Panasonic’s “Peekaboo” Cameras Offer Security While Protecting Privacy

Panasonic System Networks Co. of America introduced several new products at ASIS 2011, including PTZ cameras with privacy-protecting "eyelids," or as Bill Taylor, president of Panasonic System Networks Co. of America, likes to call them, "peekaboo" cameras.

These eyelids open only when activated by a teacher, guaranteeing student and teacher privacy except during an emergency. With the eyelid design, there's no mistaking when the camera is in sleep or privacy mode and when it's activated.

A teacher can discreetly activate the system by pressing a panic button on the Panasonic pendant microphone, which is also used for classroom audio. Once the camera's eyelids are open, emergency responders and authorities can see into the classroom to identify what kind of help to send, whether a SWAT team for a shooter or the paramedics for a health concern.

Two Port Washington, N.Y., schools have installed this system in its classrooms. When the system is activated, police can access the live video instantly on their smartphones, at the headquarters and in squad cars. If there is a shooter, they can see him or her as well as track their movement in the school. Providing all the officers with the same information is a critical component to an efficient response. The school district hopes to roll out the system district-wide in the near future.

While everyone involved -- parents, teachers, students, administration and police -- hope they'll never have to use the system, the fact that it's in place readies them for all emergency situations.

About the Author

Sherleen Mahoney is a Web managing editor at 1105 Media.

  • ONVIF is Reaching New Heights ONVIF is Reaching New Heights

    In this episode of SecurPod, Ralph C. Jensen and Leo Levit talk about the organization’s addition of GitHub and the milestone of more than 20,000 conformant products, as well as two Release Candidates. We also talk about the challenges ONVIF faced during this COVID-19 year and the biggest challenges they have faced.

Digital Edition

  • Security Today Magazine - May June 2021

    May June 2021


    • Tapping into Touch-free Digital
    • Deep Learning
    • Working from Home
    • Body-worn Technology
    • A Tragic Turn of Events

    View This Issue

  • Environmental Protection
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Infrastructure Solutions Group
  • Spaces4Learning
  • Campus Security & Life Safety