The security camera is the most essential part of any residential or commercial security system. Basically, it is a camera that is positioned in a way that it can ‘see’ a particular area that needs to be monitored. The cameras themselves are mostly stationery and even their positioning is stationery, since the main intention is to record images of the movement and activity in the area that it is investigating.
Security cameras can have different kinds of outputs. Most of them are connected directly to a monitoring area where humans can be hired to keep surveying the images of the camera. This is the case in most commercial establishments, especially retail stores, where security cameras are used. Since there is a possibility of having various security cameras in the establishment, there are also various monitors, each connected permanently to a security camera, or showing the images of the different security cameras by rotation. Such an area is called as a control room or surveillance room. In some cases, commercial establishments have security cameras placed for the control rooms themselves so that they can know that the monitoring jobs are going on properly.
People who use security cameras for residential purposes do not usually have control rooms. These security cameras are monitored by the members of the house themselves and they may not always be for investigative or security purposes. If a baby is sleeping in one particular room of the house, for example, the mother could watch the baby in the kitchen through a security camera. This enables the mother to keep an eye on the baby which going about her other tasks. In other cases, security cameras may be installed on porches, driveways and the main door of the house so that people coming into the house can be seen beforehand. This is one of the most common uses of home security cameras.
Today, the technology of security cameras has changed drastically and people are more into using wireless security cameras. As their name suggests, these security cameras do not have cords and that is their biggest advantage. They can be kept as discreet as possible. Some of them are small enough to be placed within buttons of shirts and in the numerals of a clock. However, the images shown by them are highly identifiable. There is a whole industry thriving on making hidden security cameras, which are essentially wireless security cameras.
The images of the wireless security cameras can be viewable on a computer or a VCR just by plugging the camera into the right socket. The images can be retrieved later and can be archived for future use. Retail stores and other commercial establishments use this method in order to investigate crimes such as shoplifting later on.
One of the drawbacks with security cameras of today is that they cannot record voice. This is also because of a practical difficulty – it would be very difficult to record voices and check out all areas individually. However, voice recording could help in archiving and later investigative purposes if they become needed.
Another improvisation with security cameras is that their images can be transmitted live via the Internet. This helps people to monitor their homes even when they are out. The images can be received live, giving a complete idea to the watcher on what’s going on.
The concept of security cameras became very popular with the controversial nanny cams. These allowed parents to find out how a caretaker looks after their child when they leave them behind. The use of security cameras has always been controversial with some people demanding that they translate into intrusion of privacy, but still they are an important part of home and office security.