Innovations In the Age of Surveillance

CCTV, Farringdon Underground Station, London, 3 September, 2008

As the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks draws nearer, I can’t help but notice how the surveillance industry has grown. Ten years ago, surveillance systems are rarely considered as a must have except for large enterprises. How times have change… Just yesterday, I saw a newsstand with a warning sign that read “Don’t do anything stupid. CCTV in operation.” That would be pretty amusing except that the tiny newsstand has at least three CCTV domes (I saw those personally, there may be more). And it’s only the size of my apartment’s bathroom!

This begs the question, are times so turbulent nowadays that we really need this level of monitoring? Are CCTVs getting more affordable that even your typical mom and pop corner store can afford them?

I’ll readily admit that I’m not so knowledgeable of the topic (if you’re in the same boat, why not have a quick overview of CCTV systems before continuing), but I’m well versed enough in IT to know that advances in areas like Internet Protocol (IP), data compression and high speed networks have made significant positive contributions in the surveillance industry.

Rolling out a network of CCTV security system has never been simpler. Wireless networking has become so stable, fast and more importantly secure, that it often becomes the backbone of today’s surveillance system implementations. There’s no hassle of cabling and the associated cost in terms of time, money and inconvenience that comes with it. Consequently, the stealth factor is significantly boosted too as there are no tell-tale signs of cable covers leading to and from the cameras.

It’s basic economics that when costs go down, demand will grow. CCTV surveillance solutions are becoming more and more affordable. Nevertheless, the industry is becoming more and more innovative and groundbreaking products are released on a much shorter development cycle than five to ten years ago.

I foresee that mobile surveillance systems will the the growth area for the next few years. Expect to see (or rather, not see) discrete CCTV cameras that are so small and well disguised to be installed in vehicles. Data will then be transported via wireless networks (3G and the like) with data encryption and compression to a monitoring device that can be located anywhere. Combine this with a GPS capabilities and the problem of car theft may be a thing of the past.

What are your views on this topic? Do leave a comment, I’d love to hear your opinions.

2 responses to “Innovations In the Age of Surveillance”.

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  2. Property Says:

    Now a days CCTV camera are necessary to use for security reasons.