Should You Use Auto-Tracking PTZs?By John Honovich, Published Sep 24, 2008, 08:00pm EDT
Though available for many years, Auto-Tracking PTZs are generating renewed interest with Axis' recent release of their 233D camera. The claim is that "auto-tracking enables a single PTZ dome camera to cover a large area and to automatically detect, follow and record video of moving persons or vehicles."
Auto-Tracking has never become an widely adopted feature despite its introduction and marketing by various manufacturers. The question then becomes: should you use it and where should you use it?
Below view a video of Axis demonstrating auto-tracking PTZ functionality or download the clip. After, we will consider its value.
The demo provides a very honest portrayal of the key issues involved in setting up and using auto-tracking PTZs. Essentially, the tracking is designed to track the object with the most movement or greatest size. There are some major drawbacks including:
- The feature can track irrelevant objects like flags or other uninteresting moving objects.
- The feature can switch tracking from a relevant to an irrelevant object simply because the second object was bigger.
- These problems increase as the size of the area and the amount of activity increases. For instance, this would likely work extremely poorly in a football stadium parking lot during game day as hundreds of cars and people move around.
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