The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

April - 2009 - issue > Technology

Surveillance An Eye on the Future

Prakash Prabhu
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Prakash Prabhu
In the wake of the terror attacks in a number of Indian cities in 2008, especially after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the country witnessed the heightening of the security climate. At a global level, public security and safety assumed top priority post the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. As a result the demand for integrated security solutions, especially high-end security solutions, has increased among the public and private sectors worldwide.

In a different day and age, and under a different set of circumstances, the deployment of security measures as elaborate as those adopted today would have been construed as a serious violation of privacy of individuals and establishments. However, as recent incidents prove, society is now ready to forsake some degree of privacy if we can prevent the pointless loss of lives and assets. A key, if not primary, aspect of the overall physical security infrastructure is surveillance, and the current security climate is driving adoption of surveillance solutions.

Evolution of Surveillance: from Analogue to IP-based Systems
Monitoring and surveillance applications have existed for the past 25 years. Surveillance technology was represented primarily by analogue technology, better known as CCTVs (closed-circuit television). But a technology shift is taking place in the surveillance industry. The analogue based, closed circuit systems of the past are giving way to IP-based (digital), open source, and fully integrated systems. Incidentally, Axis Communications launched the first network camera, with connection to an IP network, in 1996. IP-based surveillance cameras are gaining popularity for superior technology features and affordability, and are therefore preferred over the legacy analogue systems.

With legacy surveillance systems, seamless integration of various security components is not easy. On the other hand, open standards in IP-based cameras guarantee easy integration with other security systems - we can now integrate fire alarm systems, intelligent building management systems, and access control systems over a common IP-based platform managed by a single application. Not only are these integrated systems more effective, they lower the total cost of ownership and help in faster recovery of the initial cost of the installations.

Another advantage is that with network surveillance cameras authorized users can access and monitor surveillance footage in real time, over the Internet. One’s physical location therefore becomes irrelevant; it’s just a matter of logging on to the Internet by entering the IP address and the authorized password, from anywhere in the world.

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