History of Security Cameras
A History of Security Cameras-Decades of Innovation and Technology
The old west was rampant with bandits and rogue cowboys, none of which had to worry about being watched by a surveillance camera. In the relatively short amount of years that video surveillance and technological security systems have provided the wider public with their services, they have become integral components of general safety. Modern age equipment brought about modern age security; though it certainly did not come to be overnight.
World War Two saw the beginning of surveillance technology. German engineer, Walter Bruch, oversaw the installment of cameras to observe rocket launches. Similar technology became available in the United States, post war, in the year 1949. The surveillance equipment used in that era was strictly closed circuit television (CCTV)
technology. Cameras were used to transmit signals to a specific place on a limited set of monitors. Police departments used the innovation towards public security service. It basically functioned as an antenna television would; the downside being that no event was able to be recorded. That all changed when the era of disco came around.
The 1970’s introduced video cassettes. The popularity as well as convenience of video surveillance greatly increased. Charged coupled devices (CCD) were originally developed as a memory chip, but soon were utilized for their sensitivity to light. Footage could now be recorded in low light conditions as the CCD used photo effects to generate electrons proportional to the amount of light on the given imaging area, providing clearer optical images. Banks, shops, and gas stations primarily saw the value of surveillance cameras, though the wider public was soon to see the benefits as well. As the working woman became more commonplace, providers found the untapped niche of home surveillance. Insurance companies used cameras and stored video footage to detect fraud. Divorce cases were now able to bring visual substantial evidence to the court room.
The1990’s was the last decade of a century that had been half free of watchful eyes, and half under constant surveillance. It would also be the first decade that would pave the way for twenty-first century digital technology. Digital multiplexing, a new technology of that time, transformed surveillance by enabling several cameras to record simultaneously. Possibly the biggest change implemented was the storage of data on a hard drive rather than on a cassette. Money was saved on the costly video players and the high compression of digital hard drives allowed for more information to be stored at a time. In February of 1993, the first attack on the world trade center in Manhattan, New York, caused a heightening of public security. As a result, the Technological Assistance Response Unit (TARU) of the NYPD was formed. Mobile surveillance vans began to appear at large public gatherings. Automated teller machines (ATM) were installed with cameras to record all transactions. Features like time lapse and zoom were initiated in this era.
The world trade center was tragically the target of yet another terrorist plot. After September 11, 2001, public surveillance was hiked up like it had never been before. Recognition programs installed on video surveillance cameras allowed each and every face recorded to be compared to a database of mug shots and other criminal records. The entire process took under ten seconds to accomplish. Such programs were implemented in state parks and airport security systems. Schools began to use the system to crack down on child molesters and cameras began appearing in various locations, from restaurants to gymnasiums. Due to the events both tragic and awakening of the decade, video surveillance became more commonplace than ever before. Nevertheless, there was soon to be an additional factor that would place surveillance on an even higher level of accessibility. Internet security cameras allowed video surveillance to be viewed from anywhere across the globe. It was a never before seen security service innovation. Video streaming includes sending compressed content over the internet and displaying the data in real time, as the events are unfolding to the viewer. A player uncompressed the footage and sends video data to display and audio speakers. A web server archives all sent information. IP security cameras (Internet Protocol cameras) received and sent data via a computer network directly to a observer. The 1990’s and early twenty first century definitely did not leave any room for rogue cowboys.
Video Surveillance has made astronomical transformations, form CCTV to digital internet recordings. Public safety had perhaps never been as focused or developed as it is in the modern age. Bad nannies, bandits, and potential terrorists, have been sent running because of it.