Magazine Article | September 19, 2013

360-Degree Camera Product Review: The Retail IP Camera You Need On Your Line Card

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By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

Testing By Andrew Wong, project engineer, American Integrated Security Group (AISG)

An integrator evaluates six 360-degree IP video surveillance cameras ideal for retail applications.

If you’re a VAR in the retail and restaurant space that passed up on video surveillance because it was too expensive and/or your customers were married to antiquated analog cameras, pay attention. There’s a class of high-definition IP cameras that can provide higher resolution/better picture quality than analog cameras, can be deployed in a way that one camera replaces four to six (or even more) old cameras, and gives merchants access to powerful analytics not only to prevent loss but also to help with marketing. I’m talking about 360-degree hemispheric/fisheye cameras.

Not familiar? Put most basically, these cameras for the most part look like smoke detectors, with a single fisheye lens in the center. Mounted to the ceiling in the center of a room, one camera can view and record a 360-degree area. With the aid of software, the sphere of video can be digitally de-warped on the fly to look like individual feeds from multiple cameras. Hence, one camera does the work of many analog cameras.

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