With higher resolutions and more efficient de-wrapping/stitching technologies, these omnidirectional cameras may soon replace the standard pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras being widely used now. The 360-degree camera technology also allows for full situational awareness with just one camera, which means that users may be able to use fewer cameras and reduce cost.
Functionality beyond the obvious video surveillance is also a prime driver for the 360 camera technology. Some of the technology benefits of the 360-degree camera technology are:
- Wider area of coverage with no blind spots
• Fewer cameras and infrastructure required to monitor a scene
• Retrospective tracking
• Total Situational Awareness
• Eliminate the mechanical delay in traditional Pan Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) cameras
• 360-degree cameras have no moving parts and require no maintenance
• Camera operation is completely silent
360-degree and multi-dimensional camera technology provides much larger coverage areas than narrow field-of-view cameras. Multi-lens 360-degree cameras contain multiple lenses in one unit and stitch the images together to create a full, inclusive image. Single-lens “fisheye” cameras offer a full 360-degree view that can be “dewarped” in live or retrospective mode to get more detail in any part of the image.
The evolution of higher and higher resolution megapixel cameras which in the next generation or two will be at a place where they can replace all the PTZ cameras out there. The next gen 360 camera coming out that is a 12 megapixel won’t be able replace a 20X PTZ. But in the next generation or two, it will certainly be in that position. There is a huge install base of PTZs that can easily be replaced with a high megapixel 360.
The retail space has been a hot vertical for 360-degree video, and for good reason. It has proven to be cost-effective, especially as more IP and high resolution solutions are offered. Retail customers are looking for more specific features in addition to straight video surveillance. Those are:
- People counting – how many people come and go?
- Dwell time – they want to know how long people linger in particular areas of the store.
- Customer trajectories – where people go in the store when they enter. Do they go left, right? What aisles do they go to?
- Overall heat map of the store – track all the analytics throughout the store for periods at a time.