Video surveillance goes mobile

July 24, 2013
Advancements in technology have created a paradigm shift within the industry

Imagine a location or branch that has been experiencing a rash of break-ins or vandalism, or a critical infrastructure site that needs special protection. Installing hardwired cable is impossible and there is no central server at the location. Ethernet cabling, as well as Power-over-Ethernet, are also unavailable. You’re tethered to the constraints of the location, but need strong surveillance and security detection to limit incidents and prevent further breaches. 

This case in point is the reality of many applications today. As businesses become more widespread and add remote locations, they desperately need video surveillance. And, while traditional security cameras provide a degree of crime prevention and deterrence, surveillance without the ability to record video or without mobility falls drastically short in terms of total security and offers no forensic capabilities.  

New network video management software, applications and technologies, coupled with IP topography, are causing a paradigm shift in video surveillance. Now the name of the game is mobile surveillance and remote connectivity, delivering all the features and functions that provide end users optimum flexibility. From small and mid-sized businesses to enterprise locations, live, real-time video and recording at up to 30 frames-per-second are available at a moment’s notice.

Imagine being able to view live video from places traditional cameras cannot reach. It is possible today under mobile platforms and applications. Operating over Wi-Fi, 3G/4G cellular and LTE wireless networks, users can record video from any location, truly extending security’s reach.

Mobility a game-changer for video  

IP cameras and mobile applications are rapidly changing the dynamics of the security industry. Experts contend that new generations of smartphones will become their own central monitoring stations or command and control centers. Not only are wireless technologies providing users with more mobility than ever, but these devices extend the reach of a surveillance infrastructure and protected premises - speeding up response and providing real-time situational awareness to allow appropriate actions to be taken. Removing the former constraints of video surveillance (storage concerns, lack of power, etc.) enables users to deploy cameras in more locations than ever and have full control of these devices and their operating parameters.

At the core of all these newfound applications are smartphones, which stream live video to users on the go and providing on-the-spot surveillance and recording. With this power, users can also become more proactive and respond appropriately to any situation, as they now have a real-time and accurate look into any incidents as, before or after they happen. With pre-alarm capabilities as well, cameras have become full-fledged notification devices.

IP camera and mobile smartphone applications also help users handle their business more effectively and reliably. The value-add is there, providing manufacturing efficiencies and management of crowds in a stadium, for example, yielding a greater return on investment.

The IP video surveillance industry has worked hard at software and applications to make all this possible, taking mobile surveillance applications to levels never before achieved in the field. These products feature embedded video management software and enable channel partners and users to deploy cameras without ongoing concerns about recording or storing on site. Of course, these traditional setups are highly valuable, but they are augmented by the development of new technologies that expand what was once never thought possible. Today’s technology turns end users, first responders and a host of IT, security, facilities management and C-level executives into live camera operators.

Real-time networked video surveillance

This new era of video management software and mobile applications truly allows users to tap into the power of their smart devices to stream video from any location for either short or long-term storage. Users can grab real-time visual reports of an incident, and stream the video and data to a central command center for on-the-spot decision making, dispatching and timely incident resolution.

This technology extends the coverage of surveillance networks to reach blind spots and other areas that traditional cameras cannot reach; enabling the relocation of surveillance devices in real time as the needs arises. Mobile surveillance gives operators and administrators greater configuration flexibility and ease of access for casual users through web browsers. Applications and software can also be deployed on a PC or tablet for additional connectivity and flexibility. Remote viewing outputs handle various compression algorithms, including H.264, MPEG4 or MJPEG, provide audio support and offer an array of third-party camera support.

Mobile applications via IP also change the depth and breadth of security. Not only does this technology give the user the ability to protect outlying locations - warehouses, satellite offices, utility substations, live events, temporary infrastructure and more - it provides business intelligence, service and reduces operational costs.

The future of the industry is in software, remote and cloud-based solutions. These video surveillance advancements allow end users to focus on their core business, but still have a handle and control on all their locations around the globe.

About the Author: Ed Wassall, Ph.D., is vice president of global marketing and hardware products at DVTel.