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From Analog To Digital: Smartphone Video Surveillance On The Rise


Video Surveillance System

The early rise of video surveillance systems was initiated for security and safety reasons. Despite its benefits, a few debate CCTV as a threat to privacy.

Surveillance is everywhere, from schools to colleges, to bus stops to homes covering the city. The fundamental of this technology is to predict and obliterate the attacks and protect people from mishaps.

History of Video Surveillance System

Since the early days, video analysis hardware and software have advanced and become more proficient.

Early CCTV hardware delivered grey-scale videos that measured performance using NTSC or PAL standards. The process was extremely critical as the lines within the image resolution were extracted (which had to be differentiated between black and white) and measured using the EIA-1956 resolution chart. The measurement was a subjective matter as engineers’ end results differ. This difference occurred as each engineer determined maximum resolution as a point where they couldn’t perceive converging lines.

As cameras became colored, engineers were able to perceive better image resolution making it easy for them to identify someone just through their clothes. Sony and Ampex were the leading companies to deliver real-time reel tape solutions, hence were referred to as video cassette recorders (VCR). The VCRs were the real hinge to introduce CCTV technology.

The Casting of CCTV Industry

The first to launch the IP cameras was Axis in 1996. These advanced cameras were connected to Ethernet to transmit encoded signals digitally rather than analog signals.

Despite the challenges, the digital transmission of data became popular, and instead of selling the legacy analog security methods, they shifted to the selling IP camera system.

The first-ever IP camera delivered 4CIF (704 X 480 pixels) or VGA (640 X 480 pixels) image resolution. However, there was no difference between the analog camera video resolution and the latest. So, to enhance the image resolution, a megapixel was introduced in the year 2002.

This 1.3-megapixel resolution IP camera, which wasn’t envisaged, was set in motion by IQinvision that provided four times better image resolution than the prior. Encouraged and influenced by the efforts of IQinvision, Arecont Vision became the first to originate a 2-megapixel camera, which dramatically enhanced picture quality.

In between the competition of delivering better resolution IP cameras, the conventional IP camera solution providers such as Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic jumped into the market contemplating the prospects technology.

Despite Axis being the market leader in delivering IP cameras, these companies outperformed with their high-resolution megapixel cameras by 2007. Samsung’s Hanwha Techwin and Sony took over the market with their better-performing cameras.

Types of IP Cameras

With a wide variety of IP cameras available in the market, they are segregated into two categories.

  • Low-cost consumer-grade cameras.
  • Professional surveillance cameras.

The low-cost cameras were introduced before the professional surveillance cameras. Chinese companies, such as Hikvision and Dahua, promoted cost-effective IP cameras that were easy to install and needed no assistance from CCTV installers.

In 2014, when digital IP cameras culminated the analog ones, 30 million surveillance cameras were installed in the U.S till 2016.

After the 4K high-resolution cameras began to take the road, which offered at least 4,000 horizontal pixels. This time Sony won the league of delivering a 4K camera for a video surveillance system. Later, Samsung came up with an even better, 12 megapixel SNB-9000 camera, and then again, Sony came up with a 20-megapixel SNC-VM772R camera.

The Ubiquitous Smartphone Video Surveillance

Over 100 million cameras are fixed worldwide for surveillance purposes within the United States.

Unlike the conventional ways to track and monitor, current IP surveillance has become affordable, more capable, and is a part of smartphone culture.

Mobile phone surveillance is only possible due to the remote monitoring capabilities and controls IP-based security systems directly from a handheld device.

For instance, Reardon evidently benefited from the remotely handled capabilities of IP cameras. He can quickly look into the situation straight through the mobile device and act as per the intensity of the situation or alarm raised.

The current advancement in technology has bridged the gap and leveraged people to monitor actions through apps within their smart devices.

The high-definition cameras placed on the desired location linked to the smartphones and systems can quickly spot the disturbance and send an alarm to the operator, with the help of wireless data coverage.

Other than the featured applications, companies can integrate third-party apps. With the assistance of these apps, the operator can monitor, control, and manipulate the cameras remotely. This works for the small or mid-sized firms or houses that desire to integrate surveillance.

For large enterprises, where there are dozens of cameras to monitor, NVR – network video recorder, is useful for storing huge data.

IP cameras integrated for observation of unprecedented and malicious acts come with analytical features. The camera can turn its low resolution to high when any digital motion is detected. Traffic management is one of the biggest examples of video analytics. The feature allows the store retailers to monitor and manage the crowd at any point in time and location.

Why did Video Surveillance Systems Shift in Cameras?

Due to the unprecedented pandemic, Covid pressed people to sit within their residence and work remotely, which intensified & promoted the security of the home more than ever.

Despite the decline in the revenue of the video surveillance market in 2020, IDC expected that the need for surveillance systems will increase for public space safety.

North America remains the top buyers of surveillance cameras followed by China, making the premises of their residence secure. Because of the primary use of home monitoring systems and smartphone cameras, consumer surveillance cameras now account for 32 percent of the global market, a survey says.

To Conclude

Surveillance cameras were always in fashion, it’s just the resolution of image and quality of video enhanced with time.

Today, cameras are capable of monitoring, detecting acts with movements, facial recognition, image classification & many more. Smartphones integrated with third-party apps have given the freedom to the operators to remotely handle the situation. Smart devices are not just making detection convenient but encouraging most to incorporate this technology from a security perspective.

Author Bio:

Vanessa Chole is an app developer & a guest blogger on various websites. She is currently associated with VertexPlus Technologies in Canada – the leading app development, innovative technology solution and service models for business impact. She has worked with various other brands and created value for them.

I am a coffee lover, marketer, tech geek, movie enthusiast, and blogger. Totally in love with animals, swimming, music, books, gadgets, and writing about technology. Email: Website: Facebook: Linkedin: Twitter:


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