MicroPower Drives ‘Alternative’ Approach to Surveillance
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jan 01, 2015
Delivering a unique and innovative technology in today’s crowded and dynamic
security market can be quite a challenge. Walk the aisles of any
trade show, and you’ll often see a sea of ‘me-too’ products. But Micro-
Power Technologies stands out. Why? The company’s approach to video surveillance
and perimeter protection is the result of truly unique, out-of-the-box thinking.
It is exactly this approach that drives development of technology that not
only ensures a high-level of security protection but also is cost-effective and energy
efficient—a rarity in such an energy-hungry industry.
Established in 2008, and based in San Diego, MicroPower Technologies designs
and manufactures solar-powered, wireless surveillance systems that enable
end users to place cameras in previously unreachable locations. It is a truly wireless
system, not reliant on traditional video transmission methods or conventional
electricity sources. Its surveillance platform delivers live wirelessly streaming video
and combines a solar-powered camera with a central receiving hub for secure, reliable
transmission. A built-in solar panel continuously charges the camera, enabling
it to operate on a single charge for five days. The system is designed for outdoor
applications and can easily be integrated with existing surveillance systems,
supporting all the major VMS solutions on today’s market.
“MicroPower has invested in extensive research and development to leverage
the existing concepts of solar technology, wireless networking and power reduction
to make its surveillance system highly reliable and scalable,” said Dave Tynan,
vice president of global marketing and sales at MicroPower. “Our solutions are
based on technologies that have already been well-proven in mainstream and commercial
markets; we’ve just incorporated them into a solution designed to enhance
safety and improve business operations.”
MicroPower’s technology helps customers answer two challenging questions:
“How do we best secure a perimeter (or remote location)?” and “How do we avoid
spending a small fortune to do it?”
The solar-powered, wireless approach allows customers to place outdoor cameras
virtually anywhere—without having to invest in a trenching project or long
cable runs. Need a surveillance camera installed 100 yards from a facility? No
problem. Need to monitor a remote parking lot? Again, no problem. Need to keep
an eye on a remote site without spending a fortune? MicroPower can help. No
power, no network, no problem—the company’s tag line displayed prominently at
the recent ASIS show—explains the value proposition to a tee.
But beyond cool technology, there is another driving force that represents a
significant part of MicroPower’s strategy—sustainability.
These days, more organizations look to achieve corporate and environmental
sustainability initiatives while maintaining the level of technological advancement
required to remain successful. Green policies give companies a better reputation
when it comes to being a responsible corporate citizen, as well as help reap benefits
for an organization’s bottom line.
Sustainability efforts have taken off in many business sectors, but the security
industry remains one of the final frontiers for the adoption of eco-friendly solutions,
due mainly to the fact that it has either not been cost driven or practical.
“Solar energy itself is not a new concept, but using it as a key component of
a security solution is significantly different than other surveillance technologies,”
Tynan said. “MicroPower offers an environmentally sustainable and low-maintenance
surveillance solution that consumes much less power than traditional
systems, allowing organizations to realize cost and power savings, and enabling
security to play a role in sustainability initiatives.”
The company’s focus on being ‘green’ has already drawn attention. This year,
the company was honored as the winner in the American Technology Awards
(ATAs) in the Green Technology category.
Although the solution was built specifically for security, Tynan said customers
also have found it valuable for monitoring operations at isolated locations, which
are common in the oil and gas and utility markets. Often these sites are unmanned
and need to be monitored to ensure safety and continued operations. The power
and cabling requirements of traditional products often limit the use of video in
such facilities. And because of the evolving risk factors presented by such facilities,
video surveillance is necessary to help prevent terrorism, vandalism and crime,
such as copper theft. Since MicroPower’s solution can be quickly set up without a
complex installation process, the system is a good fit for these types of applications.
“Our technologies offer these industries a well-tested solution that solves problems
related to lack of infrastructure, while providing the ability to address these
issues cost effectively and sustainably,” Tynan said.
As users look to extend the value of surveillance investments, MicroPower customers
have found that video can be used to ensure consistent and proper operation
of machinery and systems at isolated sites. This effectively allows customers
to shift from situational awareness to situational assessment. For example, video
can help determine whether a problem with machinery is because of maintenance
issues or an actual threat.
Critical infrastructure sites are only one target market for MicroPower. The
company also is quite focused on the sports stadium market. This summer, the
company partnered with the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security
(NCS4) to help with the evaluation of the MicroPower solution for sports
venues. NCS4, located at the University of Southern Mississippi, operates a laboratory
environment where security solutions are evaluated to determine how specific
technologies can help solve security issues, such as crowd monitoring, tailgating
issues and event management, in and around facilities that host spectator sports.
After moving through a stringent testing process, the MicroPower system received
the NCS4 seal of approval, which provides stadiums with assurance that the
system is validated and proven in such applications and environments.
“It was an honor to be able to collaborate with the NCS4 team to ensure our system
meets the needs of stadium owners and security officials,” Tynan said. “During
the evaluation process, we confirmed that it is the inherent differentiators of our
product—the wireless and solar components—that allow customers in this market
to realize significant cost and infrastructure savings, as the need for cabling is eliminated.
We’re also helping them maintain and improve security. When you gather
thousands of sports fans in one place at one time, security is paramount. We’re
proud to play a role in helping protect these venues and the fans who visit them.”
So, the next time you’re at a security tradeshow, keep an eye out for Micro-
Power Technologies. They won’t be difficult to spot; with the types of innovations
they are bringing to the industry, they can’t help but draw attention.
This article originally appeared in the issue of .
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.