The Benefits of Transformation
When a 360 camera becomes the only camera, you need
- By Justin Wheatley
- Jan 27, 2022
As 360-degree video surveillance cameras continue to evolve, this technology has become an essential part of many security solutions. Its unique ability to capture large areas of a scene with no blind spots has made these devices a powerful tool wherever total situational awareness is required.
When selecting the best 360-video solution, it is crucial to understand how some of the latest innovations transform security operations. It has been proven over time that IP video systems offer numerous benefits, such as secure data accessibility, higher resolution, efficient storage and centralized management even with multiple cameras. Today, there are more options than ever. In a market that sees constant technological evolution, the possibilities can seem endless. In addition, 360-degree cameras are no different; innovation is accelerating, and more use cases are being driven in light of the promise of the IoT and AI.
Getting a great panoramic image is difficult at best and often depending on what type of camera is in use. Here are the most common options:
Multi-sensor cameras. Generate a panoramic image by combining the images from each sensor. However, this can lead to several issues, from stitching and alignment to light and color imbalances, or even blind spots.
Conventional lens. Cameras can generate panoramic images but rarely cover an entire 180-degree field of view, leaving blind areas on the picture's edges.
Fisheye cameras. Cover a 180-degree field of view and give the best results when wall mounted. Unfortunately, there can still be problems with orientation and distortion if the mounted camera is not at the same height as the subject.
What is the best option for your business? As we enter what many are calling the next era of video surveillance, it is clear that this market segment is advancing at a rapid rate. Although there have been significant enhancements to 360-degree cameras recently, there is still an opportunity to push innovation further.
Today, the industry has seen the release of new versions that offer multiple views in one single camera. Defined as multi-mode, this functionality has or involves more than one mode in a single device. With multi-mode, users can choose to stream up to four different views simultaneously, including panoramic, fisheye, corridor, T corridor, and Vcams. In essence, the addition of the multi-mode function transforms a 360-camera to possibly the only camera an organization could ever need.
Multi-mode allows stakeholders to record everything that happens within a scene thanks to the 360-degree coverage, but at the same time, it is possible to set up alternative views. For example, the 360-degree view for retrospective investigation is used, while the different dewarped pictures are displayed on the screen of a control room or public view monitor for live viewing.
The flexibility does not stop there. Imagine running streams at different frame rates, deciding which streams to watch or record, and at the frame rate ideal for your specific needs based on your particular use case. It can be a 360-degree camera, or a panoramic one, or even both simultaneously with the ability to show different views on different streams; it can run one or multiple streams, achieve up to 60fps, and installed inside or outside.
With the addition of multi-mode software functionality, you get access to the most advanced 360-degree cameras on the market today. Whether you need a 360-degree camera, a panoramic camera, or both simultaneously, all these capabilities are available in one solution.
As an industry, we continue to elevate video surveillance innovations to simplify customer deployment and increase overall intelligence. 360-degree video solutions are the core of every modern-day video installation, and because of this, technologies will continue to improve performance and quality. The future is indeed now.
This article originally appeared in the January / February 2022 issue of Security Today.
Justin Wheatley is the vice president of product management at Oncam.