Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Axis Debuts World's Smallest HD Security Cameras

Axis M50 SeriesSmall, smaller, smallest, that is the way technology is always headed. Everything has to be smaller, neater, cleaner, have a more professional look, etc... We've seen it in our gaming consoles, televisions, computer monitors, iPods, laptops and everything else we use in our day to day lives. The next things that appear to be getting smaller are our security cameras.

Axis Communications, one of the global leaders in network and video security cameras, has just unveiled the world's smallest pan/tilt/zoom dome camera. Known as the M50 PTZ Dome Network Camera series, this device is designed for business managers who are looking for a discrete, affordable security camera solution that allows them to remotely monitor anything from a store or bank to a hotel lobby or restaurant.

The M50 PTZ Dome Network Camera series features two models, the M5013 which will run you $499 and the M5014 which will cost you $599. This new camera series is sleek and discrete and allows you to have 360-degree surveillance of the area in which you put it in HD. The PTZ features allow operators to get perfect angles on anything they wish to monitor so they never miss a thing.

The unique design also allows these cameras to be used in place of multiple cameras thanks to the pan/tilt/zoom features and the 360-degree viewing angle. If you need a camera that provides you with an incredible field of view, is very discrete and captures images in full HD, the new M50 PTZ Dome Network Camera series from Axis Communications is the right choice for you.

Source: Tech 2 - Axis Introduces World's Smallest HD Security Cameras in India

Security Camera Solutions

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicago Plans on Expanding Security Camera Network

Chicago security camerasChicago is already home to more than 10,000 private security cameras that, if combined, account for the most extensive and integrated camera network in the entire country according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. However, as if 10,000 cameras weren't enough, Emanuel has just agreed to expand the network even further.

In a recent report from the Chicago Sun-Times it was reported that Emanuel approved three new loop sites for surveillance. The three loops are the Chicago Board of Trade, the Federal Reserve and AT&T's switching center. These new cameras will supposedly be paid for with a $650,000 federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Emanuel, "It's necessary. They're key buildings. They were not a part of the network. The fiber had already been laid. I don't know if I'd use the word weird or strange. But, if you've laid the fiber and you have key pieces of critical national security ... that don't have the cameras..."

The American Civil Liberties Union, also known as the ACLU, released a report back in February that criticized Chicago's extensive use of surveillance cameras and described the citizens of the city as "the most-watched citizens in the country." The ACLU suggested that Chicago should focus on hiring more officers to address crime, rather than buying new cameras, which the city has implemented quite steadily over the past decade.

"Chicago's camera network invades the freedom to be anonymous in public places, a key aspect of the fundamental American right to be left alone," the ACLU stated. "Each of us then will wonder whether the government is watching and recording us when we walk into a psychiatrist's office, a reproductive health care center, a political meeting, a theater performance or a book store."

Jody Weis, former Chicago Police Superintendent, is a big supporter of the cameras saying that they help deter crime and are cost effective for a police department that has been forced to work more understaffed than usual. These cameras also help police collect solid evidence that can be extremely helpful in court.

In a statement from Weis found in Chicago Magazine back in 2009, "Rather than having the guys do surveillance on the street, they are sitting back and watching it on the cameras. They've got the cars identified, they know who to go after, and they can arrest the people."

I see where the ACLU is coming from but that argument brings up another one, if people aren't doing anything illegal, then why does it matter what the camera sees?

Source: Huffpost Chicago - Chicago Expands Surveillance Camera Network

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

California City to Link School Security Cameras with City Systems

school security camerasPolice and school officials in Pittsburg, California are planning on linking cameras at the city's new year-old high school to a citywide security system that has already been credited with assisting in helping solve crimes. This new move will help police officers investigate any crimes that may occur at the school which houses 2,500 students. It may also help officers respond to disturbances at the school more quickly.

According to police Captain Brian Addington, the intention of the cameras is not "to actively monitor the kids. If there are any issues at the high school, we can have access to the cameras quickly so we can respond to any emergency there." One police officer is assigned to the campus full time while another is assigned to Pittsburg's two junior high schools.

The city has spent a total of $1.5 million to install 80 cameras at different strategic points in the city since 2005. Images from these cameras are stored on computer hard drives at the police department for up to three weeks which gives officers enough time to review them if a crime is reported near a camera location. The police department has used the cameras to corroborate information from witnesses and victims to solve more than 100 crimes.

According to Addington, "In one case, there was an attempted murder in which the suspect was seen riding a bicycle to and from the crime scene and was identified and convicted based on the taped evidence."Todd Whitmire, principal of the school, has said that no significant incidents have taken place in the new campus' first year but welcomed the link stating that it will "supplement what administrators and teachers are doing to keep the campus safe."

100 cameras are located in the courtyard, halls and stairwells of the campus allowing Whitmire and other administrators to view the images on their laptops. Unfortunately, the cameras have been unable to help with the biggest new problem at the school, graffiti and vandalism in the school's bathrooms. "If there is vandalism and graffiti, typically it happens in the bathrooms where cameras are not allowed," Whitmire stated.

The citywide system has been funded primarily by developer fees, homeland security grants and redevelopment funds. In addition to the cameras, the city will also pay around $40,000 for software in order to establish the link and will also pay for upkeep and maintenance of the system, Whitmire stated.

Source: Mercury News - Pittsburg to link city, high school security camera systems

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Security Camera from AVTech Links with Mobile Technology

AVTech AVN80XA new security camera is making its way around the markets that will reportedly allow you to receive alerts on your iPhone, iPad, Android or other mobile device. The camera is the AVN80X from AVTech out of Taiwan and is a networked webcam that is designed for home monitoring. The AVN80X is also wall-mountable and can be connected to either a wired or wireless home network.

Once you set it up, the AVN80X will automatically record when it detects motion and send you an alert. AVTech has already developed apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android and tablets which allow the devices to receive alerts via "push" notifications and display them to the user. As the user, you then have the ability to view the video of what has just been recorded.

The AVN80X can also be linked up to other security devices like door alarms. The camera can be set up using the iPhone or iPad apps so that the user does not need to use a computer. However, the video and alerts can also be viewed on the internet. The iOS and Android apps are available through their respective app stores while software for other mobile devices will be available from AVTech's website.

Software for Mac and Windows computers will also come with the camera, which is expected to run around $180 when it goes on sale later this year. AVTech started showing off this camera at this year's Computex TaiPei and will be pumping out more information soon.

Source: Computer Active - AVTech's security camera links to phones and tablets

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