Industry Professional

What IC720 Means to Advancing Surveillance

Will spherical 360-degree video surveillance have an impact on the future of the security industry? IC Real Tech (parent company of IC Realtime brand) is betting that it is. IC Real Tech CEO Matt Sailor sat down for a few questions to shed some light on the company’s revolutionary technology and how it will benefit many vertical markets.

Q. Can you overview the technology and how it came about?

A. IC Real Tech’s IC720 (360x360-degree technology) represents the company’s drive to reach new heights in video surveillance, essentially the ability to see every angle without any blind spots instantaneously. We drew from our recent experience in single-lens 360-degree cameras to pioneer a remote-viewing platform that delivers a fully-spherical range. The technology is a single standalone camera that uses a front and rear sensor, and our own software App and VMS platform which leverages the gyroscopic movement technology in the mobile display devices allowing capture of 360 x 360-degree video. Essentially we’ve created an immersive experience that puts the viewer completely in the center of the action. While it really is Virtual Reality for the security industry, that is only the beginning of what we have designed into the IC720. We see obvious advantages to capturing entire environments instantly and then using that real-time data to trigger events and other devices.

Q. What vertical markets do you see this technology being used and how will it make a difference?

A. First, it is important to understand that in addition to mobile devices our platform is compatible with virtual reality headsets where monitoring takes place in the form of head movement, or in case of the display devices by either pointing in the air or simple finger-based gesture control. We have spent years developing the foundation of this technology to make it smarter than the average VMS and we spent time on what really makes sense from real world experience. We see the IC720 working in concert with other cameras as a master conductor. Imagine a conductor directing a symphony; the IC720 has this functionality built into it.

Since the camera is delivering real-time situational awareness for the person monitoring it we thought that the next logical step would be adding the ability for the IC720 to control and trigger other cameras. Think of it from an analytics level, it becomes the brain for the other cameras and directs them accordingly.

The sum result of this type of combination of the IC720 and an array of PTZ cameras is total coverage of an area with automated management. For instance, when our software detects a trip wire alarm, it can slew a PTZ camera over to the location instantly. The obvious problem with PTZ cameras is that if they are not looking in the right place they don’t capture the action. The IC720 comes to the rescue by recording everything—the entire environment, and can then direct and control other long range or specialty cameras to create a more effective surveillance system.

I see the IC720 being used anywhere, but specifically think of the obvious benefits for stadiums, manufacturing, robotics, and large ceiling cranes. These environments will greatly benefit from this solution, where you have activities taking place at ground and ceiling levels, the 360x360-degree camera will keep a constant eye on everything happening, like crane positions, unforeseen dangers, and avoiding possible tragedies. The IC720 acts as the mastermind of the surveillance platform, its instant awareness, and with our analytics and camera control the brain the surveillance system.

Another example of how the IC720 is a complete revolution in the surveillance industry applies to prisons, where we can use the technology to spot and respond to incoming drones, large prison yards and especially having the ability to capture areas that are usually out of standard cameras purview. I could go on about how this camera will change the way cameras will work for night clubs, entertainment, oil platforms, and more, but having a 360-view of an complete area from the floor to the ceiling changes the entire dynamic of surveillance. It’s no longer about a 70 or 80 degree limited view, instead we can give our customers an entire environment and then build entire camera systems around the IC720 and its management capabilities.

Q. What type of applications have you tested the technology in?

A. To ensure that the platform could meet the rigorous demands that will be placed on it, we originally tested and spec’d the technology for automobile racing. The first applications were testing in championship Ferrari and Formula-E race cars where we mount the cameras on top of the car. At speeds higher than 100 miles per hours, we succeeded in streaming HD video to the pit crew and guests were they were able to spherically view live or recorded video via the IC720 App on their mobile devices. They could see from the tires on the pavement all the way up to the sky and everything within view including the open cockpit and motor compartment, the tires, exhausts firing, competing cars, road conditions, you name it. We knew that racing would present us with a really challenging environment and we dove right in. The result was a camera that delivers an entirely new level of visual intelligence, a type of surveillance that more closely resembles the way humans experience real physical space. I think what’s even cooler about this technology is watching people’s reactions when they first see it, they are always grinning from ear to ear.

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Security Today.

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