“When we launched the world’s first network camera in 1996, I’ll admit that it had lousy performance. It did one frame per second (fps) in CIF resolution and took 17 seconds to generate a single D1 snapshot,” Gren wrote.“It was practically useless for normal surveillance purposes but fortunately, it found initial success in remote monitoring and we saw a future opportunity in a CCTV market that was 100 per cent analogue, yet bound to go digital just like everything else in society. “An easy way to forecast the future of video surveillance is to examine Moore’s law, an electronics trend that states performance will double every 18 months for the same cost.“We see obvious proof of Moore’s law in consumer electronics, especially with personal computers and smartphones, but it doesn’t stop there. Today’s network cameras can do 30 fps in HDTV 1080p resolution compared to one fps in 0.1 MPix 15 years ago – a 600 times performance increase.”“This means that network cameras have actually outpaced Moore’s law, and today offer far better benefits than analogue.”According to Gren, new CMOS technology will create sensors with huge resolutions that will lead to the first Terapixel camera. “When this happens, it will be the optics, not the sensor, which set limitations on image quality,” he explains. “Additionally, for the past 70 years we have lived with the analogue standards of NTSC and PAL. Today, nearly everyone has HDTVs in their homes. As a surveillance professional, I would expect better image quality at work than at home – not the opposite.“HDTV is perfect for surveillance because the SMPTE standard guarantees frame rate, resolution, color fidelity and aspect ratio.“While megapixel is a trendy topic, it simply refers to the number of pixels in the image – all those other factors of a moving image are variable. This is why the Best Buys of the world talk megapixel for still photography and HDTV for home entertainment. “I don’t expect the HDTV standard to last for 70 years, but 15 years from now it’s believable that the majority of cameras will be HDTV compliant.“Having said this, we will of course see multi-megapixel (and Terapixel!) cameras play important roles – either to store video in higher, more detailed resolution for forensic review or to crop out individual HD-streams.”Gren also says he sees a bit increase in the installed base of thermal cameras. “Everyone wants to have the lowest possible Lux rating for their cameras – but how about having zero?” asks Gren. “Today thermal imaging is a specialty market, mostly found in military and government applications.“As the prices of thermal network camera components decrease and demand increases, we can expect a lot of new applications to arise. Today there is one thermal camera per 400 regular surveillance cameras in circulation.“We expect this ratio to reach 1:50 in a few years as surveillance professionals realize that this technology is affordable, can be easily connected to their existing network system and used for many critical applications.”