Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry
Editor / Provider: Erica Lin & Michelle Chu | Updated: 5/30/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics
Panoramic fisheye cameras have seen fast growth in the surveillance industry. With the key feature in surround view monitoring and the advantage in reduction of installation cost, they are becoming the popular adoption in security system. With a promising market ahead, differentiation of product and market strategy from competitors is the way for major manufacturers to think when planning next moves.
asmag.com here presented 11 worldwide providers from the security industry – 3S PocketNet Technology, AMG System, Axis Communications, Dahua Technology, EverFocus Electronics, Hikvision Digital Technology, Merit LILIN, Panasonic System Networks, SamsungTechwin, Sony, and VIVOTEK – sharing their experiences and observations of the market with all asmag.com readers.
3S PocketNet Technology｜Taiwan
With fisheye camera, user can deploy fewer cameras, less cabling, less HDD storage, but remain a 360-degree monitoring without blind spot; however, it is worth noting that fisheye camera is not suitable for monitoring area from a long distance due to the limited length of fisheye lens, stated Kevin Cheng, Director of APAC at 3S Pocketnet Technology.
“We expect the price of fisheye cameras can decrease to the level of dome camera – the user will then have options to choose from different features such as fixed lens fisheye dome and vari-focal dome,” Cheng concluded.
Fisheye cameras, compared to other types of cameras, offer a number of key advantages — monitoring of surround view without blind spot and reduction of installation cost and work — whilst still keeping high-resolution recording quality, David J. Myers, Technical Director of AMG, highlighted. AMG have noted that 360-degree fisheye cameras are becoming the mainstream when analog CCTV is gradually replaced by IP CCTV systems.
“We are not sure that there is one particular market deploying the most 360 degree cameras. In the USA, the retail market is strong. And transportation is a natural market for wide-angle camera when one single camera can cover whole view of a bus, or a train carriage,” Myers said. “Banks, schools, colleges, museums, and public buildings are also the target market of 360-degree cameras. So are car parks and outdoor perimeters.”
“According to IHS Research, sales of network video start to overtake analog in 2014 due to the powerful functions of advanced video processing and analytics. This is especially true in the retailer sector, as 360-degree cameras allow for an overview of all activities in a given area while being affordable for users having to work with tight-budgets in for example the retail and education sectors,” said Petra Bennermark, Product Manager at Axis Communications.
“In a study by Axis Communications, more than half (58%) of UK retailers are planning to migrate from analog to network video in order to integrate network cameras with business intelligence (BI) applications. BI application integration was considered the most significant reason for UK retailers to move to network video.”
Fisheye cameras are mostly deployed for indoor surveillance, getting more and more popular in public buildings, pointed out by Peter Pan, Product Manager from Dahua. Seen as the economic choice for security system deployment, one single fisheye camera can achieve wider coverage of monitoring than other non-panoramic camera.
This is even true to public units, hotels, and schools. They often have budget concerns; theses users are not too demanding in security image details while their purpose of surveillance system is mainly for prevention, Pan suggested.
“At present, many surveillance camera manufacturers have proposed new thoughts of design,” he continued. Currently, end users start to use 360-degree cameras and PTZ speed domes altogether, featuring both wide-coverage and detailed monitoring views. The 360-degree cameras are going to become an essential solution in surveillance systems, according to Pan.
“Although fisheye cameras are expecting fast growth in the near future, the 360-degree cameras won't become the majority in surveillance camera market due to their own pitfalls such as low pixel counts at the edge of images, and image distortion,” explained Pan.
However, as Pan mentioned, the technical improvement related to these pitfalls has been essential to manufacturers in the industry. Meanwhile, some manufacturers have started enhancing camera capacities in IR support for advanced day/night monitoring.
Douglass Wang, Deputy Project Manager of EverFocus Electronics, emphasized the importance of fisheye and speed dome cameras' synergy, combining advantages from both types of cameras, and adding value for wide-area surveillance without compromising the optimal image quality. “The end users can finely utilize pan, tilt, and zoom functions on speed dome to keep tracking region of interest, while monitoring the entire area through 360-degree camera view, more importantly, without any blind spot,” Wang said.
As panoramic camera is favored to be applied with speed dome in areas such as airport, warehouse, public space, and parking lot, end users might hesitate due to complicated cameras configurations. “EverFocus provides end users a 4-steps image calibration which dramatically reduces configuration time,” Wang highlighted.
Hikvision Digital Technology ｜China
“Normally, SMB users may tend to use entry-level fixed cameras instead of panoramic cameras, since the latter are mainly targeted for middle-to high-end project use, and price are relatively higher. Therefore, Hikvision plans to introduce economical mini panoramic cameras to penetrate into SMB market in the middle of this year,” said Adler Wu, Product Marketing Manager of Hikvision Digital Technology.
“And for Hikvision, we forecast to increase at an annual growth rate of 60%-70% [before 2017], according to our company strategy, product planning and the market development. Panoramic camera would develop in two different ways in the future, one for SMB adoption and the other for high-end application. With more and more manufacturers joining in the competition, the price of panoramic camera may decrease to a level, allowing the cameras to enter SMB market; for high-end use, due to the wide coverage of panoramic camera, more images/ scenes could be achieved compared to common IP camera. Therefore, how to well make use of this advantage could be a breakthrough to eventually benefit the end users.”
“Considering lots of manufacturers have introduced their panoramic cameras, it becomes very important for us to provide innovative products to differ from the others at this stage.”
“Fisheye cameras are all about seeing everything in a scene more efficiently than with multiple cameras; therefore, providing security managers the ability to cover an entire scene in a logical way without gaps of coverage is prominent,” according to Chris Hsu, Global Marketing Manager at LILIN. “LILIN panoramic IP camera is an ideal choice for open-ended lobby areas such as entrances, exits, and lobbies.”
“The current leading technology trend in global market is ‘less is more'. We expect cameras can cover a range of area such as 360-degree fisheye camera is an ideal all-in-one product will definitely continue to shine in the following years.”
It is forecast that a growth of more than 50% will be seen in the panoramic camera market – more than current security market trend expectation – as higher image resolution will expand the deployment and acceptance of fisheye camera in more vertical markets, commented Akihito Akiyama, product planning manager at Panasonic.
According to Mr. Akiyama, Panasonic has strengthened its 360-degree cameras by continuingly progressing at technology development, including dewarp, super dynamic function, and vandal resistance. With the solid technical base, the 360-degree cameras are capable for high-resolution image quality with even edges, stable performance under various lighting environments, and last but not least, durability.
“360-degree cameras are increasingly being specified for projects where there is a requirement to monitor activity 24/7 in environments such as banks, offices, retail, transportation and warehouses. The advantage they offer is that a single 360-degree observational camera is all that might be needed to efficiently and cost effectively covers a whole area where a much larger number of standard cameras might normally be required, to avoid any blind spots,” suggested Tim Biddulph, Product Manager of Samsung Techwin Europe.
Samsung Techwin's 360 degree camera is part of the company's extensive range of IP network cameras. Tim Biddulph emphasizes the importance of fully understanding clients' needs first, before endeavoring to persuade them to migrate to 360-degree or other products and technologies.
“With its multiple security benefits and associated cost savings for end users, it is easy to understand why the 360-degree security camera has been highlighted by IHS as one of the key drivers for the video surveillance camera market in 2014 – which is slated for double-digit growth this year. Sony also recognizes the importance of these cameras in addressing the ever changing security environments of the modern world, and will continue to advance in the 360-degree security camera market with our end users,” said Riki Nishimura, General Manager of Visual Security Solutions, Professional Solutions Company (PSAP) at Sony Electronics Asia Pacific.
“The 360-degree cameras can be especially ideal for intercom or retail applications. Retail stores especially demand for a cost-effective and comprehensive surveillance system, which dissuades shoplifting and pickpocketing,” said Steve Ma, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK. “With several unique features and wide surveillance coverage that can be delivered by the 360-degree fisheye camera under complicated environment, retail stores tend to deploy 360-degree fisheye camera the most.”
“The deployment of 360-degree fisheye cameras could be financially and technically beneficial. It is worth to note that just one 360-degree fisheye camera can deliver the same coverage as 6 to7 cameras that have been used in the stores. With the installation of panoramic models, the total number of cameras needed by the clients can be significantly reduced,” explained Ma.
VIVOTEK has made our fisheye camera as a pro-active smart sensor through our superior algorithms, making fisheye cameras performing intelligently, like people counting, field detection, trip wire, according to Ma. “With the technology evolvement and rising awareness of cost-effective solutions, the prevalent adoption of 360-degree fisheye camera for wide open area surveillance in the following years is foreseen. In addition, a 360-degree fisheye camera with intelligent capacity is undoubtedly to be a trend.”