History of Video Surveillance

In today’s fast paced modern world, video surveillance has become as vital to society as security guards.
The history of video surveillance is as exciting as the technology behind it. As a matter of fact, it goes back further in time then a lot of people know. Research indicates that as early as 1965, US police have been utilizing video surveillance in public areas. By the year 1969, police cameras had been mounted in strategic places in municipal buildings in New York City. This set a strong precedence and it was not long before the practice spread to other areas where police officers kept a close watch on important or busy areas with the deployment of CCTV.

The Beginning of Analog

Video cassette tapes are mainly responsible for popularizing video surveillance. The analog system utilized in video cassette recordings provided decision-makers with a remarkable insight of accessible evidence on tape.

In year 1975, the UK set up video surveillance in four of its important underground train stations while they began tracking traffic flow of the main highways. The USA followed suit during the 1980's and while not as quick as the UK in using video surveillance, the USA made up for lost time by instituting video surveillance in numerous public places.

Digital Multiplexing and Subsequent Developments

One downside to analog systems was that users had to alter the tapes on a daily basis. This was addressed in the 1990's with the advent of digital multiplexing. This added features like motion-only and time lapse recording that saved a good deal of tape space and also allowed simultaneous recordings on many cameras.
The next development was digitization. This features added compression which  lowered costs and allowed users to record 30 days of videos surveillance on a hard drive. Digitally recorded pictures were clearer and enabled the manipulation to enhance clarity. 

September 11 and the Internet

The events of 9/11 changed the public’s awareness of video surveillance. Developers of software programs improved video surveillance. One of these programs is facial recognition. Utilizing key facial feature points, the recorded face is compared to pictures of criminals and terrorists.

In year 2002, facial recognition programs were set up on computer video surveillance systems in the Statue of Liberty. Technology was also set up in the Sydney International Airport via an automated border crossing technology for airline crew workers. The technology scanned the crew member’s face, and then compared these results to photos on their passport. The end result was confirmation of identity in just a matter of seconds.

In 2003, Phoenix, Arizona’s Royal Palm Middle School installed  facial recognition video surveillance. It was the pilot software for registering sex offenders as well as monitoring missing kids.
The internet has contributed to a rapid advanced of technology. It transformed video surveillance by getting rid of all restrictions for viewing as well as tracking from any part of the world.

Today, computer science has improved equipment for video surveillance. Sleeker, smaller and more dominant video surveillance technology is available across difficult environments such as nights or reduced light areas.

Surveillance is affordable, convenient, simple and one of the best tools involved in solving and preventing crime.