Fisheye lens security cameras offer strong competition to multisensor cameras. This article finds out why some customers choose them.
Fisheye cameras serve a wide range of applications in many verticals. Modern fisheye lens cameras offer comprehensive coverage of sites, ease of installation, and enhanced use cases, becoming a solid competition for multi-sensor cameras
Any application that requires overall awareness of a scene will be ideal for systems integrators and consultants to choose fisheye cameras. High clearance ceilings with good lighting are the best fit, such as retail malls, fashion retail outlets, education, warehouses, logistics hubs, etc.
While it's challenging to pick verticals that may benefit the most from fisheye lens security cameras, learning about customers who use them extensively and why they use them would help systems integrators. Asmag.com recently spoke to Peter Kim, Global Technical Consultant at IDIS Global, to know some of the most significant end customers who use fisheye lens cameras.
Health care facilities in the UK
One of the best examples of a customer choosing fisheyes over multi-sensors is the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Achieving 24/7 continuous and complete coverage right to the periphery of every scene was vital to this customer.
Read more about the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust Surveillance Project
The Trust is one the largest, secure mental healthcare providers in the UK. It's essential to guarantee comprehensive ultra-high-definition (UHD) video coverage of all critical areas to protect staff and patients. This includes wards, indoor communal and outdoor arrivals spaces, smaller areas such as corridors, de-escalation, and seclusion rooms, sensory, music, and art facilities, family visiting areas, shelving and storage cupboards, etc.
"In 2018, the Trust chose to start upgrading existing facilities with IDIS 12MP IR fisheye cameras, delivering comprehensive area surveillance," Kim said. "With the fisheyes mounted flush to ceilings and walls, the footage they record is not compromised by blind spots or loss of detail, even at the very periphery of any scene. If an incident occurs, both security and clinical staff have a detailed record of events."
Multi-sensor cameras are not only more expensive, but they also cannot guarantee a complete, all-round view. The alternative of using three or four times the number of fixed lens units to achieve the same coverage is significantly more expensive. In the event of an incident, the NHS Trust must investigate and report accordingly, and gaps in the footage could result in penalties from UK's regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
"The fact that fisheyes are not obtrusive is important in environments where overt security measures can distress vulnerable patients, particularly in de-escalation and seclusion rooms," Kim continued. "The flush ceiling mounting means they cannot be used to cause harm, eliminating the need for more expensive and specialist anti-ligature models. Furthermore, staff can carry out timed, regular mandated checks on patients remotely, giving them time and personal space, eliminating unnecessary disturbance of patients in crisis."
The NHS is one of the world's largest public sector organizations. Its surveillance tech must be affordable, providing a low total cost of ownership (TCO) from the purchasing and installation stage and throughout its entire operational life. Other priorities include ensuring robust cybersecurity and UHD image capture in all lighting conditions.
Logistics operators in the US
One of the largest logistics operators - a distributor of nationally significant goods – in the US has also chosen to use the fisheye lens security cameras. Kim explained that the cameras that IDIS provided to this customer give complete coverage of up to four loading bays, something that multi-sensors could not achieve without leaving critical gaps in footage.
In the event of a loss, accident, or failure to adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and the US Department of Transportation mandatory vehicle checks, operators may face non-compliance fines, liability payouts, and increased insurance premiums.
Retail outlet in the UK
Another major customer in the UK is one of the most-loved fashion outlets, River Island, where 12MP fisheyes have transformed loss prevention operations and investigations into organized crime. They've helped reduce fraudulent transactions and returns as well as liability claims for bogus slips, trips, and falls that regularly occur on retail space peripheries where criminals know traditional cameras leave gaps in the field of view.
"Unlike multi-sensor cameras, they provide complete coverage of the shop floor while being flush-mounted on ceilings so that they blend with the store's aesthetics and lighting," Kim added. "This kind of inconspicuous surveillance is an important requirement in fashion retail."
Fisheye lens cameras are also in service in many couture boutiques, high-end jewelry stores, upscale restaurants, and members clubs in cities worldwide, where security measures mustn't impact the discerning customer experience.
They are a popular choice in the higher education sector too. US K-12 school districts choose fisheyes for 24/7 comprehensive area coverage without blind spots, offering affordability and discreet ceiling mounting that doesn't impact pupils' learning environments. In these applications, they demonstrate to wider stakeholders that increased measures to ensure student and staff safety need not be a significant drain on resources and education budgets.