MicroPower Drives ‘Alternative’ Approach to Surveillance

Industry Insider

MicroPower Drives ‘Alternative’ Approach to Surveillance

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 .

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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