Eye on the wall keeps us safe

Indian market, dominated by analog surveillance cameras, is witnessing a shift towards IP surveillance cameras

May 09, 2015 02:32 am | Updated 02:32 am IST

CTV cameras today do much more than merely record video footages or scare away shoplifters. These electronic eyes are intelligent enough to detect unlawful movements and send alerts that can proactively prevent crimes. High-end cameras and algorithms have made video surveillance and analysis a fast-growing industry with multiple uses in different situations.

“The trend now is to use cameras to prevent crime rather than to sift through recorded frames to make sense of an event that has already taken place,” says Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager, Axis Communications, India and SAARC.

Darkness no barrier

Cameras, with wide dynamic range capability, capture images in varying light conditions. For example, at the entrance of a tunnel or a mall where there is heavy illumination in the background. Or at a poorly lit bar counter that has lighting of varying brightness behind.

Lightfinder is a technology that is used commonly in city surveillance. It provides more life-like colours in low-light conditions. There are also thermal cameras that function in total darkness, and alert when an object is detected in a pre-defined area.

Detection of sound and movement are among the new high-end features that modern cameras come equipped with. So much so that in video analytics, the first point of analysis is sound.

The sharpdome technology provides sharp images in all directions. It also detects objects as much as 20 degrees above the camera horizon.

The advanced gatekeeper function makes the camera automatically pan, tilt and zoom when motion is detected in a pre-defined area and it continues to track the object. The defog feature when activated digitally filters fog out of the view and provides clearer video.

Detecting traffic offences

Cross line detection is a technology that is being increasingly deployed by traffic police in cities such as Chennai and Delhi.

“If a vehicle jumps the signal, the camera not only detects the violation, but also photographs the number plate, matches it with the database and triggers a penalty notification to the owner of the vehicle,” said Mr Holla.

Another technology gaining popularity is heat mapping, especially in department stores.

It helps the floor manager know as to which areas of the store are crowded, how long people stay in a particular area, the pattern in which they move and the like.

Storage of loads of data

With educational institutions, retail outlets, pubs, public transport etc installing surveillance cameras, there has been a huge surge in the amount of data generated.

The tendency now is not to delete any data, since no one knows what data will be required when. According to 6Wresearch, Video Surveillance Camera market in India, which is dominated by analog surveillance cameras, is witnessing a shift towards IP surveillance cameras, on account of declining prices and demand for remote access. These have resulted in loads of data getting stored, requiring innovative technologies to handle them.

NetApp, one of the leaders in cloud storage, has been pioneering the unified concept. “The data fabric strategy unifies all different types of formats in which data is stored. That makes it easy to move them from one cloud to another, easily and efficiently,” said Anil Valluri, President, India and SAARC, NetApp Marketing Services. Inline compression is another method that is adopted to compress the data so that more can be stored in lesser space. The Inline Deduplication technology even ensures that copies of the same data are stored only once, saving space to a huge extent, said Mr. Valluri.

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