One of the most significant technology advancements in the video surveillance industry is the increasing adoption of wireless technology to link cameras to the surveillance network.
This trend has been spurred by the convergence of legacy analogue and new-generation digital technologies which is encouraging the adoption of high-quality, megapixel resolution cameras and the incorporation in network-based IP (Internet Protocol) cameras, along with the proliferation of IP-based peripheral components such as alarms, intrusion detection systems and a variety of control methods.
The video surveillance marketplace is being boosted by demands from government and municipal institutions as well as enterprise security system managers for the integration of these systems into larger security ecosystems. New technologies such as motion detection, behaviour detection and thermal / infrared cameras as well as video content analytics are becoming increasingly accepted and integrated into intelligent, IP-based video systems thanks to innovations from semiconductor and applications vendors as well as the wireless networking industry vendors.
Riptide of change
These moves represent a ‘riptide of change for the industry’ which is also being rapidly advanced by users’ needs to monitor more locations, span ever-larger geographic areas, view clearer images and automatically analyse increasing volumes of data in real time.
Wireless technology is a key player. It affords flexibility, convenience and cost advantages over wired networks.
Two of the major benefits of wireless technology for the video surveillance industry are installation speed and simplicity. Installing a wireless network is fast, obviating the need to pull cable through walls and ceilings. Camera positioning is easier as a result. The long-term cost benefits are greatest in dynamic environments requiring frequent moves and changes, often characteristics of an evolving security requirement.
In this light, wireless systems can be configured in a variety of topologies to meet the needs of specific applications and installations. What is more, configurations are easily changed and range from peer-to-peer networks suitable for a small number of cameras to full infrastructure, IP networks linking cameras to sophisticated intrusion detection and prevention systems and integrated network management systems.
The market is teeming with new, high-definition IP camera options, complemented by the latest software and a variety of wireless communication, control and management systems. The cameras are also backed by a plethora of leading-edge storage, distribution and analytics solutions capable of recognising potential security breaches without human involvement. In addition to equipment choice, some of the important challenges currently facing network designers today include selecting vendor and reseller partners capable of incorporating new-generation systems into both existing corporate wired and emerging wireless networks and then integrating them with the latest information management systems.
Their success in meeting these challenges will determine whether they are able to give management and security officers the visibility they require into the myriad processes associated with surveillance in the broadest sense.
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