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High-Resolution, Alert Programs Enhance Security Cameras

With IP video, faces can clearly be identified and behavioral recognition software can sound alarms

IP video cameras are providing surveillance systems with the high-resolution video needed to identify faces and license-plate numbers clearly, while cameras with behavior recognition software are alerting security personnel to abnormal activity, according to video surveillance professionals with expertise in those fields.

By alerting security personnel to abnormal activity in a camera’s field of view, behavior recognition software provides more to the user than simply recording an incident to be used as later evidence, said David Gerulski, vice president of BRS Labs. The company produces the software AISight.

Behavioral recognition systems are providing real-time information to the user, enabling security personnel to respond to an incident immediately, Gerulski told Government Video. Without an alert system, all a camera is doing is recording into DVRs to provide forensic data that will increase the chances of apprehending a perpetrator, he said.

Cities, transportation systems and schools are turning to surveillance systems to increase security, “causing camera sales to go through the roof,” Gerulski said. However, while “cameras are being deployed everywhere, we know that those cameras all can’t be watched.” This is where behavior recognition software can play a role, he said.

The software should be deployed in a surveillance camera at a location where everyday activity is the norm, such as at busy street corner, he said. The software would know when a street corner is suppose to be busy, such as a Monday at 8 a.m., and when it is not supposed to be busy, such as a Sunday at 1 a.m., he said. If the corner is quiet when it normally would be busy, the camera will send an alert, he said, and vice-versa.

Behavioral recognition software can be deployed in existing cameras, Gerulski said. “A lot of organizations have hundreds of cameras, and they don’t have to acquire new cameras,” he said.

Further encouraging wide deployment of surveillance gear are advancements in IP cameras, said Jack Plunkett, the chief technology officer for IPVideo Corp., which provides physical security information management solutions and video management systems.

Those advancements include embedded video analytics, internal storage for on-board recording, extreme low light capabilities and, the most important and beneficial advancement, increased resolution, he said.

The technology available today with IP cameras increases the likelihood the captured video will provide clear identifiable evidence, scene intelligence and redundant storage capabilities, Plunkett said. “It is truly amazing what detail can be captured from high-definition or megapixel IP cameras when the proper camera and lens are coupled to provide the proper amount of pixels per foot,” he said. “Detailed facial and license plate recognition can now be achieved from distances never before possible.”

Companies that produce surveillance cameras have incorporated their own innovations that are enabling their cameras to fill particular niches. Among them are:


Axis Communications’ P3384-V The P3384-V camera is a 720p camera that has wide dynamic capture and Axis’ Lightfinder technology, which increases light sensitivity, according to Sales Engineer Ricky Rabell. The technology enables the camera to work in places where conditions are very dark, he said; it amplifies available light and is able to produce a picture at night, he said.

In addition, the P3384-V camera supports P-Iris control, enabling the camera precisely to control the position of the iris, the opening of which is optimized for depth of field, lens resolution and light inlet, resulting in what the company describes as superb image quality with optimal sharpness. The camera also has a vandal-resistant casing with a fixed dome designed for indoor environments where discreet and compact solutions are required, and it is able to operate in hot areas where the sun is hitting the camera, “but it will still provide a great picture,” Rabell said.


Canon U.S.A. Inc.’s VB-H41 In the security camera area, Canon U.S.A. Inc. offers the VB-H41 full HD, pan, tilt and zoom IP security camera, according to Chuck Westfall, a technical information advisor for Canon. The VB-H41 is part of Canon’s “three lines of resolution in security cameras,” which includes standard definition, up to 1.3 megapixels, topping out at full HD 2 megapixels, he said. “We have multiple cameras in each of those areas and can meet a user’s needs regardless of what their concerns are.”

The VB-H41 can be used both indoors and out, but the camera would probably be at its best in a large facility such as a warehouse or parking lot, because not only does it have the highresolution to cover the standard area, it has 20-times optical zoom, Westfall said. “So if there’s something going on in that large space that people need to get a closer look at, they can take advantage of that 20-times zoom.”

In addition, the VB-H41 is loaded with video analytics and functions that enable the camera to be tailored to fit a user’s monitoring needs, while SSL support and a built-in SD memory card slot add to the reliability and security of the video recorded, according to Canon. The VB-H41’s 2.1 megapixel CMOS sensor provides images with more detail than a VGA security camera, according to the company.


Hitachi’s KD-HD1005S The new KD-HD1005S is a crossover between broadcast and surveillance cameras, says Lawrence Ottaviano, Hitachi’s national sales manager.

The camera has simultaneous HD-SDI and SD outputs, and it is 1080p and 2.1 megapixel, he said. It supports both defocus control and video lenses, has a focus output function that can make any lens an auto focusing lens, and enables for single serial control of both lens and camera through one serial connection, according to Hitachi.

The KD-HD1005S has a MU-HD101 Codex and it can transmit an HDTV picture more than 100 yards on 5C-FB cable, and it has four monitor outputs, Hitachi said.

In addition, it works with extremely low light and can see through dust, fog and smoke, Ottaviano said. Anyone using the camera “can do man detection at five miles,” he added. It also has a ruggedized design for severe weather conditions.

Hitachi makes very robust cameras that can withstand rugged environments. The U.S. Border Patrol has Hitachi cameras deployed at the southern U.S. border where the temperature regularly reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit, he said. “In the last five years, there has been a less than a 1-percent failure rate of the Hitachi cameras deployed there,” said Ottaviano, who added the failure-rate data was provided by the government.


MEI Systems’ CyberGuard CyberGuard from MEI Systems is an outdoor, portable security system that was developed for the oil and gas industry, said Paul Morocco, the company’s president. It is a surveillance system that can be deployed at remote sites that lack power and Internet access, but that requires an electronic security guard. The system not only provides video security, it can control gate access at a site, he added.

The CyberGuard system can provide surveillance even during snowstorms or fog conditions in which it would be difficult for humans to see through, Morocco said. “Our cameras can see through that and analyze objects that move to provide verification of what the object is, be it a small animal or a human,” he said. In addition, a user can view the surveillance footage using a cell phone or a PC, which enables the user to manage many sites, he said.


Mobotix offers its Hemispheric Camera Q24, with an entirely digital path from the image sensor all the way out, said Joe Saunder, a representative of TecPro Ltd., an integrator of surveillance equipment that installs the Q24.

Mobotix’s Hemispheric Camera Q24 The Hemispheric Camera Q24 offer a multitude of advantages, including high-resolution image sensors that enable the security camera to capture a detailed image for advanced pos t -processi ng, according to Mobotix. The camera has no moving parts, which minimizes maintenance and failure while increasing the overall life of the camera, and because the Q24 is IP and Power over Ethernet it can be used for a broad number of applications and features, Saunder said.


Panasonic’s WV-SW316L The WV-SW316L is an IR illuminated indoor/outdoor camera, said Donald Stitt, Panasonic’s senior area sales manager. The WV-SW316L is a 720p IP camera, with high-definition video; a key feature of the camera is it has IR illumination, which goes up to 60 feet away from the camera.

In addition, the WV-SW316L has a motorized zoom lens that can be operated remotely from the recorder, or using a remote software pack, Stitt said. It also has storage on board, and with the storage capability, if there is a network lag or problem within the network, the user can collect the recording from the camera and transfer it later, he said. “So it provides some flexibility,” he said.


Samsung introduced a chipset technology that can be found in its 6000 series of surveillance cameras, including the SNB-6004, SND-6084, SND-6084R, SNV-6084R and SNO-6084R, said Dave D’Elia, director of business development.

The chipset technology employs sophisticated video analytics within the camera, including intelligent imaging, region of interest facial recognition capabilities and “de-fogging,” D’Elia said. “De-fogging will literally take the fog out of a picture in an outdoor environment,” he said. Also, it records at 60 fps at 1080p, and it has a wide dynamic range of 100dB; low-light recording at 0.1 Lux; multi-crop streaming; P-iris enhancement; dual H.264 and MJPEG codecs and a host of event and intelligent onboard analytics, according to Samsung.


Axis Communications:

BRS Labs:

Canon U.S.A. Inc.:


IPVideo Corp.:


MEI Systems: