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Physical Security Embracing the Internet of Things

After the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Axis Communications developed the first internet protocol (IP) camera, which caused some misunderstanding. The market had not been clamoring for connected cameras, and many experts questioned whether they were even essential. Traditional analog cameras have, of course, almost entirely been phased out as enterprises grasp the immense benefits that Internet of Things devices can provide, but that technology felt like a huge risk in those early days.

To say that things have altered dramatically since then is an understatement. One of the ways physical security has developed is through the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Connected gadgets have becoming commonplace, bringing with them exciting new possibilities that extend far beyond recorded video. Additional advancements, such as improved analytics, more processing power, and the expansion of open-architecture technologies, have been fueled by further developments, such as the improvement and broad acceptance of the IP camera.

On the 25th anniversary of the IP camera’s introduction, it’s worth considering how far the industry has progressed – and where it’s likely to go next. It’s almost absurd to compare today’s IP cameras to those available in 1996. While remarkable at the time, those early cameras could only record one frame every 17 seconds, which is a significant difference from what cameras can achieve today.

Despite this flaw, experts on the cutting edge of physical security saw the IP camera’s potential as a game-changing innovation. After all, establishing a network of cameras would allow for more effective remote monitoring, allowing them to deploy far larger systems, connecting together disparate groupings of cameras, assuming the technology could scale. Oil fields, airport landing strips, and remote cell phone towers are just a few of the early applications. Even better, the technology had the potential to open up a whole new universe of analytics possibilities.

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