View Points >> Viewpoints

Martin Gren, AxisMartin Gren, Axis

Living with intelligent devices is a dream we have had for centuries. Michelangelo, Jules Verne and many other great thinkers had this vision, but their vision preceded the technology of their time. The intelligent home is slowly emerging, after many false starts – we have automatic thermostats to control heating and cooling.

In our industry, guard responsibilities have remained more or less the same because technology cannot match the human brain’s abilities. But, advancements in camera and software technology are enhancing guard efficiency, as they can be guided by video on smartphones or tablets.

Smarter resolution: With HDTV-compliant cameras, there is more video detail than with an analogue camera. But today we’ve moved slightly away from the more-pixels-is-better concept, and instead have concentrated on delivering better image usability in all lighting scenarios and environments. Thanks to better processing power and in-camera software, IP cameras are hitting the market with increasingly better wide dynamic range and light sensitivity with precise iris control.

Smarter design: Pinhole cameras are great for covert applications; however, this was one of the few areas where IP cameras were not an option. With thermal network cameras, you can detect people and animals with high accuracy in places they are not supposed to be, which makes the technology an ideal combination with analytics.

Smarter integration:
Network cameras communicate in both directions, providing the ability to be integrated with other devices such as access control, point of sales (POS) terminals and more.

Smarter deployments: Edge storage offers many new benefits, which will turn into a game-changer. As capacity grows within the next decade, you will be able to store years of video in the highest resolution inside the camera, with a lower resolution stored in the video management system or the cloud.

Even smarter compression: There is one trend going in the opposite direction: lower compression. In the early days of IP, all video was stored as individual JPEGs. Next came MPEG-4, but with very low uptake, as the benefi ts were not worth the effort to change. But since H.264 compression was so much better and the need for higher and higher resolution grew, the whole industry made the switch rapidly.

All these technology trends will hopefully change our society into a smarter, safer and more secure world.

About the author: is a board member and founder of Axis Communications.