How panoramic cameras help reduce blind spots

Olof Leidecker

Cameras form the basis of any surveillance system. In some cases, specific cameras cannot always cover a whole area and it is necessary to acquire several cameras to have a good overview. This can rapidly increase the overall cost of an installation and budgetary constraints may lead to a compromise being made on the quality of these multiple cameras. This issue is set to become a thing of the past as advances in technology, are making it possible to achieve the coverage of multiple high-quality cameras housed within one single unit.

What are panoramic cameras?

In simple terms, panoramic cameras give a much wider field of view than standard cameras, from wall mounted 180-degree, to ceiling mounted 360-degree overview. A single camera can be used to provide wide-area coverage for monitoring overall activity, situation awareness, tracking people flow, and improving area management.

How can businesses benefit from a panoramic camera?

One of the great advantages about using panoramic cameras compared to conventional cameras is that only one unit is needed to observe an area as large as several conventional cameras. Businesses do not need to spend a lot of time picking several camera setups for each scenario, but instead pick the panoramic camera that is best suited for them. This saves time as well as money.

By using panoramic cameras, users only need to invest in one network cable, one IP address in most cases, which will save money on video managements software licenses and, in most cases, one analytics license. When it comes to installation, as users will have less individual cameras to install, they will also pay less on installation.

Panoramic cameras do not mean large costs for storage either. Now, the cameras can be shipped pre-installed with various technologies that will help reduce the overall bandwidth and storage space used. In doing so, and by being able to focus on camera quality, businesses can invest more money in better quality cameras that will increase overall safety and security.

 

Finding the right panoramic camera

Single-sensor panoramic cameras

These cameras can be used in smaller indoor areas such as shops or lobbies. By mounting single-sensor panoramic cameras onto the ceiling of a store it is possible to observe a 360-degree image. In doing so, the security team and camera operators will have an overview of the shop’s floor without any blind spots. In addition, even though the camera uses a fisheye lens, thanks to dewarping technology, the image will look very natural and not distorted. By having such a large overview with good image quality, small stores can spot behaviour and proactively deal with it, providing better area management.

Alternatively, when placed on walls, these cameras can, instead, focus on capturing 180-degrees of coverage, making them extremely adaptable depending on a business’ needs.

Multisensor panoramic cameras

Panoramic cameras are not only limited to single-sensor functions. Multisensor panoramic cameras consist of at least 3 sensors, each covering 180-degree horizontal and up to 90-degree vertical areas. This creates a seamless image in much greater detail, even at longer distances, with minimal distortion and no blind spots.

Security and safety can often be tricky in situations such as busy town squares, parking lots and stadiums where there is a lot of movement in a wide area. The better image quality at longer distances makes panoramic cameras extremely useful in situations where incidents can happen far away. Imagine, for example, a stadium during a derby with two sets of fans whose emotions are running high. If someone was to cause trouble, the cameras could find the culprit and help security staff to deal with it accordingly and promptly.

Multidirectional panoramic cameras

Some panoramic cameras can position different sensors to face different directions to gain maximum coverage where it is needed the most. These panoramic cameras have four separate streams with individual viewing angles. The sensors can cover up to 360-degrees but can also overlap each other to create more zoomed in coverage through one sensor, as well as providing a clear overview of the same area through another sensor.

Take for example a school or university campus. It is important that security and staff know who is on campus, who comes in and who comes out of the premises. These cameras can be placed on the outer corners of buildings, in open areas or at hallway intersections to maximise their effectiveness. When multidirectional cameras are positioned in the ceiling, at the centre of hallway intersections, the sensors can monitor different directions. Camera operators will have clear and detailed views of each corridor to maximise overview and spot any security issues that may be developing.

Multidirectional panoramic cameras with PTZ

The more advanced multidirectional panoramic camera package includes a separately installed PTZ (pan tilt and zoom) camera for increased coverage and zooming capabilities. The PTZ camera is used to provide zoomed in images while the other sensors maintain a highly detailed overview, of up to 360-degrees, of any scenario.

These cameras provide real time monitoring, which is ideally suited for city surveillance and open areas. A camera operator will be able to control the PTZ camera sensor depending on what they need or want to focus on. In doing so, the cameras can provide a much better idea of what needs to be done to deal with any incidents.

It’s about more than just security

Having maximum coverage of a situation and by being able to view it at different angles and distances, users can identify what needs to be done much more quickly. With other future analytics or technologies, the cameras will help increase overall security.

The cameras enable businesses to increase the overview of their premises, while at the same time reducing the costs. Instead of paying for multiple licenses or individual cameras, the panoramic cameras put all those costs into one.

By only installing one unit, there is no need to pay for many different software licences or installation costs. Businesses and users can instead focus on other elements while knowing that they have a security system with almost no blind spots.

For more information on panoramic cameras: Panoramic cameras from Axis