Camera Calculator V3.1 Release Improves User ExperienceBy: Sean Patton, Published on Oct 17, 2019
IPVM has released a new version of our Camera Calculator, V3.1, with significant user experience improvements, a new development plan, and an upcoming phone calculator.
Here are the major improvements of v 3.1 live now:
- Faster: The calculator is now much faster to load.
- Custom Color Camera Cones: Now select from 6 different color options for displaying cameras on the map
- Centralized Device Management: Now you can see and select from any camera, label or floorplan from a central list.
- Easier Floor Plan Optimization: Now uploading and scaling a floor plan is clearer and more consistent because of dedicated side panel controls
- Simplified Map Display: We eliminated any non-profit/non-government map pins which results in a cleaner, more usable design layout
And up next, already being developed, is a phone version of the calculator, no app required. Look for this early next year.
New Development Plan - Internal Team - Seth and Duc
Over the past year, we have moved software development of the Camera Calculator inside of IPVM, which will accelerate new releases. Previously, we had contracted to a small US development team. Over the last few years, we did not release as many improvements as we hoped.
Now, Seth Bartyniski joined IPVM earlier in 2019 and Duc Tran joined IPVM recently. Seth led the 3.1 release and is already working on the upcoming phone calculator. Duc will be focusing on IPVM site improvements allowing Seth to further focus.
We are confident that this will enable much more significant releases in 2020.
Calculator Size Reduced by over 90%
The Calculator has been reduced to under 1 MB by adding data compression, which provides significantly quicker loading, especially on low bandwidth or mobile connections.
Previously the Calculator was ~10 MB and users with low bandwidth connections experienced 20-30 second load times. This should be decreased to a few seconds for most users.
Camera Color Options Added
You can change the color of the camera and coverage cone by clicking on the paint can icon to the right of the camera name. This allows visual differentiation of different camera models, manufacturers or use cases (e.g. face rec vs LPR camera). There are 6 color options:
Blue is the default color for a new camera, but duplicated cameras will keep the color selection of the original camera.
All Project Items Overview Added / UX Refresh
The right-hand control panel now offers an "All Project Items" menu, which lists out all cameras, labels and floor plans that have been placed in the project for complete visibility of project design assets. The map will automatically center and adjust the zoom level to view the selected object:
Previously there was only a listing of All Cameras, which complicated project management for users who heavily use labels and floor plans.
Additionally, minor UX changes to button locations, menu options and interface responsiveness were updated based on detailed review and feedback from a UX consultant, with the goal of making designs easier to complete.
Floor Plan Upload UX Redesigned
Floor Plan uploading has been redesigned to be easier and more accurate. Once a floor plan is uploaded, the right side control panel will change to scale the floor plan. Manually move the 2 ends of the green dimension tool on the floor plan, enter the distance, and click the Scale Floor Plan button:
There is also a new short tutorial video focused on floorplan upload and scaling.
Previously the floating window for floor plan scaling could hide the dimension tool in some configurations, and it did not visually rotate properly when scaling a vertical dimension.
Label Text Size Change Option
Label text sizes can now be increased and decreased using the Size slider control on the right side label control panel. The side panel also now contains the label text and fill color options:
Previously labels were statically sized based on the zoom level of the Calculator when the label was created, which could result in labels that covered cameras or significant portions of a design.
Map View Cleaner
An interface update that could be easily missed, the "Map" formatted view now only includes street names, government, and non-profit organizations (places of worship, private schools, charity organizations):
Previously the "Map" view showed every business listed on Google Maps, which was especially distracting in urban environments.
Phone Version In Development
Smartphones are now ubiquitous and we want to make it simple to use your smartphone to do video surveillance site surveys. Walk around with your phone, take pictures of what the camera should look at and where the camera should be installed, instantly upload into an IPVM Camera Calculator project. You can then access that same project from your laptop to make further refinements, print it out and more.
We have already prototyped this just using a mobile web browser so you will not have to download an app and can immediately access and use the IPVM phone calculator. Below is a simple example:
Our goal is to have this fully released in the first half of 2019 with partial pushes along the way so members can experience some of it and give feedback as we finalize.
What Do You Want?
Tell us more in the comments or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) about what you want from the Camera Calculator.
Try It Now
Click here to try it out. The Calculator remains available to non-members for designs up to 4 cameras.
The Calculator Guide has been updated to reflect the changes in V3.1.