Lowlight color cameras, 4K and bi-spectral solutions also ranked high in both market suitability and technical maturity.
In this year’s asmag.com video surveillance technology survey, sponsored by ZKTeco, lowlight color cameras, 4K and bi-spectral solutions all ranked high in both market suitability and technical maturity, while AI continues to gain traction as a solution that fulfills users’ security and operational needs. This article takes a closer look at the results.
AI, in particular AI predictive analytics and anomaly detection, ranks very high on the suitability index. This is understandable, as more and more users rely on AI to achieve better security and efficiency.
“2023 saw the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) as data-driven video technology, the combination of AI and video technology. In data-driven video technology, instead of people watching the video, the software watches the video,” said Rahul Yadav, CTO of Milestone Systems. “Data-driven video technology is disrupting the security industry, but it’s not removing people from the solution; it’s moving people to the center of the solution. Software is now the tool at the periphery doing the watching, identifying objects, recognizing patterns, trends, and correlations, and using these to create insights and actionable intelligence.”
“In the video surveillance market, manufacturers are continuing to focus on AI-based analytics. i-PRO’s Scene Change Detection is an example of how analytics are evolving beyond recognizing people, vehicles and attributes,” said Adam Lowenstein, Director of Product Management at i-PRO Americas. “At the same time, we have heard more issues and concerns around how analytics are being used. Privacy concerns are being highlighted more often due to AI being frequently in the news, along with misconceptions about the difference between AI and facial recognition. As a result, we’ve had more enquiries about our edge-based AI Privacy Guard feature that applies a mosaic to the face or entire figure of a person.”
"In the coming years, we will see innovative surveillance solutions come to market that are more cost-effective through the cloud and smarter through AI. In particular, we can expect to see Edge AI cameras that capture, store, analyze, and connect to the cloud from the edge of a single device, instead of having to build many separate systems and infrastructure such as video devices, storage servers, and AI analysis servers," said Choong Hoon Ha, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Hanwha Vision.
As far as technical maturity is concerned, AI predictive analytics and anomaly detection ranks in the middle. But that’s sure to change once better chips and algorithms become available to make AI even more mature and reliable.
Lowlight color cameras
Lowlight color cameras rank highly in both suitability and maturity. Indeed, thanks to better lenses, sensors and chips, coloring capturing in extremely low Lux conditions has become increasingly feasible, and for users who attach a great importance to nighttime surveillance, this has proven useful and beneficial for them.
"Low-light color security cameras are commonly used in critical infrastructure facilities such as power plants, water treatment facilities, airports, other major transportation hubs often as an alternative or in combination with thermal imaging cameras. Low-light cameras help ensure security and integrity of vital sites, even during nighttime or low-light scenarios," said Jamie Barnfield, senior sales director, IDIS Europe. "They are also useful to monitor entrances, exits, and interior spaces that experience challenging light conditions, allowing for accurate identification of activities in real-time and deliver crisp, clear recorded footage."
“Since i-PRO has been ahead of the curve with low-light sensors delivering excellent color reproduction for some time, it is not what we would describe as a new trend. However, we have worked hard to educate the market on the benefits of capturing color in low light,” Lowenstein said. “Beyond the obvious benefits for humans to better identify a person or vehicle, AI-based object recognition also functions much better when it has color information to work with.”
4K ranks highest for maturity and in the high end for suitability. Thanks to better sensors and codec technologies, 4K or 8MP security cameras can capture UHD images while keeping bandwidth consumption and storage at a low. This makes 4K especially ideal for scenarios where the user needs to, for example, establish the pattern of a person’ clothes or identity the plate number of a vehicle far away. But does it mean the higher the resolution, the better? Not necessarily. Consider 8K, which ranks low in both suitability and maturity. Further, UHD may be more expensive, and they may work less effectively in lowlight conditions.
“Since the 4K market is still growing compared to Full HD installations, 8K use cases represent a tiny minority for most customers today. Many users have found that having a combination of a multi-sensor camera which covers 360 degrees in HD or 4K coupled with an auto-tracking PTZ camera that can optically zoom in much closer, is more practical, flexible and affordable. 8K also impacts storage and bandwidth considerably compared to 4K cameras. It also takes extremely good lighting conditions to benefit from 33 megapixels of resolution in most security installations,” Lowenstein said.
“It is still true that lower resolutions are the more cost-effective solution. And moreover, they are still absolutely sufficient for many applications. Especially in the low-light range, the lower resolutions are currently even better, since larger pixel sizes capture more light. This is why MOBOTIX also offers a 4MP low-light sensor for the MOBOTIX 7 series,” said Thomas Lausten, CEO of MOBOTIX. “But we are convinced that the more demanding an application is to be, the higher resolutions will be required.”
Also ranking high on the chart is bi-spectral cameras where a visible camera unit and a thermal camera unit are combined into one. This is especially ideal for factory and industrial settings where detection and verification of smoke, heat and fire points are critical. Now there are also tri-spectral cameras with a third, UV component added. But these rank lower in the survey.
"There is already interest in some fields outside of the security industry such as environmental monitoring and agriculture as tri-spectral scan capture images in different lighting conditions and provide valuable insight and detail that is not visible to the naked eye. Yet for the time being, multispectral and bi-spectral cameras are most in demand to improve the accuracy of many AI-powered analytics applications, that are unable to hit the ‘sweet spot’ of up to 98 percent accuracy for people counting in retail," Barnfield said.
Also, it should be noted that whether visible, bi-spectral or tri-spectral, these are just means to an end. "For the time being, it is not important whether the image is optical, IR or UV-based. That is a decision defined by the task at hand and the environment. What is decisive is the comprehensive intelligence with which the system is supported. This was also the prevailing trend in 2023: artificial intelligence-based software that, in combination with a camera, correctly detects situations that precede unwanted events in order to ultimately prevent them, but also to optimize processes,” Lausten said.
Other items on the survey
Cloud video surveillance ranks high, allowing users to opt out of investing in NVRs and servers. SSD in storage is also gaining prominence, presenting a faster and more reliable storage solution. Finally, solar-powered video surveillance is gaining ground in market suitability, providing a viable solution in remote areas where power is not readily available.
Click here to learn about the market reports and the top 50 rankings: