The Digital Window (DW), the debut product of Scallop Imaging, a new Tenebraex division, is a new type of surveillance camera that combines images from five separate image sensors, each equivalent to the camera in a typical cell phone. While each camera has a roughly 40-degree field of view, the five video feeds stitched together span a full 180 degrees, giving security personnel a comprehensive real-time view of a scene without the distortion created by traditional fisheye lenses, and without the delays created by remote-control pan-and-tilt cameras. Moreover, two DW systems can be paired to provide a 360-degree seamless view.
With the Digital Window device being so small it can fit into a space the size of a light switch or electric outlet, when compared to the use of multiple conventional cameras, installation of the DW can be accomplished without major remodeling and requires only one DVR port. Furthermore, the DW is powered by the same standard 10/100 Ethernet network that connects it to a building’s current surveillance system, enabling easy set up.
Another key element of the Scallop Imaging system is the “downsampling” that occurs. The cameras collect more information than can actually be transmitted over Ethernet cables at standard video rates; the device automatically reduces the resolution of the overall image to a size that can be transmitted at 15-frames per second. This reduction in image size saves enough bandwidth to allow the unit to send a full 7-megapixel, 180-degree still photo every 1-2 seconds. The reduction in bandwidth also gives the camera operator the ability to zoom in or request a full resolution video stream on any section in the 180-degree panorama.
With use of five image sensors in one unit, distribution of the surveillance task occurs across multiple small sensors giving the added benefit of a significant increase in capability at a lower cost and with lower bandwidth requirements than present IP camera solutions. Peter Jones, CEO of Scallop Imaging reports, “Digital Window is an affordable solution that offers resolution high enough for faces and other characteristics to be distinct. DW also uses cutting edge H.264 video compression to stream video at low bandwidth to security DVRs – which is significant, given that most building infrastructures are not wired to accommodate high resolution, high megapixel video streaming.”
No release date for the DW system has been announced at this time, with the product in the final stages of development and manufacturing.
TFOT has previously covered other stories concerning surveillance systems, including , a 360 degree panoramic system for armored vehicles, a miniature system called Spyball, and a personal home monitoring system, Vue. TFOT also reported on the EyeBorg Project, in which a video camera and transmitter were embedded into a prosthetic eye.
For more information on Digital Window, you can visit Scallop Imaging’s official website.