Why a Thermal Camera System is a Useful Video Surveillance Device

Thermal cameras’ strength for video surveillance has been appropriately documented, especially their reliance on heat signatures alone to help them see their surroundings. Every object, including the human body, has a certain measurable temperature.

These thermal cams detect even the slightest difference between vehicles, people, and backgrounds to generate a video that will highlight contrasts within the scene. Whit these devices, visible light is not necessary. Bright lights will not distort video images and weather.

Other harsh conditions cannot hinder its ability to capture quality and usable video. Using the heat radiation of every object in the camera’s field of view, they can see what traditional cams (or even human eyes) cannot see. They can do this effectively over more extended periods and distances compared to their visible-light counterparts.

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When people enter the device’s field of view, even if it is too far away from the camera, security guards will able to detect intrusions a lot easier and quicker. With standard color cams, this type of detection, a lot more challenging, since the contrast between the background and humans may not be noticeable until intruders are closer to the device.

The availability of cheaper thermal cams with less advanced capabilities has led to increased technology adoption into a wider variety of applications and customers. Using thermal cams in mainstream security has grown dramatically in just a couple of years. As devices’ capabilities expand and prices go down, these devices have been put to more innovative use as security professionals embrace this state-of-the-art and game-changing technology.

The sweet spot

Another factor that has not changed in the past years about thermal cameras is the main reason these devices are used in the field. While these devices are increasingly being used in more creative ways, detection is still its sweet spot and remains the primary reason a lot of users choose these types of devices in the first place.

Thermal cameras serve as the property’s detector; that is the main reason why they are used. Everyone knows of installations where customers do not even care about video quality. They use thermal cams to trigger their intrusion system so that the security can send their guards to the location to help investigate.

It can also be pretty helpful when there is someone who is making a conscious effort to conceal their movement and presence. Using different types of analytics, property owners can easily detect people walking up to their fence and triggering alarms. The analytics can track these types of activities.

But when people are crawling or rolling along the ground, homeowners are going to detect them. Still, they will not be able to identify people because they are not moving the way the analytic expect the people to move., which is walking and upright. But they will be able to see that the object is moving.

Because of these reasons, these devices are ideal for outdoor environments where the goal is to uncover that there is something unusual. One of its main advantages we see with these devices is they take every question and doubt the scene interpretation to help determine if things fit or it does not, or whether things belong in the scene or it does not.

Thermal cameras give an immediate ability to check and assess the scene. Another benefit of these devices is their ability to reduce false alarms used to place Infrared-illuminated and visible-light cameras, which can be fooled by blowing trees, shadows, animals, and other outside factors.

People use it as a detection instrument in conjunction with their Infrared-based control panel. It provides them with central station operators with real-time views and actionable video clips of incidents (or accidents) in progress, thereby minimizing or eliminating false alarms. Click here to find out more about this topic.

Imaging limitations

Like any modern technology, these cameras have their limitations. For starters, video images may show the shape of objects, people, or cars by they cannot capture certain details. Another potential disadvantage is that its grayscale images they generate are not always the easiest on people’s eyes.

To overcome this problem, videos from some devices are presented with some color. If the ambient air temp is 50 degrees, cameras will represent it as blue on the screen. If people enter the display and have a 98.5 temperature, cameras will represent the heat coming from the body as bright red. That is why there is a straightforward visual cue to alert the guards that people or individuals are entering the area.

But contrary to people’s belief, the colors are more cosmetic compared to the accurate representation of actual temps within the scene. In some instances, property owners may see thermal images with color to it, but the color is not real. The color applied to grayscale images to people’s eyes to distinguish between what are shades of gray. Thermal cams do not capture anything with color.

The perfect situation

In understanding whether to use thermal cams – whether in conjunction with conventional devices or as an individual solution – it is crucial to consider that their advantages and strengths compared with traditional visible-light devices. With this in mind, thermal is an excellent choice for video apps where one or more of the factors mentioned below apply:

Outdoor use in places that are not well-lit 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is impractical or impossible to add an outside illumination to standard cams.

Situations where it is imperative to be able to track and detect movement of individuals or people or vehicles penetrating, lingering, or approaching in pre-defined perimeters and other areas.

Environments that are experiencing severe weather conditions

Applications that require the ability to discover or detect objects even at long distances

Surveillance applications that focus on situational awareness, as opposed to taking details like color, license plate details, or facial features. This device is an excellent help when it comes to detecting objects or people in the vicinity. Traditional devices have tons of drawbacks that thermal cameras don’t have. They are quite expensive compared to their conventional counterparts, but their benefits are worth every penny.