Solar-powered devices have potential uses for wildlife monitoring and security cameras in remote places. Advancements in computer technology are starting to open up new possibilities for environmental video systems and surveillance cameras. Some technicians use off-the-shelf parts to build prototype devices in a solar-powered wireless network of cameras with potential apps in security systems, as well as wildlife video monitoring.
These devices are described as systems similar to devices developed by companies featured in issues published by the Computer Society. Its on-board components are getting smaller by the minute and starting to become more powerful. A compact camera can have a lot of data processing capabilities.
Companies are also designing a solar Wi-Fi and energy-efficient tracking camera system in which nodes can cooperate to help form a wireless network that can transmit, as well as process vast amounts of data. Every camera node is powered by solar panels and has a rechargeable battery pack.
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With the use of computer vision software, these systems can analyze images in real-time or as they are captured. These devices have motion sensors so that the cameras would not be on all the time. And if the motion sensor is tripped by something that’s not of interest, the computer software can identify that and put the whole system back to sleep mode. It will not record things like threes moving because of the wind, or deer and raccoons running in the backyard.
The need for these devices
The main motivation for this system came from the challenges of monitoring public safety in remote places where traditional wired security systems are not possible. Experts acknowledge that while these security cameras available in the market are commonplace, some people think the smart camera monitoring the public is a bit overwhelming.
It is always a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of the system. The disadvantages are privacy concerns, but because of the risk that people are experiencing or might experience in the near future, they might be willing to live with a little compromise.
According to experts, devices like SWEETCams could also be used by other sectors like biology in monitoring different species of animals or wildlife. Researchers are now using motion-activated camera systems to study wild animals like lions and tigers, and these devices can be a perfect system for that. A lot of energy, effort, and money went into power management to help make the system energy efficiency.
It needs to be very energy efficient that it can run purely on solar power – a solar-powered security video monitoring system. Making it smarter when it comes to using its power is one of the best parts of the device. The balance between energy efficiency and performance requirements is what drives its design.
The future of these processes
Some of these low-cost and single-board computer (some as small as a credit card), these prototypes have the computational power that can be used for complex networks, with excellent power management, as well as good image processing features. Its image analysis features are not its main focus, but it could be a compelling system.
For instance, it can identify or tag certain patterns and behaviors in the image. With newer security systems, industries can go back and take a look at the data after the crime has been made and reported, and someone has to take a look at hours of videos. In theory, the device can tag individual images so that, if a crime was committed, people could search for the perpetrator in the scene of the crime.
They could also program the device to send alerts for certain types of activities when it is happening. Currently, these types of technology have limited image analysis ability. Some companies are developing processes that focus on recognizing animals and people to avoid false alerts from the device’s motion sensors. As of the moment, some solar-powered security devices are not doing sophisticated visual processing.
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They are just using the usual open-source libraries. They are usually interested in its system engineering aspects and networking, but the computer vision is pretty fascinating. In fact, what people can do with these processes are pretty amazing, as well as very scary at the same time.