Camera Positioning Key to Video Analytics

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 13, 2009

A routinely overlooked but key aspect to using video analytics is camera positioning. Not simply an implementation issue, camera positioning requirements can have a significant impact on the cost and design of video analytic systems. This is true whether you are analyzing license plates, people, faces or intruders.

[This is an excerpt from the premium Guide: "How to Select Video Analytics"]

In the Fine Print

In the user's manual of almost any video analytics systems are guidelines and requirements about how cameras need to be positioned. They almost always include points about avoiding direct exposure to sunlight and minimizing the angles of incident from the camera to the target. If you ignore these directions, performance can suffer dramatically.

Do This Before Buying

You need to factor this in during the design phase. If you wait until deployment, it can become a very significant problem. You may realize that you need to:

  • Move an existing camera
  • Add a new camera of the same type
  • Add a new, more expensive, camera
At this point, the cost will go up, often dramatically. Worse, you may realize that logistical barriers exist (such as not being allowed to put cameras in places the video analytic system requires).

If you do this before the project, sometimes it will stop the project from being deployed. However, if you do this during the project and hit a problem, not only may the project fail but the end user can look bad and the integrator can lose a lot of money.

Why This is the Case

Handling a variety of lighting conditions or different angles can dramatically increase the computing resources needed to analyze video. Even if technically possible to perform such adjustments, it's often not feasible to implement them in commercial products because of the increased hardware cost this requires.

While cost of computing resources will certainly continue to fall and vendors will make improvements, these elements will continue to be an important constraint on video analytics for years to come.

Practical Examples of This

While different types of video analytics have specific requirements, you can certainly see the same general pattern of requirements for lighting and angles. Here are resources for 3 different video analytics:

Be careful about the accuracy of test data as the tests may be performed with camera positioning that is unrealistic for real world deployments. For instance, see this image example from i-LIDS:

It's very unlikely that a camera could ever be deployed in this position. One, placing a camera on the exterior of a facility risks the theft or destruction of the camera. Two, placing a pole near a fence is a security risk. Three, often it's not even possible to place a camera in such a position because there's a road on the outside.

This position is misleading because it provides a perfect, unobstructed direct view of the target. This will result in better performance than the type of positioning that real world deployments require.

As such, test data or performance expectation needs to be evaluated in the context of the deployments that can be achieved.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

See this image of an actual deployment at the Vatican (from ioimage):

The camera positioning is not theoretically ideal but given the layout probably the best that can be done.

Conclusion

Understanding camera positioning requirements up-front is key. Make sure the design reflects these constraints and that you can afford and are able to make any modifications that need to be done. By doing so, the probability of an optimally functioning system with minimal surprises will be maximized.

[For more information on selecting video analytics, see the premium Guide: "How to Select Video Analytics"]

Related Reports on Video Analytics

ObjectVideo Acquired by Alarm.com on Mar 14, 2017
Once potentially the most recognized name in video analytics, ObjectVideo has effectively been sold for pieces. Alarm.com has now acquired what...
Hikvision People Counting Tested on Mar 09, 2017
People counting has historically been a difficult task, requiring specialized cameras, expensive software, and careful camera placement. But in the...
Positive Video Surveillance Outlook - 2017 Statistics on Mar 07, 2017
376 manufacturers and integrators revealed their outlook on the future of the video surveillance industry in a recent IPVM survey. Both groups are...
Axis CTO: Deep Learning 'Exciting Space' But Urges Caution on Dec 27, 2016
Deep learning interest is rising in video surveillance. 2016 saw: Hikvision's partnership with Nvidia Movidius launch a neural networks chip...
2017 Video Surveillance Predictions on Dec 15, 2016
2017 should be an active, if not rocky, year for the security industry, according to predictions from IPVM integrators. We surveyed integrators,...
Axis Partner Elder Care Video Analytics (Smartervision) on Dec 07, 2016
Can video analytics be used to improve the care of the elderly? Axis and a video analytics startup, Smartervision, are working together to do so....
Top Surprises in the Video Surveillance Industry 2016 on Nov 29, 2016
  The top 3 surprises of 2016 for integrators surveyed by IPVM were: The race to bottom, repeating 2015's Top Surprise Result New -...
Hikvision's ImageNet Win Analyzed on Nov 28, 2016
Hikvision is pushing hard to move up market and win at video analytics. One notable sign is Hikvision touting their #1 ranking for an ImageNet...
China Hot For Intelligent Video on Oct 27, 2016
The clear top theme at the 2016 Security China show has been intelligent video. This is a big shift from past years, and China's historical focus...
Hikvision Partners With Intel Movidius For Artificial intelligence Cameras on Oct 25, 2016
The world's largest camera manufacturer is partnering with the worlds largest semiconductor company to create a series of intelligent...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis Camera Vulnerabilities From Google Researcher Analyzed on Mar 23, 2017
A Google security researcher has reported 6 vulnerabilities for Axis cameras, affecting multiple models and firmware versions. In this report, we...
OpenEye Takes Aim At Exacq on Mar 23, 2017
First Milestone targeted Exacq with a takeover offer, and now OpenEye is gunning for them with an offer to swap out Exacq for their cloud-managed...
Lock Keyways For Access Control Guide on Mar 23, 2017
Lock keyways can be the difference between a lock working or not. Understanding keyways is important for access control. Indeed, a member recently...
Broken Browser Support for Video Surveillance on Mar 22, 2017
Modern web browsers have left the security industry behind. Current Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge browsers do not support NPAPI plugins,...
ADI Favorability Results on Mar 22, 2017
150 North American integrators provided feedback on 6 distributors, and why they do (or do not do) business with ADI. ADI is clearly a big name in...
1 Million Dahua Devices Exposed To Backdoor on Mar 22, 2017
Statistics show that 1 million Dahua devices are publicly exposed and vulnerable to the Dahua backdoor. Despite this, Dahua has downplayed the...
Hikvision Hires Crisis Communication Writer on Mar 21, 2017
Hikvision has hired a crisis communication writer as the company ramps up its efforts to deal with the 'crisis' it feels it is facing. 'Crisis...
Glass Break Sensor Tutorial on Mar 21, 2017
Burglars often break glass windows to get into a house. Using glass break detectors in conjunction with alarm contacts is a good way to protect the...
Unikey Smart Phone Access Control Platform on Mar 21, 2017
More and more people carry smart phones. Many think this could replace the conventional key or card for access control. However, using a phone...
Hikvision Attacks IPVM on Mar 20, 2017
Hikvision has attacked IPVM repeatedly over the last month, both in the international press and in its dealer communications. Attacks Listed On...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact