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3 Ways Security Cameras Have Changed Over 20 Years

Posted: April 19, 2018

Security cameras may seem like part of the modern security wave, but they have actually been around for decades. Today, it’s no surprise to see a wireless security camera peeking at you as you knock on your neighbor’s front door. Certainly, we expect that every place of business is recording. But, how did we evolve towards the types of security cameras we see everyday? Let’s take a look at the key feature milestones of security camera technology and see what’s on the horizon.

The history of the security camera

The history of the security camera

The video camera has been around for more than 100 years. In fact, Thomas Edison had a hand in its development. Eighty years ago, the camera was downsized enough to be hand held. This miniaturization made cameras small enough to be out of sight, therefore spurring the beginning of video surveillance.

Twenty years ago, security cameras didn’t have the luxury of being connected to the internet. The only way to monitor an area with live viewing was through Closed Circuit Television or CCTV.

For decades, CCTV was the go-to camera for security purposes. Security cameras were installed and directly connected to monitors. With CCTV surveillance, your options were limited:

  • You could pay someone to monitor your cameras
  • You could choose to pull the recordings and see what happened after the fact

Neither of these methods was optimal. Paying a security employee for constant monitoring can get expensive. The alternative was to watch footage after an incident occurred and that doesn’t help prevent a security incident. Fortunately, advancements in technology make it easier to protect your property. Today, we can watch our security cameras live. The video feeds get streamed directly to your phone and that wouldn’t be possible without wireless security cameras or IP cameras.

Security camera milestones

Security camera milestones

Today, we spend our lives relatively oblivious to the fact that we are probably being watched. Whether at work, school, out shopping, walking down the street, or even at home, there’s probably a camera pointed at you. Here are a few ways security cameras have evolved.

1. Streaming vs. recording cameras

In today’s device-heavy world, the majority of wireless security cameras watching you are probably streaming live footage, rather than using CCTV. Most homeowners employ wireless cameras. In fact, you can even monitor your property from hundreds of miles away. That’s one of the big changes that has led to the sweeping prevalence of security cameras today.

Approximately 20 years ago, IP cameras were invented and were a major milestone in security. However, the video quality and technology powering these devices weren’t initially advanced enough to make them a viable security option. Now, that has all changed. IP security cameras are wireless security cameras that can be used over the internet. Not only can the video be viewed remotely, but the cameras can often be controlled with remote access, as well.

2. Hazard detection

Another major milestone in security cameras was the integration of Video Content Analytics (VCA) approximately 10 years ago. VCA technology allows multiple functionalities with security cameras. The most common use is motion detection. VCA can recognize when an image changes as new subjects enter the field of view. This same technology allows the camera to follow the subject automatically. Additional functions include:

  • Smoke/flame detection: This function recognizes hazardous conditions related to fire to help prevent excessive damage
  • Tamper recognition: When tampering or disturbances are detected, the camera offers real-time notification and works to suppress surrounding noises
  • Shape recognition: Shape recognition allows for face recognition to automatically identify people that enter the field of view

After all, isn’t the point of a wireless security camera to help keep you safe? Now, we are closer than ever to achieving exactly that.

3. Laser focusing

The security camera has helped make more homeowners feel safe. It gives you the ability to monitor your loved ones and property when you can’t be there. But, one of the challenges posed by wireless security cameras is bad footage due to lack of focus or a darkened recordings.

One of the most innovative technologies for security cameras involves laser focusing. Laser focusing improves focus to provide a better picture and enhances recording in limited lighting. Cameras equipped with laser focusing utilize a laser to find focus almost immediately, thereby improving the zoom and picture quality. This laser also uses infrared technology to improve visibility in darkened conditions, similar to how night-vision goggles function.

Security cameras are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. These developments will only help to improve the safety of our families and loved ones.