CCTV Articles

Automobile CCTV and Mobile Technology

The word “Mobile” comes from the word “Mobility” and it stands for the ability to go around with ease. The most common application on mobile technology to CCTV systems is the ability to see your security cameras system thru your Smart Phone, tablet, or laptop, using an application for it; there is also other ways to use mobile technology for security purposes, one of them is not very common, a little more expensive (right now), and is still being developed to match its purpose. I’m talking about automobile CCTV systems for cars and trucks, or mobile surveillance systems, which use mobile technology to access the security system from your mobile electronic device, and it is being applied little by little to help and assist drivers on the road.
One of the most common applications is the back-up cameras, and it started as a low definition camera placed in the back of your car or truck, with a separate display usually placed in the side of the car’s inside rear view mirror (figure 1 and 2), and it allows you to see obstacles and the road when you are backing your car.

Figure 1


Figure 2


Newer car models come with a high resolution camera, and integrated touch screen display (figure 3 and 4), which allow you to see your backing-up camera, and control your car stereo from the same touch screen display.

Figure 3


Figure 4


Most of the cameras used for backing up are activated by putting the vehicle in reverse gear, which allows the driver to see whatever is behind the vehicle. Some back up camera systems, especially when the system is being installed by a secondary party, usually has the ability to turn on or turn off with the push of a button, and because it’s independently from the vehicle, it doesn’t matter if the car is in reverse gear or not. Another application of security camera systems used for cars and trucks is the placement of a recording device (DVR) in the trunk of your car, having the capacity of recording what is developing inside, and depending on the position of the mini cameras used for this purpose, outside and around your car. Most of the cameras used in this Mobil DVR are placed around the corners of the windshield, facing out to capture what the driver is seeing in front of the wheel. They also can be placed facing the interior of the car and facing the back of the vehicle to capture whatever is developing behind the car. Other vehicles come with a back up camera and back up capacity sensors, which will give you an audible alert if the vehicle is approaching an obstacle, or an object big enough to cause damage to the vehicle, or injury to a person.

One way of seeing this kind of application will be in the television series called “Bait Car”. Law enforcement officers use a high profile targeted ride (the one most frequently stolen by thieves), to capture car thieves, and it consists of an automobile equipped with GPS, portable or mobile surveillance system, and locking devices, which disable the engine of the car, and even has the ability to lock the doors and windows of the same. When this type of technology (mobile surveillance systems) started, law enforcement officers only had the ability of recording what the suspect was doing inside the car, and they had to assign an officer on duty to surveillance the bait car, stop the suspect, and retrieve the vehicle. Nowadays, they have the ability to see live what is happening inside the bait car, and prevent officers from risking their lives, in case the suspect is armed and dangerous.

There are several types of DVRs used for the purpose of vehicle surveillance. Some of them come with integrated Wi Fi to connect to an internet hot spot, while others come with a 3G antenna built in, so they can communicate thru a mobile communication carrier such as Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, etc. And some come with GPS capability, to track the location and time your vehicle is being in certain places.

In a future not too far from now, cars will be coming equipped with surveillance cameras to cover the whole perimeter of the vehicle, and with a wide view to capture the action in every angle of your car, as well as sensors to detect danger among the road. These cameras will also be connected to a central computer, instead of a DVR, which will have the same function as a DVR, but also will have the option of giving information to the driver about traffic, and the conditions of the road, as well as information about weather, and how is going to have an impact in the trip.

As technology evolves, new applications come alive, where computers and recording devices like a DVR, play an important function in the development of simulators to teach humans how to drive, and even to better their driving skills. There is also a project being developed to place IP cameras inside vehicles, and have the ability to see those cameras over the internet, by a web browser, or in a Smart Phone. These cameras will have the ability to broadcast over a 3G or 4G signal, the images of whatever is detecting at the moment, and save the information safely in a Network Video Recorder (NVR) which can be place in any part of the world, but of course, it has to be connected in the same network as the cameras.

Some insurance companies encourage drivers and business owners, especially the ones in the transportation business, to use the camera’s technology to monitor their everyday operations, keep track of their drivers behaviors and habits, and record accident for claiming purposes, and these devices give their owners rewards and discounts. So, if we think about it, a surveillance system for your vehicle may be an investment which it may pay itself off after a couple of years.

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