There are immediate needs for automated surveillance systems in commercial, law enforcement and military applications. Mounting video cameras is cheap, but finding available human resources to observe the output is expensive. Although surveillance cameras are already prevalent in banks, stores, and parking lots, video data currently is used only "after the fact" as a forensic tool, thus losing its primary benefit as an active, real-time medium. What is needed is continuous 24-hour monitoring of surveillance video to alert security officers to a burglary in progress, or to a suspicious individual loitering in the parking lot, while there is still time to prevent the crime. In addition to the obvious security applications, video surveillance technology has been proposed to measure traffic flow, detect accidents on highways, monitor pedestrian congestion in public spaces, compile consumer demographics in shopping malls and amusement parks, log routine maintenance tasks at nuclear facilities, and count endangered species. The numerous military applications include patrolling national borders, measuring the flow of refugees in troubled areas, monitoring peace treaties, and providing secure perimeters around bases and embassies.
Technology advances developed that enable a single human operator to monitor activities over a broad area using a distributed network of active video sensors. The sensor platforms are mainly autonomous, notifying the operator only of salient information as it occurs, and engaging the operator minimally to alter platform operations.
CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) is a visual surveillance technology designed for monitoring a variety of environments and activities. CCTV systems typically involve a fixed (or "dedicated") communications link between cameras and monitors. The modern CCTV systems involve a linked system of cameras with full pan, tilt, and zoom able to be operated remotely from a control room. These systems may involve sophisticated technology. Features can include night vision, computer assisted operation, and motion detection facilities which allows the operator to instruct the system to go on red alert when anything moves in view of the cameras. Camera systems increasingly employ bullet-proof casing, and automated self defense mechanisms which ensure that cameras under attack are covered by neighboring cameras and these can be legitimately described as military style systems.
The clarity of the pictures is often excellent, with many systems being able to recognize a cigarette packet at a hundred meters. We have systems can often work in pitch blackness, bringing images up to daylight level.
We are using products from LookC Limited which is based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where the company designs, develops and manufactures web enabled digital CCTV systems. Our products fully exploit IP networking with local and remote viewing, local and remote recording and local and remote administration of up to 16 cameras, including PTZ cameras, per unit. The first generation LookC product was a Windows based system running on a PC, launched in 1998, which was later Internet enabled - at that time the first in the world! The introduction of the second generation, freed from Windows and the PC by the introduction of the Linux operating system and featuring an enhanced Internet enabled system, heralded a major breakthrough in reliability and functionality. The development process is very much at the heart of the business and improvements in both functionality and features are always matched by the need to keep the LookC system simple to install, ultra-reliable and, above all, simple to use. LookC Pro has been developed over the past five years and the development team alone has over 35 years cumulative experience of image capture technology.