scene and predict behavior thanks to human intuition, but the IP camera is there to help with repetitive tasks without getting bored or falling asleep at the wheel. Our long-term memories are unrivaled in the animal world, but the camera never lies or misremembers.

Moore’s Law keeps on working to give us more processing power and usable resolution, while the latest human evolution seems to be that we are growing larger, taller and, yes, wider—just like our old analog TVs!

IP video will continue to improve, and humans must adapt to get the most out of the technology. After all, in a footrace, it’s clear that Mr. Moore is much faster than Mr. Darwin.



Martin Gren is the founder of Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass., and the inventor of the first IP network camera.