Optex Redscan Reviewed

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jun 07, 2012

Perimeter detection products are notoriously prone to false positive alarms. Optex REDSCAN claims it minimizes this problem with technology not found elsewhere. In this note, we examine REDSCAN, analyze the technology behind it, and contrast it with other perimeter technologies.



REDSCAN is an intrusion detection sensor that uses 'laser based' detection, compared to common PIR, photoelectric (PE) beam, or microwave detection technologies. The product is designed to be less prone to false alarms than other sensors. Optex positions the product as an addition to 'video verification' systems, where this unit is used to trigger PTZ movement to specific locations.

  • Laser detection up to 200 foot, 190 degree detection range (depending on unit orientation)
  • REDSCAN has up to 8 gross detection zones designed to facilitate PTZ positioning
  • Integrated with a number of leading VMS platforms
  • Product only sold through trained integrators
  • MSRP pricing $5300-$6000 per unit

See sidebar image of the REDSCAN sensor. The unit is IP65 and IP66 rated, and a version with an onboard heater for cold environments is available.


Laser detection is more sensitive than other technologies, because it 'actively' scans an area for movement changes, rather than alarming based on temperature changes in the detection area. For example, a PIR sensor compares heat energy within a scene from one interval to the next, and a slowly moving object may fall beneath detection sensitivity. See our PIR Selection Guide for additional detail. Laser detection is different because it rapidly scans a scene for active movement, and regardless of how slowly an object is traveling, its movement and velocity are detected.

Because laser detection is very sensitive, false alarms can be a problem. Optex claims that REDSCAN solves this by including firmware algorithms that normalize or 'learns' potential outside environment triggers such as foliage movement, rouge reflections, insects, and precipitation.

Unlike 'traditional PIR' sensor technology, REDSCAN's emitter assembly features no fixed facets, and zone sensitivity or exclusion zones are definable to specific X/Y coordinates, not coarse detection regions. While traditional PIR detectors may be limited to 15 or 20 zones, REDSCAN permits dynamic exclusion of objects within the entire area.

Optex has announced integrations with Milestone and Genetec VMS platforms. This integration entails sending alarm messages to the VMS platforms via ASCII strings. REDSCAN features a built-in Ethernet encoder module that allows a direct connection to a switch, and the unit has the option to be PoE+ powered.

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

Currently, REDSCAN is limited for purchase and install by Optex certified integrators. Optex does not intend for REDSCAN to be available for general purchase from distribution, but rather takes direct involvement in training an integrator on-site during first installation. In part because REDSCAN is more complex than most sensors, and additionally because it represents a different type of detection technology, Optex takes a 'hands-on' approach to ensure that training is complete and comprehensive with each integrator.

The pricing for this product will exclude it from consideration for general perimeter detection. The $5300+ price tag places well beyond more simple, coarse detection technologies. The product is positioned to be an answer for high-end, very sensitive or dynamic detection areas that overwhelm traditional detection technologies. Optex claims the most receptive vertical markets for the product are critical infrastructure and high-value installation like museums.

Competitive Comparison

While REDSCAN cannot be compared to an technicaly equivalent product as laser-based detection sensors are uncommon,  other technologies accomplish similar goals of wide area outdoor monitoring.

Optex makes it clear that REDSCAN is best positioned as an alternative to microwave and ground-based radar detection technologies. These detection methods are typically employed in mission-critical type of applications, and Optex is marketing REDSCAN towards the advanced end of the intrusion detection market.

Long range PIR and PE sensors, like those manufactured by Takex and Optex, are commonly available for a fraction of the cost of REDSCAN. While these products are more prone to false alarming and lack onboard processing, they equal or better REDSCAN's modest coverage radius. If false alarming proves to be an issue, several of the more of these simple sensors can be wired in combination more inexpensively than a single REDSCAN unit.

Video analytics, either with day/night or thermal cameras are an alternative to REDSCAN. With day/night cameras, the total price is likely to be half (or less) than REDSCAN. However, accuracy issues are a concern especially in low light conditions. By contrast, combining analytics with thermal cameras will increase the cost to a similar range as REDSCAN. However, the accuracy levels are likely to be similar.

1 report cite this report:

Axis Network Radar Tested (D2050-VE) on Dec 19, 2017
Axis is expanding into a new market - radar. The company has released their D2050-VE Network Radar Detector, claiming to minimize false alarms, in...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on VMS

Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
Bluecherry Open Sources Entire VMS on May 13, 2019
Bluecherry announced they have "released the entire Bluecherry software application open source with a GPL license". We spoke to Bluecherry's...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
Ranking Manufacturer Favorability 2019 on May 06, 2019
24 manufacturer's favorability was ranked based on 170+ integrators feedback. Voting plus in-depth comments revealed insights on which brands were...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...

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