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Competition grows in security imaging

"Video surveillance often covers areas that are 180 degrees wide, like the sides of office buildings and other man-made spaces," said Peter Jones, CEO of Scallop Imaging. Traditional security cameras that usually involve a single lens and image sensor cannot cope with that range.
by Staff Writers
Anaheim, Calif. (UPI) Sep 23, 2009
Competition in security imaging technologies is becoming fierce as demand for high-definition surveillance grows worldwide, giving manufacturers the chance to tap lucrative new markets.

Several new products will feature at this week's premier network event and exhibition, ASIS International, in Anaheim, Calif., rated as the world's most comprehensive educational and marketing opportunity for security industry companies and professionals. ASIS was founded as American Society for Industrial Security in 1955 but renamed itself ASIS International in 2002.

Video imaging for security purposes has been hampered for years by poor resolution of images and insufficient angles. But, as demand has grown and usage of video footage has been applied in a range of crime-busting and security scenarios, higher sales have enabled new research and, with that, innovation and improved quality of security imaging equipment and services.

Scallop Imaging, based in Boston, Mass., announced it will showcase a new digital imaging system at ASIS this week to push the frontiers of imaging for security. The Digital Window(TM) D7-180 camera has already won awards for its capability to stream and records in seven-megapixel high resolution across a180-degree field of view, without fish-eye distortion.

"Video surveillance often covers areas that are 180 degrees wide, like the sides of office buildings and other man-made spaces," said Peter Jones, CEO of Scallop Imaging. Traditional security cameras that usually involve a single lens and image sensor cannot cope with that range. Instead several cameras are required to cover a 180-degree field of view, or utilize extreme, wide angle lenses that are costly and introduce optical distortion, Jones pointed out.

Digital Window distributes this imaging task across five powerful microsensors, providing an extraordinary increase in capability, at what manufacturers say is lower cost and lower bandwidth requirements than traditional IP video cameras.

The camera's embedded CPUs process over 100 megapixels per second, synthesizing image data into a seamless, 180-degree field of vision. Using an embedded Web server, the device services connection requests and provides three simultaneous video streams.

In addition to a constant 180-degree view, without fish-eye distortion, at 15 frames per second, the camera provides a high-resolution, 15-fps detail window that is instantly repositionable, and a seven-megapixel, 180-degree video stream at one fps for storage, retrieval and review.

Digital Window also provides the user with two-way audio support.

Sanyo North America Corporation is showcasing a line-up of nine new high-definition surveillance cameras with a wide range of imaging capabilities, including zoom.

"The growing demand for high-quality HD video in the security industry has created the need for HD cameras in various configurations," Sanyo said. Sanyo, too, has won awards for its video surveillance equipment.

Isaac Levy, president of Sanyo North America's Consumer Solutions Division, said, "Once you see the breadth and value of SANYO's new HD line, there will be no reason to choose anyone else's camera!"

Sanyo's top-end models also feature a twin-engine system that helps to manage image and network processing separately.

Arecont Vision is demonstrating its MegaVideo H.264 and MegaDome cameras at ASIS, and has stressed its compliance with Physical Security Interoperability Alliance, a certification process that enables security devices to communicate without the need for a special driver or SDK.

Intransa, which is also exhibiting, says its VideoAppliance eliminates the complexity and cost of integrating commodity servers, storage and other hardware, delivering an installer-ready, video-optimized IP surveillance solution for simplicity, improved reliability and energy savings.

VideoAppliance eliminates the installation and support challenges for security departments, while doing away with costly, complex commodity servers and storage, the company says.

Given that surveillance has come out of domestic and office environments into the main street in both industrial and developing countries, competition among the companies seeking customers at ASIS is likely to remain fierce. Participants have converged on Anaheim from all over the world. ASIS ends Thursday.

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