There are too many moving parts to a mobile system to think we could just predict hardware innovations. In our world we make mobile security equipment for surveillance on-the-go in moving vehicles. To make it work it takes a village of components vendors to bring it all together into a system that will keep civilians safer in the future. Possibly to the point of preventing an event from escalating since we have the capability of seeing it in real time. Trying to telling the future of technology in the mobile public safety video surveillance space is one thing and knowing that many of these predictions may not materialise at all is the other half.

How to keep score

With that being said we need to segment these observations of the future into two broad categories of hardware and software to make our predictions. From the hardware components side, the parts are divided into: cameras, recorder, encoder, cellular and on-board storage and the other half is the software piece (video analytics, video management systems [VMS], centralised management systems [CMS] and hosted managed hybrid cloud services).

Give them what they want

"In order to get breakthrough
performance at nominal price,
the whole value chain ecosystem
needs to partner in new ways"

When it comes to mobile security hardware, we hear from our customers that they hope to have future products continue to perform better that the last generation, without outdating their current product – and while maintaining a reasonable price point. In order to get breakthrough performance at nominal price, the whole value chain ecosystem needs to partner in new ways that take in consideration their focus both internal and external forces that are on a different path from where standards groups are steering. Since that is out of the way the future begins first by trying to set up the external forces that will drive mobile security adoption two years out.

Go live with 5G

One of the future principal urges we hope to seeing move more mobile surveillance systems onboard is…live viewing over 5G. With 5G’s hopes and promises of streaming nearly 4K quality live video, this could be the shift that brings more users onboard to mobile video recorders (MVR) because of stable real-time viewing. Just like the first time when one saw the difference in image quality from analogue to IP. Seeing the difference from 1MP IP to live 4k will have the same WOW impact (at a similar price difference).

This piece may not come soon enough in the public safety mass transit arena with the possibility of seeing an image in the moment of a suspect’s face and hearing her softly whispering commands to her colleagues on a multi panel large wall monitor will be the norm in a few years.

Mobile video recorder future abilities

So what does a MVR specifications need to be to make this use case viable in the future? Modular for sure since you will need room for each 5G providers SIM or SIM-less access point, a wireless cellular solution that works on each 5G provider’s network, mobile VSAT satellite solution too, if you’re out to sea or on a mile high road, with a massive TB’s SSD that can store near a month of lossless video and have the processing power to real-time encode video with enough quality for live viewing remotely with 3 or 4 investigators. So they can make a determination among themselves remotely in real-time to what the response should be right now. If in the event that a phone is ever stolen, a dispatcher can disable it inoperative and track it remotely. This is part of how we see the future rolling out.

Being in-vehicle mobile now needs a much higher performance built into a MVR for tolerance because of the possibility of extreme conditions
When 5G becomes available, remote live viewing via smartphones will greatly enhance the situational decision making among a small group in real time

Camera capabilities

The future system for making this all work is parallel processing power to handle the heavy lifting needed to drive 22 mix-matched IP cameras working seamlessly. With a separate processor that is dedicated to encoding only. The camera mixture will range from a 65MP, multi-image sensor panoramic camera to five 8K cameras all set to different frame rates with built-in high gain mini microphones that are synced to the video and can play its audio tracks back separately. Cameras that can detect objects inside an unattended bag to instantly recognising a perpetrator’s face, escalating an incident into a potential crisis in a matter of seconds.

Each type of camera has its own proprietary format, where each vendor suggests that their version reduces the packet size much smaller than the next favour of H.265. Users will be able to encode a 256-bit encryption into the video stream at the same time. And the whole multiple camera MVR system will drawdown only 15 amps since it is architected for energy efficiency.

This now truly open hardware platform has enough readers and I/O panels, USBs and POEs ports to plug in other devices with an array options for motion, alarms, events and can smartly control anything onboard! Or can many of these task be done in some type of cloud computing environment so we do not need all this processing power onboard in-vehicle?

Battle ready

Being in-vehicle mobile now needs a much higher performance built into a MVR for tolerance because of the possibility of extreme conditions. Extreme can go so far as retrieving data from a destroyed vehicle, meaning you design for black box orange standards. On the lighter side, delivering a steady live video stream while traveling at 70 mph on a road full of potholes.

"Extreme can go so far as retrieving
data from a destroyed vehicle,
meaning you design for black
box orange standards"

Anti-vibration mechanism design in one form or another is a must in every component for mobile live surveillance; however, it may not be strong enough if you are replacing broken components so the system no longer works. Even more critical is how the system continues to perform under a variety of road conditions and cellular congestion a few years out. What we can guarantee will happen in the future, potholes will be bigger!

Deep learning

The past challenge was interoperability of multiple mix matched cameras working flawlessly with MVR system. These future software systems, VMS and CMS are now much more than a display, playback, storage and viewing of multiple video feeds from one dashboard solution.

The future mobile surveillance system using VMS/CMS now has hundreds of fixed location cameras that need to get integrated with the video data analytics too (this is where we wish future technology would show up sooner than later). Now we can simply integrate into each other’s software systems just by layering them on top of each of these platforms; seamlessly getting the best features from each vendor. The software is super smart and can discern small differences between images, no longer triggering a false alert. We will have trained the video management software’s algorithms to deep learn from its mistakes and quickly make corrections (dare I say artificial intelligence or do we wish this never materialises?)

Many tasks can be done in some type of cloud computing environment so we do not need all this processing power onboard in-vehicle
Video will be retrievable and transcoded into any format for preferred playback almost instantly because of cloud computing

Offloading data

Next is how to get terabytes of potential video evidence offloaded safely and efficiently without setting up a schedule? In the future when a vehicle nears a municipality’s superfast WIFI grid, the video can be progressively offloaded to DOJ standards for preserving evidence securely within the vehicle’s daily route as a lossless file in your unlimited cloud storage plan. It will be retrievable and transcoded into any format for preferred playback almost instantly because of cloud computing. And having it transcoded from its lossless master file makes it future-proof to any court specifications. Ensuring the defence cannot claim the chain of custody has been broken.

What can’t we fix?

Since nearly all the friction has been taken out of video evidence delivering to various stakeholders and how it smartly assigns access to a particular party for a certain duration and no way to leak evidence outside of case. The one variable that can’t be solved in the future is the constant attacks from hackers trying to breach your security at every instant.

Ready for the future

Mobile high resolution live multiple video feeds have the potential to make everyone on-board and in the command centre feel safer, even if it never gets used. The future of live video and alerts can be the perfect tactic to prevent potential criminal activity because they would be up against real time mobile surveillance systems.

It seems to us when 5G becomes available, remote live viewing via smartphones will greatly enhance the situational decision making among a small group in real time. Split second decision making may help to make a hostile situation, much less chaotic when live view is available anytime.

Hopefully these predictions prepare you for what the future could be and also the catalyst for all vendors in this ecosystem to push the limits of possibilities; causing transformational growth in the live view mobile surveillance sector.

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