FLIR Launches Saros

By: Sean Patton, Published on May 01, 2018

Has FLIR solved the video intrusion / remote monitoring problem or have they created an overkill, overly expensive device?

FLIR has launched Saros, an offering that has a long line of capabilities: dual thermal sensors, 4K video, 940nm IR LEDs, white light LEDs, video analytics, two-way audio, cloud connectivity and more.

In this note, we examine Saros functionality and claims, comparing it to Avigilon, Dahua and Hikvision.

*** **** ****** *** video ********* / ****** monitoring ******* ** **** they ******* ** ********, overly ********* ******?

**** *** ******** *****, ** ******** **** has * **** **** of ************: **** ******* sensors, ** *****, ***** IR ****, ***** ***** LEDs, ***** *********, ***-*** audio, ***** ************ *** more.

** **** ****, ** examine ***** ************* *** claims, ********* ** ** Avigilon, ***** *** *********.

[***************]

Saros ******* ********

*** ***** ****** * *********** *******/************ analytics ******, ******** ** a ******** *** ****** and/or *********** ******** ********* with ******* ********* ******** such ** ************ *****, substations, car ***********, ******, ***.

**** *******, ** **** dual **** ****** (*** ********** - **** *** * 120 ******) ******* (** ** ****** ** the $*** **** ******* camera), ***** *** ******** together ** **** * Field ** **** ** 90° ************. **** ** estimating ********* ** ** 50m / *** ****. Other *** ******** ********* from ****:

**** ***** *********** *****-**** mounting ******* *********, *** 180 ** ***-****** *******/******* coverage:

***** *** * ****/****** combination *******:

  • *-*** ********* **** *****
  • ***** **** ** (********* a *******-****-******** **-****** ***)

**** ** ***** ******* include ***** ** *** White ***** *** ************.

*** ***** **** **** be ***** ********** **** released.

Release ****** / ********* ****

*** **** ** ********* for ******* ** ****** / ********* ****.

Why **** ******* *******

*** ******** **** ** the **** ***-********** ******* sensors ** **** ** provides **** ***** **** thermal ******* *** ******* form ****** **** ************ CIF ** **** ******* imagers, while ********* *** ******** of ******* *** *********, e.g., ******* ** ****** light *** *******, ***. The ******** **** ** not ***** ****** ********** thermal ******* ** **** the ****** **** *** detect ** *** (*.*. a ********* *** ** 50m ******* ** ****, etc.)

**** **** ********* ***** represents *** ***** ** thermal ***** ******:

Video ********* - **** ********

*** ******* ********* **** from **************** ** ******** ** 2013, *** *** *** related ** *** ******** DvTel/IOI ********* (**** ***** *****/*** *********). **** *** *** tested *** ******** ***** analytics.

*** ****** ****** ******* analytics **** ******** *** the ********* ** ****** and ******** ** **** environments, *** **** **** used ** ******* ************ for **** *****.

Why ***** ***** *** ** ****

*** ***** ** **** have ** *** ****, and *** ***** ***** LEDs *** ** ******** for ****** *********. *** effective ***** ** *** IR **** (***/*******) **** be ******* **** *********** with ***** ***, ***** emit * ******* *** glow. 

**** ****** ************ ************* control. *** ** **** can ** ********** ** at *****, **** *** white **** ******* ** in ******** ** * detected ****** ** *******. This **** ***** *** color ****** ** ***** from *** *****/** ****** for ** ******** ** well ** ** * visual ********* ** ** intruder. ******* *** **** are ********** ******** **** the ******, ** *** automatically ****** *** ****** for *** ******** ***** quicker **** ** ******** IR ** ***** ****** are ****.

Cloud ********** / ****** ********** *******

*** ***** ****** **** is *** ***** **** thermal ******** ******* ** connect ** * *** FLIR ***** ********. **** said **** **** ** have **** ******* ******* to **** ******* ** the ******.

****** ***** ***** ********** platforms *****-********************** ** **** ** receive ******** ****** **** the ***** ****** *** view *** ***** ******* for ***** ************ ************. FLIR ** ********* *** remote ***** ************ ** integrators ** * ********* RMR *****-*** *** ******** ****** ***** monitoring ********.

Pricing - *** **** *** ******* / ********* *** ************

**** ******* *** **** to ** ** *** low ** *** $*,***’*, depending ** *** ***** configuration ** *** *******. Combo *******/******* ****** ******* with ******* ********* ********* cost *** ****.

*******, **** ******** ** conventional ********* ***** ** fixed **** ** *******, IR ******* **** ******* are ************* **** ********* ******* from $***-$****.

FLIR ********* **********

**** *** * *** a ***** *** ******* *** ***** ************ market,********** ***** ******* ** provide ** ***-**-*** ********,******* *** *** ***** / *** *********** ********** *** **** thermal ******** **** *** acquired ***** ***. ******* *** ******** *************** in ***** ******* ********** ****** ******* ******* delivered.

******* ** ****, ** does ***** **** ******* whether **** *** ******* this *** **** **** they **** ****** *** corner **** *** ******** of *** **** *** years.

Avigilon **********

******** *** ** ********* in ****** *********** *** ***** price. ********'* ********* *** consistently *********** ******** *** ***********,**** ****, *** **** **** Avigilon's ************ ******* ** half *** ***** ** FLIR *****. ******** *** existing*********** ** **** ******* Monitoring *********** ***** ********** ********* (********,*-*******). ** ****, **** if ***** ******** ****, Avigilon ******* **** **** a ****** ********** ** stay **** ********.

*** ************ ** ******** is *** ************. ********'* analytics ****** *** *** supported ** *** ***** VMSes *** ******** *** a ******* ********** ****** channel. ** ********, ***** will ** **** ******* distribution *** **** ******* available ** ******* *** either ****** ******** ******** or **** ******* **** greater *** ***** *******.

Dahua / ********* **********

*** ********* ** ***** and ********* ** **** **** offer ***** ********* ** cameras *** ****, ********* outdoor ** **** ******* at **% ***** **** than **** *****. **** Hikvision's ********** *** ***** just ~$*** *** *******. For ***** ***** ** Hikvision ******* ***** ** considering **** *****, *** price ******* ** *******.

*** ************ *** ***** and ********* ** ******** and *********** (*.*.,********** **** *******). *** *********** ***** of ********** ** ***** alerts *** ** **** costly ** *** **** run **** ********** **** expensive ******** (******* ******** ** potentially **** *****).

***** *** ********* **** been ********* **** ******** systems ****** ** *****, so ***** **** *** experience, ** ** **** they *******, ** ***** significantly ********* *** **** for ********, ****, *** other ******* *********.

*******

** *****, *** ******* has ********* ** ** very ******, ** ***** of ******** (****** ** thermal *****), ***** ************ (with ** ** ** and ** **** ***** light ****) *** ****** monitoring *********** (**** ***** connectivity). *** ** **** can ******* ** ****, ** should ** **** ******* with *** ***** ******.

**** ******** **, *** main ********* ** *** much ****** *** *** how **** ****** **** can ** ****** *****-****, simpler *********. *** **** if ***** ****** **** more ***** ******, ** the ********** ** *** enough, ** ***** **** more ***** *** **** remote ********** ******** ** simply *** ********** **** in *********** ***** **** the ********* ******** ** more ** ******* ********. And **** *********** **** for **** *** ******** if ** **** ***-**** providers **** ***** ** Hikvision *** ****** ***** deep ******** *********.

Poll / ****

Comments (34)

I hope they have addressed the auto gain bug that caused unneeded false motion alarms in their TCX thermal since they are using the same imagers.  They refused to address it in the TCX even when told directly with a tech support ticket and sent actual video of the bug.

I am not aware of that specific bug, if you email me details I will make sure to test for it with Saros beta units.

Saros has almost nothing in common with previous FLIR products, including the TCX bullet.  The hardware platform is a new design for Saros, and thus the corresponding software stacks are pretty much entirely new as well.

Also, the Lepton imagers in the Saros units are higher resolution than what was in the TCX bullet, and the analytics are "true" analytics, not motion detection/advanced motion detection. With this in mind, any issues exhibited by the TCX bullet (or any other previous product) should not be carried over to Saros, but again, I am happy to test for any scenarios that caused problems in the past.  Email me: brian.karas@flir.com and I will add your suggestions to our test matrix.

Brian,

was this camera designed by Ian and the ISD team?  I know they were brought in for their design expertise, was just wondering if this is one of their “babies”.

Yes, Ian and his group played a large part in the design and development.

This reminds me of the AOL - Time Warner merger.  It too, looked good on paper. 

Brian,  the ticket number was #662947. The problem was confirmed by tech support and a few things were tried to no avail. It was closed after no solution was available.  It did go up the chain to the Product Management team, but no new information was either given or came up with. The auto gain would randomly glitch, causing an abrupt change in the whole picture scene, setting off the motion alarm.  We had to redesign what we were going to use this camera for and ended up having to use something else and "eating" the camera.

Glad to see that it doesn't share anything with the TCX, you probably won't have the same problem. A firmware update that would have fixed the TCX would have been nice though.

OK, thanks, I will look into the backstory and make sure we do not encounter that with Saros.

and if UI#1 had to "eat" the cost of a thermal camera I would think you should step up to the plate and offer to either give him a new SAROS at no cost or give them their money back since it sounds like it was defective design?????

So why do then need both 940nm and white light IR? You want to have both super covert and super overt? Seems silly.

In the article it mentions using the white LEDs for color images at night. If that's the goal, why include the 940nm?

On the contrary, if the goal is covert 940nm IR, why would you ever turn on the white LEDs and blow your cover?

Super overt can help scare intruders off as the point of this is to be a remote monitoring / intrusion solution.

I get that, but if your goal is to dissuade, why the 940nm then? It has to add unneeded cost.

Jon - not all remote guarding/perimeter protection applications will use the illuminators in the same way, but part of the design goal was to provide maximum flexibility. For the most part, it is cheaper and easier to have the same illumination options in all products instead of creating a bunch of different SKU's for each variant.

We wanted to provide IR illumination, and make it as undetectable as possible, which led to the decision to use 940nm LEDs. We also heard from several customers that once they had a valid event (where usually some form of audio talk-down is used to alert to the person they are being watched/order them to leave) they wanted to be able to get as much visual detail as possible to help identify the person for police. That led to the white-light/visible LEDs being included.

Some customers might choose to turn the white-light LEDs on automatically to get even clips with better color detail at night, others might choose to turn them on manually for better detail once they have engaged with the incident.

If you are turning the white-light LEDs on automatically, it will give you the enhanced detail AFTER the actual intrusion (obviously), but most operators highly value some pre-alarm video, which gives additional context on how/where the person approached the property. In that case, the IR LEDs help provide good low-light detail for the pre-alarm part of the clip, which would be in black and white.

 

What is the lag time between the camera in monochrome mode with 940nm IR and switching to color mode with white LED? Almost every camera I have worked with would lose some frames in the process. These could be key frames lost. I would prefer that events are covered under the best conditions without changes. 

It would likely be a negligible cost difference, especially on a $2000 camera.

Good question, still working on final firmware optimizations, but it is pretty short. Because we are controlling the illuminators, we can also adjust the exposure settings much more quickly and accurately, as we know the white-light LEDs are going to be coming on, and about how bright they are. This is different from scenarios with external illuminators where it takes several seconds for the camera to recognize that the scene suddenly got a lot brighter, and then begin to react.

Pretty darn cool.

Mobotix should have been included in this article since it is also used in Remote Guarding, perimeter protection market.

Mobotix should have been included because someone finally created a less attractive camera when mounted in multiples. 

Oscar, we did not include Axis either, and they are used in remote guarding as well and 10x Mobotix's size. We included Avigilon because of how well regarded their analytics are. We included Dahua and Hikvision because they are so low priced and pushing so hard in video analytics.

To your point, though, are you using Mobotix for remote guarding? If so, can you expand on your experience?

 

I'm not Oscar but I use Mobotix for remote guarding so I'll volunteer my experience, hope it helps:  We typically have one S16 (that's the camera) with two thermal sensors attached to it, each pointing down a perimeter.  In a perfect square site 500ft x 500ft there would be a total of four thermal imagers (two on opposing corners).  Using Mobotix thermals we get reliable detection at 400ft to 500ft.  We've looked at several other alternatives like Axis, SightLogix etc. but no one else seems able to provide that distance so we've stayed with Mobotix.  I think SightLogix came close (its been a while since I actually compared them all so not sure what they claimed for distance) but you had to buy two of their cameras to do what one of Mobotix cameras with two sensors can do (look in different directions) so the SightLogix was considerably more expensive overall with less distance capability.

#6, thanks, that's interesting!

Roughly, speaking, what is the price for that? 

Hi, This is John from SightLogix.  We have products that operate up to 600 meters walking directly toward the camera. Our cross field range would be even further.  That is why have such a strong presence in large airports globally where they have a need to secure the entire airport perimeter.   

The comment in the report that "FLIR expects the price to be in the low to mid $2,000’s", is that a street price or MSRP?

That is MSRP.

I updated the report to clarify that is the expected MSRP price.

 "And that competitive risk for FLIR may increase if or when low-cost providers like Dahua or Hikvision can mature their deep learning offerings."

This seems to imply that AI/machine learning could add huge value to low cost equipment, with technology maturity.   

No wonder Hik/Dahua bet all their chips on AI.  

so this is an arecont/hikvision mashup with north american prices.  ok... customers want smarts in their cameras and customers who want that don't choke on camera prices north of a YFS.  Um...  goes on the list with all the others? 

so this is an arecont/hikvision mashup

Rodney, what does this have to do with Arecont or Hikvision?

fancy camera; stitched imager; smarts in the camera; price above 1k$, multiple cameras bolted together. 

They may have a problem trademarking the name:

"Crestron, the Crestron logo, and Saros are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Crestron Electronics, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries."

Creston Saros US trademark record:

Audio electronic components, namely, surround sound systems, Audio speaker enclosures, Audio speakers, bass speakers, loud speakers, loud speaker systems, in-wall speakers. FIRST USE: 20120801. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20120801

I am not a trademark expert but I think FLIR's use is in a sufficiently distinct domain (i.e., video surveillance) that there would not be confusion with Creston Saros.

FLIR has a trademark application for Saros here:

Electronic security and surveillance apparatus, namely, computer hardware, computer software, video cameras, motion detectors, audio and video digital recorders, and fittings for all the aforementioned goods, thermal camera, radar and scene illuminators

It was filed this February so it will take some time for any decision to be made.

 

I wonder if both will collide at the "IoT of things" considering both products are going to be sold to consumers with high dollar assets.

Imagine adding a SAROS audio component from Crestron to a Crestron System and then adding a SAROS detector from FLIR.

It's all in a name.

Is the camera fixed, or is the eye-ball adjustable? pan, tilt? It dosnt seem to be much space to tilt camera without covering IR/LED/Lens

You can move the entire "ball" assembly around a fair degree without impacting the LEDs or FOV.

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