Camera Surveillance System Woes

A while back I was asked to help a client with their camera surveillance system.

The had over 200 cameras across multiple locations.

Not knowing too much about the subject I went and met with the system vendor.

They explained to me how their system worked and all the various features and functionality available.

From there I was able to help the client fix their surveillance camera issues and get them on the right track.

I was then asked if I would help to manage and maintain their camera surveillance system going forward.

I agreed - and so began my relationship with camera surveillance systems.

Since then I’ve had the opportunity to work with other vendors and products across many environments.

One common problem I’ve seen across all camera surveillance systems is that they’re highly unmanageable.

This makes it challenging to manage surveillance systems with dozens or hundreds of cameras.

As usual the consumer market pushes ahead with simplicity and ease of use.

Companies like Nest and others are creating, small easy to manage systems.

All the while - businesses continue to use what installers refer to ask Chinese crap to provide surveillance.

What’s funny is that the major players in the camera space are all China based companies.

So it would seem that installers are pushing some false sort of anti-China sentiment.

But I digress.

Any chance I get to meet with a camera installer or company I take.

I ask them all the same questions about centralized management, scalability, and design.

And they all say the same thing.

Management is tough.

To be fair, if you need 16 or less cameras in a closed system, it’s pretty easy to set up.

But when you get into dozens and hundreds of cameras the whole thing breaks down.

As I walk through stores and public places I notice cameras now.

I know the brands.

I know how they interconnect.

And I know how they work..

I know that there are people behind the scenes working to improve surveillance camera systems.

So I can only hope that they are making the improvements needed to properly manage large scale camera implementations.

So why am I rambling on so much about cameras?

Well, I’ve got a couple clients that are looking for camera solutions right now and so this topic is top of mind.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is no perfect solution for a camera surveillance system.

Current products will get you 70% of the way there.

And that last 30%?

Well, that will take us at least another 10 years to get to.

Okay then.

I’ll go back to work now designing and spec’ing some new camera surveillance systems.