NW Systems welcomes new Surveillance Camera Code but worries it creates potential for delay in adoption of ‘intelligent’ CCTV cameras in the UK
One of the most significant pieces of news for the UK surveillance world has been the appointment of the new Surveillance Camera Commissioner Andrew Rennison back in September 2012 and the subsequent publication, on 7 February 2013, of a draft Surveillance Camera Code of Practice Pursuant to Section 29 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Act promises ‘further regulation of CCTV’ as surveillance technologies improve and potentially threaten individuals’ rights to privacy. Consultation on the draft Code closed on 21 March.
Having been in the business for more than the last 13 years, we figure we know a thing or two about a number of things: what’s likely to be a fad; which piece of high-tech is not quite mature enough for the marketplace, and which systems are coming into their own.
At this time of year, it’s always interesting to predict the big hitter developments in the industry. Here at NW Systems, we offer our predictions of what’s hot and what’s not in video surveillance and IP cameras for 2013.
IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol – the method by which devices (including those which are available publicly as websites) link together and communicate with each other. It also enables Smartphones, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots and use mobile data. That little router blinking in the corner of your living room supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) wouldn’t connect to the ISP exchange circuits without using the Internet Protocol.
2013 is likely to be the biggest year yet in the switch to IPv6 for homes, business and internet providers alike.
In the IP video market there has been a recent influx of 360° hemispheric cameras from manufacturers like Axis, Panasonic and Vivotek. When ceiling-mounted, these cameras can capture an entire room at once and feature integrated distortion correction software to eliminate the distortion associated with extreme wide-angle lenses.
Mobotix, who released the first 360° IP camera back in 2008, have upped their game with the release of the S14 range. Read on for more and a demonstration video…
A recent report in a Scottish newspaper described how a local Council had refused planning permission for CCTV cameras at the local prison.
On the surface, it seems quite incredible that a council should refuse funding for a prison – of all places. If there’s any place more in need of effective video surveillance, surely it must be a prison!
However, although this may appear strange at first, the devil is always to be found in the detail.
What is perhaps even more surprising is that at NW Systems, we agree with the Council for refusing to support this project.
Read on for a full description of our rationale, and feel free to jump in with your views and comments at the end.
Until recently, Axis Lightfinder technology was available in the Axis top end Q series of cameras only. Now this technology has made its way into the more affordable P range of Axis cameras. Here we take a look at the Axis P3384 IP camera, which is currently the only camera in the Axis P series that features both Lightfinder technology and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) with Dynamic Capture. As this looks interesting on paper, we were interested to see how it performs in real life. We placed the P3384 in various lighting conditions to find out.
In another of our Milestone XProtect series of HOWTO blogs, I’ll take you through how to license new cameras whilst not connected to the Internet.
Why might you want to licence a camera offline?
Any manager of a security system needs to make decisions about how that system is connected to the network. We encounter XProtect-based security systems of all sizes and configurations. Some are connected to the Internet and some are not. XProtect’s mobile server capability would require an online connection, but if you have no need for this feature or tie your network down tightly your XProtect server may be operating offline, and in this case you’ll be licensing cameras offline.
Axis’ Lightfinder Technology, thus far only available in its top end ‘Q’ range of products, is now becoming available within the P33 range of IP dome cameras. This is good news as many installations will benefit from improved performance at night.
Some sample footage with the Lightfinder Technology in action:
Last week, Axis announced a new version of its Axis Camera Companion (ACC) software which allows small security systems to be created very quickly and in a user-friendly manner.
Aimed at the retail market, but applicable to small systems of up to 16 cameras in any sector, and touted in some discussions as a ‘VMS Killer’ (which I don’t think it is – more on this another time), the updated version includes support for audio, Corridor Format (portrait orientation) video, digital evidence features and more integration options.
So what are the changes?
Following the launch of the Milestone mobile app at the end of last year we have seen some great improvements in 2012 and now Mobile 2 is here.
First let’s catch up, Milestone XProtect Mobile is a free application for smartphones and tablets specially designed for use with the Milestone XProtect suite of video management software. It enables users to access and monitor their Milestone video system when on the go. The app runs on Android 2.2 (TM) and iOS5 and higher. It is available for download on the App Store and on Google Play.
Mobile 2 is just one of three ways to access your Milestone system, with the Smart Client (installed software offering full functionality) and the Web Client (browser-based access with some limitation – more about this later) being the other two methods. This flexiblity is available with all Milestone XProtect products and gives you a powerful system that you can control from anywhere.
So what’s new in Mobile 2?