CCTV surveillance is used to prevent theft in shops and stores, to provide evidence of robberies and break-ins and to uncover employee fraud or deception. Attractive product ranges don’t just please honest customers, they also tempt light-fingered people to help themselves.
But it isn’t just security which benefits from CCTV surveillance, intelligent video analysis is useful for marketing, too: You can observe customers, measure footfall, conduct behavioural studies or structural analysis, which helps with improving staff planning or shop layouts. Video technology can also be used to document customer accidents, check suppliers, or as proof of quality assurance measures.
A view of everything with cameras
In the field of retail solutions, a primary consideration is the installation of high resolution cameras with activity-related digital recording in visible locations as a preventative measure, which very often deter potential offenders even before an offence is committed. Cameras help to ensure visual awareness precisely in those areas with blind spots and which are difficult to monitor.
To ensure that the video system can indeed deliver conclusive image material should the need arise, it is imperative to define a number of essential details in advance: For which areas a full overview must be provided, and what resolution is required? Is it sufficient to view processes and operations, or must it be possible to identify individuals?
Depending on the requirements for the system and according to the scene and the details that should be recognisable, a minimum number of pixels must be included in the object or the person in the image – in short, correct planning before the video system is installed is vitally important for the subsequent results. It is not always necessary to use a lot of cameras to get the desired picture quality. It is more advisable to decide on the correct equipment. Today, such equipment includes multifocal sensor systems.
Unlike single sensor cameras, these camera systems are equipped with multiple lenses, with which they are capable of replacing several conventional megapixel and HD cameras, and even from just one installation location. The results of this include considerably lower costs of installation, labour, network components and cabling.
If a theft, robbery, break-in or act of vandalism is committed then the video surveillance system provides a detailed image of the suspect(s) which usually leads to their apprehension.
For recording several different approaches are on the market, from special video appliances to video recording software. The question of the best recording capability depends on the individual circumstances of the installation. For example, are legacy analogue cameras to be incorporated in the new system? If so, a hybrid video system capable of recording IP network cameras as well as the old analogue cameras is required. In this way, the video system can be adapted to new conditions incrementally, and the operator’s investment is protected for years to come.
Another essential aspect of a video installation besides the cameras and the recording system is video management, that is to say the client software. In addition to rapid, intuitive display of live views, the integrated functions support efficient analysis of the recordings. These days, many manufacturers even offer apps for smartphones and mobile devices, which can be used to view video images from anywhere.
The video system offers much added value when used with other information-generating tools, such as intruder and fire alarm systems, access control, door and gate contacts, barcode scanners or POS systems. In these linked solutions, additional information from the linked tool is stored with the video data, and individual, specific search options can be created for the video system operator.
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