Bosch's new FLEXIDOME IP panoramic camera is virtually undetectable

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Additional discretion meets superior 360-degree video surveillance

Panoramic surveillance cameras have seen steady growth, thanks to full 360-degree overview images without blind spots. Further raising the bar, Bosch introduces a new, nearly invisible, in-ceiling model that blends into the environment while delivering the unprecedented image quality and powerful video analytics that distinguish FLEXIDOME IP panoramic cameras.

The global market for video surveillance technology is booming. According to a recent report by IHS, annual revenues will surpass US $20 billion in 2017 riding on double-digit growth. As a major driver of this success, IHS identifies 180/360-degree panoramic network cameras. This segment, named the "big video surveillance camera category winner" is currently seeing 60% year-on-year growth, fuelled by increasing performance and affordability.

Around the world, security operators are choosing panoramic IP cameras for a number of applications where full oversight and reliable people monitoring are key. Panoramic cameras deliver 180- or 360-degree images of an entire scene without blind spots. Usually installed in ceilings, panoramic IP cameras monitor corridors, long shelves in shipping centres, as well as large rooms in museums, retail stores or hotel lobbies.

In these locations, not only full video coverage, but often discretion and aesthetics are crucial factors. Panoramic cameras excel because they deliver a full view while often reducing surveillance ''clutter''. One panoramic camera can possibly replace several fixed or pan-tilt-zoom cameras (or a combination of the two) when the goal is to provide an overview of a certain area in the complete video surveillance set-up.

Taking this a further step forward, Bosch's new FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 IC (in-ceiling) camera offers a paintable faceplate that blends into the environment for nearly invisible panoramic video surveillance. Monitoring foyers, hallways, cruise-ship passage ways as well as casinos, museums and galleries is easier the ever.

THE NEW IN-CEILING MODEL MAKES PANORAMIC CAMERAS MORE DISCRETE AND UNOBTRUSIVE – IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR MANY APPLICATIONS.

Advancing the state of the art, Bosch's latest generation of networked panoramic cameras – the FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras – deliver unprecedented image quality combined with built-in Video Content Analysis algorithms. These single-lens panoramic cameras cover a full 180- or 360-degree overview in one single image.

Image quality meets state-of-the-art technology

In terms of image quality, FLEXIDOME IP panoramic cameras set the standard in the panoramic segment. The FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 MP employs a 12 megapixel sensor effectively resulting in 7 megapixel resolution at 30 fps, while the FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 5000 MP incorporates a 5 megapixel sensor at 15 fps.

Thanks to built-in intelligence, FLEXIDOME IP panoramic cameras adjust their settings to the scene, even if conditions change. Features include Intelligent Auto Exposure – offering superb front light and backlight compensation for highly relevant images. Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction also distinguishes relevant information from noise and reduces bitrates by up to 50% at the source. The result: relevant images with the lowest bandwidth requirements and network strain.

In addition to bitrate reduction, built-in (edge) dewarping helps FLEXIDOME IP panoramic cameras make high resolution images easy to manage. This is of special importance because many security operations are inundated by an ever-increasing number of cameras and greater volumes of video data.

Applying a dewarping algorithm inside the camera before sending the video data to the video management system allows users to choose which relevant parts of the undistorted image they wish to stream. This further reduces data volume. Dewarping also eases integration of video data with third-party client software, requiring less processing power on the client side.

Users can choose between several dewarped (undistorted) viewing modes (e.g. single, quad and panoramic) to tailor the output to best fits their application. FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras offer the full overview image and multiple Regions of Interest (ROI) to monitor certain areas of interest as separate streams. This ensures the easy management of video.

Besides that, a third stream lets users electronically pan, tilt and zoom to focus on details without losing the bigger picture.

The power of analytics

All FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras offer Intelligent Video Analytics, a proprietary Bosch technology, as a standard feature. Intelligent Video Analytics is developed in-house together with Bosch’s automotive division to deliver the most reliable and robust solution for automotive applications, like autonomous driving, as well as network video surveillance.

For users, this means access to a host of automated features without extra costs or subscription fees. Factory-loaded into Bosch FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras, Intelligent Video Analytics enables detection and tracking of objects of interest within the overview image. It can also provide valuable statistics like crowd density information and headcount statistics.

Intelligent Video Analytics allows users to set application-specific alarms and notifications. For instance, alarms can be triggered when visitors stand too close to a museum exhibit, or when hotel guests venture into off-limits areas.

Intelligent Video Analytics also supports forensic searches, based on pre-defined alarm rules or rules that were not originally set up as an alert, after an incident has taken place. Searching through hours of video data for evidence and investigative purposes can represent a huge task. Yet by using metadata, relevant data (images, statistics or both) can be retrieved instantaneously from hours of stored video and appropriate action can be taken much faster. Metadata is stored as simple text strings and therefore much easier to search through.

Controlled via intuitive menus, users can easily define rules and alarm triggers that suit their applications.

Ease of installation

Easy installation makes the switch to the next level of panoramic video surveillance a snap, literally. Thanks to a unique twist-click mechanism, the FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras can be installed in a fraction of time needed for other cameras. As the smallest panoramic dome on the market, the FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 5000 MP is easy to install thanks to a surface mount box.

Applications: Security without blind spots
Bosch FLEXIDOME IP panoramic cameras support a wide range of applications in security and non-security scenarios, where a full scope of vision is key and eliminating blind spots is essential.

Airports and government buildings
Panoramic cameras can help simplify creating overview images of a large number of people in open areas. Waiting areas, entry halls, ticketing, customs areas and queues can each be displayed and analysed in one single image.

Hallways and cruise ships
Panoramic cameras are perfectly suited to oversee hallway crossings in large buildings or cruise ships. They can streamline surveillance, and one camera might replace several fixed or pan-tilt-zoom cameras (or a combination of the two) necessary to cover blind spots created by crossings. Moreover, because aesthetics and discretion are often important considerations for such areas, Bosch’s new, virtually undetectable, FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 IC (in-ceiling) model is a natural fit.

Distribution centres and retail environments
When monitoring rows of shelves, one 360-degree panoramic camera installed in the middle of the lane provides a complete overview without blind spots. Similar applications include libraries, bookstores and retail environments.

Museums and galleries

Image 7: example of a museum. Dewarped overview image of a certain area without blind spots.

FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras can employ a specially-developed ''Museum Mode'' to best accommodate the surveillance requirements in museums, art galleries and exhibitions.

Operators can easily count people or measure crowd density in locations where sensitive artwork is displayed and even detect when visitors come too close to objects or touch the pieces. Special Intelligent Video Analytics algorithms trigger alarms in case of theft or unattended objects.

Important in museums as in many other locations, the unobtrusive design of FLEXIDOME IP panoramic 7000 cameras, in particular the nearly invisible in-ceiling model, blends virtually undetectable form with superior functionality. It allows visitors to concentrate on the artwork and not on security.

With all these advantages in mind, it's no surprise that in a growing number of applications across the globe the new generation of FLEXIDOME IP panoramic cameras bring 360-degree video surveillance full circle.

More information on the new generation of FLEXIDOME IP cameras from Bosch can be found on our website or www.boschsecurity.com/hdsecurity.