The concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest are not limited to the natural world. The same principles can be applied to technology and the way it succeeds or fails. Some technological advances fall by the wayside, some thrive, some adapt, and some are superseded by technology that is better adapted to its environment. In essence, technology evolves.
This is the situation that old-fashioned CCTV now finds itself in. On just about every level, it is being overtaken by new technology that exposes its failings. Next-generation CCTV is a new species of visual surveillance that has not only adapted to survive, but also possesses flexibility, ease of use and a built-in ability to evolve further. This means it has finally become a realistic and affordable option for housing providers looking to protect their tenants, their staff and their assets.
The beauty of technology when it evolves is that it can leverage other technological advances in a way the natural world can’t. With visual surveillance, the internet and cloud computing combined with a modern focus on usability, have provided all the tools that pioneering companies need to create revolutionary new products. Our Cloudview system is a case in point. It has many advantages over traditional CCTV, but two of the main issues it solves will be familiar to many housing providers – flexibility and ease of use.
To paint a clearer picture, many housing providers will have experience of using a variety of analogue CCTV systems operating across different sites. These may be incompatible with each other, with different cameras running on different systems and formats. They could even be installed, maintained and serviced by different companies.
Despite these differences they will all have two things in common. They’ll need a dedicated, specially-trained member of staff to manage their use and upkeep. And each system will have to be physically accessed, often by private contractors, to retrieve ‘hard’ copies of images when needed. When accessed (providing the system hasn’t been tampered with or vandalised), this visual data may well be corrupted, of questionable quality or have vital time stamps showing incorrectly. The net effect is that these traditional CCTV systems are slow, expensive, cumbersome, resource-hungry and often unusable.
This technology is often not fit for purpose. And in keeping with the ethos of survival of the fittest, it is destined to become extinct, replaced by solutions such as Cloudview. Here at Cloudview, we have been able to build a visual surveillance system from scratch designed to provide an affordable, effective answer to all these issues. Our particular approach makes use of a unique Visual Network Adapter. This smart bit of hardware can be quickly connected to both old, legacy-style analogue cameras and new digital ones to create an internet link that uploads and stores images securely in the cloud.
Once uploaded, these images are made accessible to authorised users via a user-friendly dashboard. And because this is a cloud-based system, where all images are stored in the same format, they can be accessed from anywhere that has an internet connection on any device, be it desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile.
Installation of Cloudview is quick and easy. Trials can be carried out on just one or two cameras using 3G in a remote location. The results can then be used to build a financial case for the quick and effective rollout to a network of tens, hundreds or even thousands of cameras. Dedicated staff are not needed to manage the system as anyone familiar with a modern internet browser will be able to use the intuitive dashboard, and time-stamped, verified images can be shared easily, and acted on quickly. In essence, the system ticks all the right boxes for flexibility, usability and value for money. It’s little wonder that more and more housing providers are beginning to take advantage of systems such as Cloudview’s.
Please take a look at our short video to see how the new generation of visual surveillance systems has evolved to become flexible and easy to use: housingtechdev.wpengine.com/videos.
James Wickes is the CEO of Cloudview.