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Security Technology (not involving guns)

By robo_dev ·
Several key elements of personal and physical security have IT technology wrapped around them.

For example, I have installed lots of CCTV camera systems and have even provided video evidence in several criminal cases from these systems.

The technology around these systems is evolving.

In the past you had expensive proprietary hardware that was all analog, with limited connectivity. Think of the old-school Honeywell, Verint, or GE-Kalatel DVR systems.

Then you had the rise of PC-based security DVR systems such as GeoVision or ZoneMinder, the open-source solution. I have built several GeoVision systems.

Today we have low cost dedicated DVR systems based on Linux made by everybody from Lorex, Q-See, Swann, to Gadspot.

Gadspot stuff is dirt cheap: a four-channel DVR costs $50 (less SATA hard drive)

These systems have an embedded Linux OS on a flash-rom, such that they do not need the hard drive to boot or operate, only to record video. Yet they have a full web-server built in as well as remote viewing apps for smartphones.

There are even fully-distributed (mesh-based) systems used for metro-area surveillance. For example, the company IronSky has a digital security DVR built into a pole-mounted HD video camera, and there's a web-server and 3G uplink built in as well.

The way to view the video is through a Google maps app, and they allow WiFi connection to the cameras for police cars to be able to get evidence on-the-spot.

The current state of the art is HD multi-megapixel digital cameras that are ethernet connected and typically do POE (power over ethernet). Some cameras connect via WiFi, WiMAX, 3G, and so forth.

Due to advances in technology we now take for granted HD video from compact digital cameras such as helmet-cams and vehicle camera systems.

The real neat stuff is in the software. Even my simple system at home is capable of ANPR (license plate recognition), missing object detection, POS integration and crowd detection. More advanced systems not only do motion-following, but also can do facial recognition. ANPR can be used to open security gates or detect stolen vehicles.

There are also some really cool 360-degree catadioptric lenses, so that pan-tilt-zoom is done electronically, not mechanically.

And then there's 3D

So now we're talking HD, 3D, 360 degree video.....

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