October 18, 2021
Each month in this space, ISC News Editor-in-Chief D.J. Murphy will sit down with a leader in the security space who will share their thoughts and expertise on issues affecting a variety of industry stakeholders. This month we feature Jimmy Angers, chief innovation officer at VOSKER, a leading supplier of cameras connected via cellular networks enabling video surveillance of outdoor areas including farms and ranches, construction sites, real estate and other remote properties. Angers discusses trends—including 5G—driving cellular advances and adoption, challenges inherent in monitoring remote locations and some applications for the technology you might not have considered.
ISC News: What macro trends are you seeing that make cellular connectivity the right technology for video surveillance devices?
Jimmy Angers: At Vosker Mobile Security Cameras see many signs that cellular-based security devices—and more broadly, all IoT connected technology—will soon revolve around a more flexible and affordable type of connectivity.
As cellular service providers are getting more competitive, affordable data plans have become readily available for large segments of the population. Additionally, network coverage is getting better and reaching more remote locations now than ever before.
4G-LTE cellular connectivity has seen improvements in parallel with Wi-Fi over the years, so it’s fast enough now to support video surveillance and affordable enough to get live video feeds on-demand at reasonable cost. Of course, from a cost perspective, 24/7 monitoring is still a challenge for our clients and that’s something we’re working on.
Another trend we’re seeing is an increased need for multi-functional devices that allow you to connect through either Wi-Fi, PoE or cellular transmissions. We can see how this would appeal to commercial security integrators with various security needs.
ISC News: How does the advent of 5G fit in?
Angers: 5G marks an evolution of the infrastructure, the business models, the network performance and reliability of telecom networks. And, it’s reshaping the spectrum of use cases for almost every technology and especially for us in the security industry.
This could open the possibility of ultra-low latency (through mmWave) for video transmission, which is useful for mission critical communication and live situational awareness—current limitations of the LTE network.
Sub-6GhZ 5G networks will dramatically improve the coverage outdoors (in rural or remote areas), improving the market reach for IoT businesses. It also means a better and faster Internet everywhere.
Even with a broader tech potential, however, the commercials and the hardware ecosystem have also to be competitive to build the attractiveness of 5G. We are following those developments very closely and do keep our clients updated via our newsletter.
ISC News: What are the challenges security professionals encounter with fully autonomous devices in remote locations?
Angers: Currently, the market of autonomous security cameras works on expansive and bulky solutions. The cameras that are being used are not compact and user-friendly. Our solutions solve both of these issues with our V150 and V200 solar powered cameras. They allow for a rapid deployment and are not only affordable but easy to install for security professionals.
From a technological point of view, offering a 24/7 monitoring solution without grid power is definitely the biggest challenge that we face. Solar energy improves this significantly and is at the center of how our cameras operate, being designed to save data and energy. We are able to provide months of battery life in a compact, all-in-one product.
Another challenge is coverage and stability of the 4G-LTE signal versus the need for having a safe backup outside the cloud. We find that the good old local backup is not only a safety net for our systems but also expected from professionals.
ISC News: What are some of the common commercial applications you see your products being used for? Or, some uncommon ones?
Angers: Our most common use cases include construction sites, remote gated driveways, parking areas, boat docks and countryside farm facilities. In other words, anywhere Wi-Fi can’t reach is where we see our security cameras being used.
Uncommon applications include water level monitoring, snowfall, ski resorts and oil and gas industries when it comes to monitoring meters on a pipeline for example. The use cases are extensive, and we might not even know all the applications our clients have a need for yet.