Smart security cameras now offer scalable face-recognition and cost-effective remote monitoring…
You might not have noticed, but smart security cameras have been quietly replacing traditional CCTV systems. This is hardly surprising. The newest breed of smart cameras are smaller and lighter; they can stream/record high-resolution video and connect wirelessly to backend systems that can store and analyse the captured footage at speed.
The days of cumbersome, physically-imposing analogue cameras, requiring both ‘power in’ and ‘video out’ cables to be run off to a central point, have long since gone. In fact, some modern cameras are not only wireless, they are now completely wire-free, running on battery power without a connection to mains electricity. This makes them ideal for a number of different uses, ranging from easy home or office installations to remote rural monitoring.
Crucially, these smart cameras are also cheap enough that anyone can have access to one.
Boosting Safety and Security
In urban areas, like towns and cities, this can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, thousands of cameras provide an unparalleled monitoring solution, boosting safety and security. On the other, thousands of cameras produce terabytes of raw footage, an overwhelming amount of data that’s impossible for human operators to process.
The solution here is twofold. The first marks a significant shift from the reactive nature of CCTV (e.g. you can only act after an event has been recorded and viewed), to the proactive and preventative nature of smart cameras, which can trigger real-time motion alerts and employ object detection and facial recognition technologies.
The second part of the solution involves the rise of AI-powered data analysis. This allows algorithms to leverage those powerful recognition technologies to automatically identify objects and people that should (or shouldn’t) be there. The applications for this technology are staggering, ranging from next-gen CCTV arrays to building access control and consumer loyalty systems, such as the VIA Smart Retail Engagement System.
For retailers the ability to detect emotion, age and gender and apply AI analytics in realtime is becoming a crucial competitive advantage, enabling VIPs to be welcomed with personalised greetings, bespoke offers and services. But smart cameras can also help by gathering vital data on customer behaviour at peak times and mapping footfall densities against sales performance. On the flipside, any blacklisted shoppers can be flagged immediately, before any incidents can occur.
The Benefits of Solar
At the other end of the scale, battery-powered cameras like the VIA VPai Smart Security Solar IP Camera can be deployed in remote or rural areas, where a mains electricity connection is unavailable. The advantage of these flexible devices is that they can be mounted anywhere, operating 24/7 at low-power, with motion detection that triggers recordings, making them ideal for area security and livestock monitoring. The addition of solar panels and internal storage ensures consistent and reliable operation. Read more about the benefits of solar IP cameras here.
Of course, the boom in smart cameras has also been driven by residential consumers, who want to keep an eye on their homes while they’re out. A recent analyst report from Strategy Analytics predicts that overall consumer spending on smart home surveillance cameras will grow at 9.1 percent CAGR from $7.0 billion in 2018 to $9.7 billion by 2023, while unit sales will more than double over this period from 54 million in 2018 to 120 million in 2023.
Modern HD cameras are not only affordable and powerful, but they are easy to set up and convenient, recording video to onboard memory cards and/or to cloud-hosted storage. The newest cameras are also starting to incorporate facial recognition technology alongside night vision and motion alerts, opening up new ways of using them for home security.
One of these is to combat the growing problem of parcel theft, where internet shopping deliveries are stolen by opportunist thieves before the owners can retrieve them. Using a smart camera like the VIA VPai Smart Home IP Camera to monitor your front door (and other areas around the house) is the simplest way to provide a deterrent, but parcels can still be stolen (and the police are unlikely to investigate such small-scale incidents).
Smarter Home Security
A more modern solution incorporates a smart camera alongside a smart Wi-Fi doorbell system like the VIA VPai Smart Doorbell. This not only records HD video of anyone who approaches your house, but offers two-way audio that allows you to speak to them remotely and in real-time. This way, you can personally instruct a delivery driver to leave your parcel somewhere safe, where thieves won’t find it.
Or, by combining a VIA VPai Smart Doorbell with a VIA VPai Smart Lock, this ultimate home security setup enables you to talk to a delivery driver, unlocking a porch door or a side gate, or even granting them access to your home, watching (via VIA VPai Smart Home IP Cameras) to make sure that they leave your package safely inside and then leave. You can then remotely lock the door behind them.
It is these lightweight, wireless devices that are spurring on the smart home revolution, and also, importantly, providing an entry point into the market. Because of the modular nature of smart home devices, upgrading and enhancing any aspect of a security system is as frictionless as possible – especially compared to a traditional setup, which in many cases would require removing the old before install a new version.
At VIA we see the smart home ecosystem as being one of the most dynamic and exciting areas in technology, and we will be demonstrating both the VIA Smart Lock and VIA VPai Smart Security Solar IP Camera at the upcoming Embedded World 2019 exhibition. Come visit us at booth 2-551 for a warm welcome, and the very latest in smart security solutions.