There are certain places where installing cameras can be quite difficult and challenging. This is where users can benefit from modular cameras, which have applications in various vertical markets including retail.Needless to say, the IP camera’s role in keeping end user entities safe and secure is significant. However, there are certain places where installing cameras can be quite difficult and challenging. This is where users can benefit from modular cameras, which have applications in various vertical markets including retail.
“A modular camera has two detached parts: A smaller sensor unit consisting of the image sensor and lens, and a main unit where image processing and network communication is taken care of. The sensor unit connects via cable to the main unit, and the two parts can be placed separately from each other,” said Erik Mårtensson, Global Product Manager at Axis Communications.
According to Mårtensson, the main applications for modular cameras are to provide a discreet surveillance system in places where they would otherwise be intrusive, and offer surveillance where other cameras could not have been placed before. “The exceptionally small cameras have remarkable versatility, from banking to transport to industrial machinery. The cameras can be hidden inside ATM machines with only a small number of people ever noticing their presence. In doing so, banks are more likely to catch criminals in the act. If criminals can’t see the cameras then they are less likely to take precautions,” he said. “Public transport and emergency services can take advantage of the small sized cameras for discreet onboard video with high quality video. With space often a luxury in many vehicles, the adaptability and versatility of modular cameras to be placed just about anywhere make them extremely useful tools for safety and security. Transport organisations may not always have the biggest budgets, these cost-effective cameras can provide high quality images without large overheads.”
Coming in handy for retail
One vertical market that can also benefit from this is retail, where operators can use modular cameras to achieve various objectives from settling disputes to preventing losses. One case study cited by Axis is Hobby Base Yellow Submarine Co., a company headquartered in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture that is involved in the retail, manufacture and sale of toy models and games. The company was looking for a flexible, high-performance monitoring system for their new surveillance solution and adopted the Axis F Series of small modular cameras
According to Mårtensson, the Axis F Series is designed primarily for the purposes of security and loss prevention, and video taken for verifying events that have taken place in-store is recorded on an SD card. AXIS F44 units, which can gather voice audio, are installed around the cash registers. Other locations are covered by use of AXIS F34, he said.
“Yellow Submarine was impressed by the ability of a single sensor to capture a wide angle of 102 degrees, and by the simplified operation, which allows a greater number of faults to be resolved in the store, if they should occur.,” Mårtensson said. “The system is demonstrating its ability to hinder recurrent crime. For example, occurrences of shoplifting can be speedily detected, the footage can be checked and analyzed from various different angles. The modus operandi of the offense can then be explored for specific tendencies, enabling countermeasures to be devised.”
Further, the size of the cameras allows the video surveillance to be discreet and unobtrusive. “The system has twice the number of sensors than existed previously, and blind spots in coverage within the stores have almost disappeared. Despite this increase, the evaluation concluded that due to the small size of the sensor and the unobtrusive dome design there is no oppressive sense of being watched over, and that the sensors do not detract from the in-store landscape,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yellow Submarine selected Axis Companion as their video management software. “As a result of switching from an NVR system configuration to a VMS, adding one camera requires no more than the addition of a new channel, leading to improved redundancy,” Mårtensson said.