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Glossary: Image Transfer

One of the fundamental security features found in almost every IP camera is the ability to send images to the camera’s owner when an alarm has been triggered. This is known as ‘image transfer’ and is associated with the camera’s alarm management features.

How does it work?

When setting up image transfer the following have to be configured:

  1. Where the images are transferred to:

Typically images can be sent by email to a number of specified email addresses, sent to an FTP server for storage and in some cameras sent using HTTP.

  1. What makes the images transfer?

How the images are transferred is dependent on the triggering features found in the camera. Typical alarm triggers would be: motion detection, audio detection, thermal (heat) detection, external sensor input (such as a window sensor or doorbell etc.), manual trigger (using an on-screen button), while more advanced cameras can contain triggers such as tampering detection, object detection, temperature detection, variation in illumination, etc.

Note that images can also be transferred based on a timed schedule/periodic transfer.

Typical use: Security

Image transfer is commonly used as a security feature for keeping an eye on small businesses or property. For example, the camera can be configured to transfer an image to an email address when it detects motion. This allows an image of a potential intruder to be captured and emailed to a specified address allowing the evidence to remain secure even if the camera is discovered.

A running archive of material from the camera can also be kept by transferring an image at a set time period to an FTP server using a schedule/periodic transfer function. This would create an archive of images from the camera which could be browsed through at a later date acting like a simple recording solution without the need for expensive software or having a PC constantly running.

Typical use: Live Webcam

Another use for image transfer is to set up a rudimentary live image on a website. To do this the camera would be configured to transfer an image by FTP to a web server at a set time interval, the key difference in this application is that the image would use the same filename and be overwritten by the camera each time. At the front-end of the website a simple viewing application would then call the image and refresh it over and over to create the illusion of a live stream.

Published on June 9th, 2008 by Greg

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