Surveying the Security Camera Field

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2017—the year of wire-free surveillance

Paradigm shift

Public opinion about surveillance cameras has changed over the years. Cameras were once considered an invasive Big Brother. Now they’re the security saviors of home and family.

The roots of home surveillance date to 1969. An African-American couple received a patent for the first video home security system.

  • Nurse Marie Van Brittan Brown and her electrician husband Albert invented a system that used a camera and four peepholes in a door
  • The camera could move vertically to look through any peephole. It sent images to a TV set in a bedroom via a radio-controlled wireless system
  • A two-way microphone enabled communications outside the door. A remote door lock and an alarm button completed the system

In the 1990s, the nanny cam introduced small, more discreet cameras into the home.

9/11 convinced the public that video surveillance could protect property and individuals.

Surveillance has become an integral part of home life—and continues to evolve. It’s now so easy to watch the porch or the pet or keep an eye on houseguests or the kids after school. And this can be done 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Wire-free uptick

One fast-track trend is true wire-free cameras for outdoor use. The reason? There are few barriers to installation.

Today’s wire-free cameras address first-gen complaints—particularly battery life. New, sophisticated features have also been added. Not all models are equipped with the same features. 

  • Rechargeable batteries or a combination of battery and AC outlet functionality
  • Battery life parameters have been published and clarified to keep user expectations realistic
  • Integration with smart home systems via Wi-Fi
  • Siren function
  • Ability to distinguish between people and pets
  • Internal hard drive storage or SD Card recording
  • Free Cloud storage (with limits) or subscription plans

Cellular Cams

Taking a cue from cellular phones, these wire-free cameras include SIM cards.

  • Video and audio transmissions via 3G or 4G-LTE networks
  • Need an on-going data plan

Trail Cams

These rugged, camouflaged battery-operated cameras are ideal for home surveillance.

  • Great nighttime imagery
  • No-glow versions have no telltale flash to give away the camera’s location
  • On-board storage or images and notifications sent via Wi-Fi or cellular signals
  • Cellular versions need an on-going data plan

Camera/Floodlight Combos

Although not battery operated, these clever combos replace existing outdoor floodlight fixtures.

  • Provide a convenient and practical security solution for many homes

The takeaway

  • It’s projected that wire-free and wireless IP systems will drive new business growth. Key factors include easy setup and installation, reliable connectivity and simple, integrated apps.
  • There are solutions for every kind of home observation scenario. Many are not DIY. Your customers need your in-depth knowledge to guide them.

Surveillance technology will continue to evolve. Let Petra be your guide to the latest surveillance trends in cameras, video doorbells and home automation controls!


4 Comments on "Surveying the Security Camera Field"

newest oldest most voted

Great Post.

Western wear

I am daily reader of your blog. Nice blog..!!

Robert Huth

Trail Cameras are perfect for home security. Trail cameras have very strong benefits. Even though they have a few downsides, they are more of risks which to some extent could be a fighter against.


The downside to an outdoor plug is that it’s that much easier for a thief to unplug it, but in that event you’ll receive an alert and an image of the last thing the camera saw—presumably the face of the perp. No outdoor camera is immune from tampering, and the convenience of not busting out the drill seems worth the trade-off.