Time-saving preview of surveillance videos

City View

Article from Issue 195/2017

Rather than stare at boring surveillance videos, in which nothing happens 90 percent of the time, Mike Schilli tries the OpenCV image recognition software, which automatically extracts the most exciting action sequences.

In my home city of San Francisco, hardly a day goes by without hundreds of cars, garages, and homes being broken into. Instead of getting upset about this, I tend not to keep anything of value in easily accessible places, and I have also installed security cameras so that I can peruse the video footage of thieves at work for my personal amusement.

Wireless, Even

Of course, installing a security camera is no easy task, because you need to install a cable and route it to the monitor. Although the camera itself often communicates wirelessly with the control panel, it still needs a power supply, and a power supply is not easy to come by in hotspots such as the underground parking lot or the stairwell.

Recently, a company called Arlo started to sell child-fist-sized, battery-powered cameras [1], which amateur detectives can simply hang up using a magnet (Figure 1). These pocket wonders wirelessly send recorded videos to a hub at a distance of up to about 100 feet, which in turn sends the data via the Internet to a server, from which a variety of smartphone apps or a website transfers the data to the user's screen on request.


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