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

Startup Turing Video Segway-Based Security Robot Profile on Sep 13, 2017
If security robots can not replace guards, perhaps the next best thing is a robot the guard can actually ride.  Turing Video has raised $5...
BBC Featured Deep Learning Face Recognition Analyzed (Digital Barriers) on Aug 30, 2017
The UK's largest broadcaster, BBC, recently featured Digital Barriers (also based in the UK) on a segment highlighting face recognition technology....
Nvidia For Video Surveillance Examined on Aug 23, 2017
Nvidia is making a big push into the security market, claiming more than 50 partners, investing heavily in industry events, positioning their GPUs...
Healthy Skepticism for Deep Learning Is Prudent on Jul 26, 2017
The hype for deep learning in video surveillance is accelerating. Between the race to the bottom and dearth of a 'next big thing', certainly pent...
Hikvision Launching Deep Learning Recorders on Jul 20, 2017
Hikvision has become a common choice for super low cost NVRs. Now, Hikvision is aiming to move up market, with deep learning NVRs that claim far...
Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...
Deep Learning Surveillance Startups Deep Problem on Jun 23, 2017
The undeniably good news for the video surveillance market is that we are seeing the rise of more startups than in many years. The cause of this...
Avigilon Announces RADAR-Based Presence Detector on Jun 22, 2017
RADAR is gaining momentum within physical security. Two months after Axis announced a network radar detector, Avigilon has announced a RADAR-Based...
PureTech Video Analytics Examined on Apr 21, 2017
PureTech's analytics were chosen for a US border protection system (see related post), which the company claims no other analytics vendor was able...
US Border RVSS / Video Analytics System Examined on Apr 21, 2017
US Customs and Border Protection has been rolling out a video analytics-based detection system along the US/Mexico border, with detection ranges...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Touting 'Made In America' on Sep 18, 2017
Canadian manufacturer Avigilon, who completed a US manufacturing facility in 2015, is now running a marketing campaign touting 'Made In America',...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
Forgotten Password Problem Importance on Sep 15, 2017
Forgotten passwords has become a major industry topic. For example, Hikvision has been emailing admin passwords in plain text until IPVM's...
September IP Networking Course on Sep 14, 2017
LAST Chance - Registration is ending. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals...
Hikvision Launching Ezviz Pro on Sep 14, 2017
Hikvision is launching Ezviz Pro. In 2015, Hikvision expanded Ezviz, a direct to consumer offering, to North America. Now, Ezviz 'Pro' is...
Genetec Launches Community Connect Examined on Sep 14, 2017
Genetec has done best in large-scale, enterprise systems and relatively worse in smaller systems such as SMB. Now, Genetec is launching...
Master Keying Tutorial on Sep 14, 2017
Mechanical keys are the most fundamental, albeit unsophisticated, form of access control. Like access control, Master Keying allows large scale use...
Startup Turing Video Segway-Based Security Robot Profile on Sep 13, 2017
If security robots can not replace guards, perhaps the next best thing is a robot the guard can actually ride.  Turing Video has raised $5...
Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Tutorial on Sep 13, 2017
Few terms carry greater importance in access control than 'fail safe' and 'fail secure'. Access control professionals must know how these concepts...

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