Birmingham is the largest city in the state of Alabama, spanning 151 square miles and boasting a downtown population of nearly 230,000. Like any major city, Birmingham has its share of crime and vandalism.
To help combat this and provide a safe environment for residents and visitors alike, the city has taken a number of measures including provisioning the installation of 40 video surveillance cameras throughout the metropolitan area.
VideoIQ is the inventor of the intelligent security cameras and encoders with built-in video recording. The VideoIQ iCVR combines automated event detection, a built-in DVR and integrated video management into a single solution – all driven by next-generation video analytics.
VideoIQ is a Pixim brand partner dedicated to producing enterprise video capture solutions based on Pixim's digital pixel system technology.
Choice and Installation
In early 2008, the mayor's office hired systems integrator ION Interactive Video Technologies to install surveillance cameras in various outdoor locations across the city. ION specializes in IP-based security solutions for businesses and organizations of all sizes, including municipalities.
The city also tapped ION for its trained professional agents who remotely monitor all of the installed cameras from the company's own control center. Agents instantly notify the Birmingham Police Department of any potential threat or suspicious behavior, and the police immediately step in to respond and handle the situation.
As part of the installation, ION chose to work with VideoIQ, the manufacturer of iCVR, an intelligent video surveillance camera with a built-in DVR. iCVR incorporates Pixim's digital pixel system technology. Pixim's technology works well for video analytics because Pixim's chipsets produce superior images that boost the overall performance of VideoIQ's video analytics software.
ION initially chose the iCVR for its ability to monitor for and detect crowds, something the city wanted to keep a particular close eye on.
This system is also able to capture images and store them at the edge of the network. The iCVR intelligently controls storage resolution based on what it sees; a potential threat such as a car in a restricted area or someone lurking near a store front is recorded at the highest possible resolution and quality, alerting guards and providing them with the ability to quickly ascertain the situation and respond appropriately. During times when nothing is taking place, the camera captures images at a lesser quality, allowing the built-in 80 GB hard drive to store one to two months worth of video and ultimately saving money. Pixim's all-digital technology plays a key role as well. Sensors based on Digital Pixel System technology yield more highly compressed images which can also dramatically reduce the costs of storing video.
The cameras have been up and running in the city since August 2008. Throughout 2009 more cameras have been installed in the downtown area, replacing the city's older cameras that have limited functionality.