POS / Surveillance Integration Tutorial

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jun 03, 2012

Integrating Point of Sales Systems with video surveillance is critical for many retailers but doing so can be challenging. A number of integration methods exist, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. In this note, we examine the three most common approaches, contrast their advantages and disadvantages, and describe where each method is best used.

Overview

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Text *******:POS data is overlayed on top of the video stream much like time/data stamps are done on cameras. This method is the most basic, because it simply 'injects' an image of register information onto what the camera is recording. Finding unique register events is difficult because the text itself is not searchable; it is a combined part of the video image. Most often, this function is a separate box installed between the DVR, a camera, and the POS station printer/ pole display. Here is an example screenshot of this type of integration:

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Centralized *** ***********: The VMS connects to a centralized POS server to download or access transaction data across the retailer. Large retailers having many locations and thousands of POS stations use this method because they need a custom solution and already have infrastructure in place to support it. The resulting integration is often a real-time, searchable database. The full scope of POS is available for this integration rather than simplified 'reciept-only' data. Customer alerts (e.g. Management receives an email each time a cashier hits the 'refund' button.) and exception report integrations (e.g. Video records all large refund transactions) are common.

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