Vumii's Night Vision Surveillance Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 28, 2009

While thermal cameras and IR illuminators are the most common choice for night vision surveillance, Vumii offers an interesting 3rd option. Vummi's cameras produce and control their own IR illumination, allowing long range capabilities (1000 meters +)

A new product release from Vumii, called Claritii [link no longer available], helps to address one of the major drawbacks of Vumii for broader use - the high cost of Vumii's original, long distance, Sensorii product line [link no longer available]. By contrast, Claritti offers a shorter range (up to 800 meters) but at a substantially reduced price point to Sensorii.

Below is a sample video from Vumii that demonstrates Claritii:

Vumii positions its technologies to address specific technical weaknesses in IR illuminators and thermal cameras.

IR illuminators - Using IR illuminators with PTZ cameras has some constraints. Very few PTZ cameras are designed to work optimally with IR illuminators. Spot illuminators may be added to a scene with a PTZ but they only cover limited areas. Only a few controllable cameras are designed with IR illuminators integrated (see Bosch's ExtremeCCTV MIR400 [link no longer available], specified to 55 meters, and Raytec's IR pan-tilt unit [link no longer available] specified to 300 Meters). Additionally, IR illuminators often broad distances can result in some areas of the image being overexposed.

Thermal cameras - Most pan/tilt thermal cameras on the market offer an optical zoom color camera but fixed zoom thermal imagers. Some of the higher end thermal camera models offer 2 thermal imagers (at different lens lengths) enabling a wide and telephoto option. However, this eliminates the use of continuous zooming using thermal. Also, in general, while thermal benefits from not needing a light source, the images tend to be less sharp and detailed than images generated from projected IR light.

For an detailed examination of Vumii's competitive technology claims (compared to thermal), read Vumii's introductory whitepaper [link no longer available].

Product Overview

Vumii offers 3 main product lines: 2 cameras (Discoverii and Claritii) and a video monitoring system (Sensorii). Vumii's cameras also provide an analog video output and serial interface for camera control (Pelco D protocol, etc.) that can be managed by 3rd party VMS systems (the most commonly used option according to Vumii).

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Discoverii [link no longer available] is the original night vision camera system from Vumii. A variety of models are offered for Discoverii with the main difference between them being the distance objects can be detected at night/zero light.  For instance, the Discoverii 1000 is rated for human detection at up to 1.6 Km while the Discoverii 3000 is rated for human detection at up to 4.5 Km (see Discoverii's technical specifications [link no longer available]). Discoverii uses continuous wave illumination (this is noteworthy because the new product offering uses a different illumination process).

Claritii [link no longer available] is the new camera system from Vumii. Two models are currently available for Claritii - the 400 and 600, specified for night time human detection up to 600 and 800 meters respectively. Vumii is currently shipping models using 850 nm illuminators. Future models will support 940 nm illuminators (preferable for deployments where complete covertness of the IR source is critical).

Unlike Discoverii, Claritii uses focused-beam array LEDs. According to Vumii, "Most conventional LED emitters have wide-uncontrolled divergence of energy 20, 30, 45 degrees. While this is useful if you want to illuminate a wide field it does not enable illuminating much beyond 100 meters. Their LED array is highly aligned and focused to direct this energy in primarily a 5 degree beam ...[They] use a very specialized imager (not a normal mass market CCD) to be more sensitive to this emitted LED energy."

Pricing

Discoverii models have list pricing from about $55,000 USD to $200,000 USD. Claritii models have list pricing from about $20,000 USD to $40,000 USD. The range varies based on the models mentioned above.

Best Applications

The most important 3 characteristics for determining application fit for Vumii are likely (1) high security threat, (2) wide coverage areas, (3) importance of seeing details. Given the price of either camera system, it will be hard to justify the expense at sites that are not guarding critical infrastructure (military, airport, industrial, etc.). Since a large part of the cost is for the ability to optically zoom, small areas that can be satisfactorily covered with a fixed camera or commercially available IR PTZs.

Discoverii (the long range camera system) is probably most applicable in military or seaport/airport scenarios. There's very few commercial/industrial applications that require night monitoring of multiple kilometers away from the facility. However, this is common for military bases and ports.

By contrast, Claritii has the potential to open the market for Vumii's technology for the broader commercial/industrial market where a few hundred meters night-time coverage may be useful. Additionally, because of the lower price (MSRP pricing starting at $20,000 USD), these cameras should be price competitive with thermal PTZ cameras on the market (see a sample of thermal PTZ pricing).

Related Reports

Bosch Budget 3000i Cameras Tested on Dec 05, 2019
Bosch has long had a hole in its lineup for, as it describes, "competitively-priced cameras". Now, Bosch has released its 3000i series cameras...
Ireland National Children's Hospital Chooses Hikvision End-to-End With Facial Recognition on Dec 05, 2019
The world's most expensive hospital project ever, the New Children's Hospital in Ireland, has chosen an all-Hikvision surveillance system including...
Budget Covert Cameras Tested on Nov 26, 2019
Covert cameras under $100 are widely available online but are they any good? To see how these models really work in the real world, we bought...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision, Now Improved, Now Being Terminated on Nov 25, 2019
When we originally tested Wyze's free person detection deep learning analytics in July 2019, they performed well, with few false alarms, but a long...
Axis "Best Of The Best" 4K Camera Tested (Q1798-LE) on Nov 21, 2019
Axis has released their "best of the best" Q1798-LE bullet camera, touting "4K without compromise" with a large Micro 4/3" image sensor, custom...
ISC East 2019 Show Report on Nov 21, 2019
IPVM has finished in New York City covering both days of the ISC East 2019 show. Here is a 6+ minute general walkthrough: Inside this report,...
Avigilon H4 Intercom Tested on Nov 20, 2019
Avigilon is well-known for video surveillance and access, but how well does the company's intercom work? We purchased and tested Avigilon's H4...
Hikvision Dual Lens Face Recognition Camera Tested on Nov 19, 2019
Hikvision's Dual Lens Facial Recognition camera, claims that it "adopts advanced deep learning algorithm and powerful GPU to realize instant face...
Biggest Low Light Problems 2019 on Nov 08, 2019
Over 150 integrators responded to our survey question: "What are the biggest problems you face getting good low-light images?" Inside, we share...
Avigilon Appearance Search Tested on Oct 30, 2019
Avigilon Appearance Search claims that it "sorts through hours of video with ease, to quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Disruptor Wyze Releases Undisruptive Smartlock on Dec 06, 2019
While Wyze has disrupted the consumer IP camera market with ~$20 cameras, its entrance into smart locks is entirely undisruptive. We have...
Bosch Budget 3000i Cameras Tested on Dec 05, 2019
Bosch has long had a hole in its lineup for, as it describes, "competitively-priced cameras". Now, Bosch has released its 3000i series cameras...
Anixter Resisting Takeover From Competitor on Dec 05, 2019
Mega distributor Anixter is going to be acquired but by whom? Initially, Anixter planned to go private, being bought by a private equity firm....
Security Sales Course 2020 - Last Chance Save $50 on Dec 05, 2019
This sales course is customized for the current needs and challenges specific to professionals selling video surveillance and access control...
Ireland National Children's Hospital Chooses Hikvision End-to-End With Facial Recognition on Dec 05, 2019
The world's most expensive hospital project ever, the New Children's Hospital in Ireland, has chosen an all-Hikvision surveillance system including...
AVTech ~$70 IP Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 04, 2019
Taiwanese manufacturer Avtech is taking direct aim at low cost leaders Dahua and Hikvision with ~$70 starlight and white light illuminator...
Ultinous European Analytics Startup Company Profile on Dec 04, 2019
European analytics-startup Ultinous pitches customers to "Have your own video analysis service!" We spoke to Ultinous to better understand their...
Access Startup Multi-Mount Aims To Streamline Reader Installs on Dec 03, 2019
Startup Multi-Mount claims it makes installing access readers 'Fast', 'Secure,' and fit 'any size frame.' The company states its bracket 'fits most...
Resideo CEO To Step Down on Dec 03, 2019
Resideo's CEO, Mike Nefkins, is stepping down, just 18 months after being brought in to lead the now plagued spin-out. Inside this note, we...
Arcules CEO Retracts False GDPR Claim + Dahua and Milestone Claims Examined on Dec 03, 2019
Arcules CEO has retracted a false claim about his organization being a "fully compliant GDPR company" after IPVM reporting (Arcules CEO Threatens...