Vumii EyeSec FD Thermal Camera Examined

By Ethan Ace, Published Jan 04, 2012, 07:00pm EST

Thermal camera manufacturer Vumii [link no longer available] has announced a new version of their EyeSec thermal cameras, the EyeSec FD (Fire Detection) [link no longer available]. With on-board analytics for fire detection, this camera is intended for specialized outdoor installations where risk of fire is high. In this update we'll take a look at the specs of the camera, applications where it may fit, and how it compares to other products on the market.

Product Overview

The EyeSec FD [link no longer available] is a modification to the existing EyeSec line of thermal cameras, with additional features used for long-distance fire detection. Current models are all 640x480 imager analog-output only, with ONVIF-compliant IP versions reportedly coming in the third quarter of 2012. Multiple lens options are offered, including motorized 25mm (24.6° FOV), fixed 35mm (15.7°) and 60mm (8.4°), and a dual-FOV model with 45mm and 135mm lenses (14.3°/4.6°). It's worth noting that this is much narrower than many thermal cameras, which often have fields of view as wide as 45° or more. 

The FD line differs from the standard standard EyeSec line, running on-board analytics which provide alarms for two conditions: (1) Hot Spot, which detects temperatures approaching dangerous levels, prior to fire conditions, and (2) Flame Detection, which detection open fires. Depending on lens configuration, the EyeSec FD has a claimed fire detection range of 2.5 to 7 miles, with detection within three seconds. The camera indicates these alarms via image overlay, using a bounding box for hot spots and concentric rings for flames detected. A dry contact output is also included for each condition.

Pricing and Competitive Offerings

The EyeSec FD is available now, with an MSRP of $12,000-23,500 USD, depending on lens configuration. All current models are fixed. A future update will add pan/tilt capability, allowing the camera to detect while on a prest tour. 

Compared strictly as a surveillance camera to competitive 640x480 options from FLIR, Vumii's EyeSec FD models are less expensive. A FLIR SR-618, a 640x480 resolution camera with 35mm lens, has an MSRP of $16,425, compared to $12,000 for the EyeSec FD with the same lens.  This essentially makes the flame detection analytics free. We know of few, if any, competitors performing video flame detection at these ranges. Most video fire detection systems use SD resolution visible light rangecameras, intended for a much shorter range, and wider angle of detection.

Applications

The EyeSec FD is a very specialized product. The mass market will likely see no need for it, nor be able to afford its price tag. Vumii cites petrochemical facilities, transportation tunnels, and forest services as industries which requested this fire detection functionality. For chemical facilities and tunnels, fire is a potentially very damaging threat. For forest fire applications, the EyeSec FD's detection range has few competitive options.

For other high security facilities, however, the EyeSec FD line may also be an option. Since the analytics come at no premium, users evaluating deployment of thermal cameras for security may be attracted to these additional features and potential protection they bring. The biggest detriment to adoption in these applications is the lack of wider FOV options, which may make them impractical, depending on site conditions.

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