Over the past decade, the need for personal security both in the home and in the office has increased immensely. While, all market researches (of the past twelve years) is showing a 40% unaware demand for security and safety in the US and Western Europe residential market, reality showed only the small penetration rate of less than 2% by the year 2000.
This need was one of the major driving forces behind the revitalization of the wireless alarm systems’ market. As of today, wireless alarm systems are provided as a standard solution for the Residential Market by most security companies and for Small Medium Businesses (SMB), by many others.
Service providers such as Securitas, G4S, ADT and others have led the market with a significant penetration rate increase. Moreover, some countries’ penetration rate has not only passed the 10% mark, but has gone up to as much as 15%.
Why is Video Verification Needed?
While the above increase in the wireless alarm business has led to the start of security products’ early consumer awareness, it has also created new challenges that need to be met.
Today’s reality in many countries is an ongoing market growth generating an excess of products, and alarm systems providers like never before. On the contrary, the number of policemen or security guards that are being called upon daily to handle a growing number of intrusion events has not changed.
With false alarms versus the level of security and complexity of the solutions offered as the industry's given trade-off, we now face a different reality where the monitoring companies must attain better methods for alarm verification.
What are the Most Important Issues that Video Verification Solves?
Currently there are two key success elements for a video verification process, for monitoring stations:
- Capturing the exact moment of the event
- Delivering the captured images to the operator’s desk
Capturing the event accurately involves good timing and compatibility between the sensor and the camera. The Central Monitoring Station (CMS) operator needs to see what the motion sensor “sees”. Otherwise, if there is a large gap in sensor and the camera field of view, and/or a timing delay, then you will end up with having the wrong area captured in your images or an ‘empty picture’ having missed the event.
Consequentially, new emerging wireless alarm systems require solutions that combine a one-unit combined sensor and camera, so that during an event the moment of detection and snap-shot of the even occur simultaneously.
Video Verification Challenges
The following point out the areas in which manufacturers face new technological challenges in regard to the implementation to Video Verification Solutions:
- The need for the digital camera to be on alert and fast enough to capture the real events in conjunction with the motion detection.
- A perfect match between the sensor and the camera must be created, where normally they have two different coverage areas.
- The product which is wireless has to work on batteries for at least 2 years.
- The radio-link has to be sufficient in order to allow transmission of large image files (where up till now the wireless systems needed no more than few bytes of data to be transmitted)
The task of transporting the images all the way down to the operator’s desk is another major challenge. This process involves using the appropriate communication methods such as IP over GPRS, and the ability to integrate the solution into the existing video modules currently available in most modern automation software's.
On the CMS side, the most vital element is that the captured images are managed at one location on the operator’s desk, where alarm events are also received and viewed, so as not to interfere with the standard alarm monitoring activity.
[Yosef Avital, VP Sales & Marketing, Nov 2010]