Some people fail to grasp the excitement of an edge camera (an edge camera surveillance system, or as we like to call it CaaS™ — Camera as a System).
 
“My IP cameras have SD slots,” they say. “What’s the big deal?”
 
Before I get to the big deal, understand that your camera only records to an internal SD card as a backup when disconnected from the network (and if you program it to record in that circumstance).
 
Okay. The big deal is — how are you going to retrieve that video?
 
The answer to that question is, you are going to send someone out to the camera and retrieve the SD card. Maybe that will require a ladder. Maybe that will require a lift.
 
Then, you are going to put the SD card into a computer to access the video.
 
Finally, somebody is going to watch the video and analyze whether anything of note happened while the camera was offline.
 
“So?” you ask. “What is different about an edge camera?”
 
An edge camera is its own video surveillance system. There is a lot going on inside. In the case of Digital Watchdog® MEGApix® CaaS™ Edge Cameras, the camera is running DW Spectrum® IPVMS server and can record constantly to its internal card.
 
In fact, if that one camera is all you need, access the system with a DW Spectrum® client and you are in business. Review the video on the card using DW Spectrum®’s robust search and analytic tools. Back the data up to another drive. Export the video. Treat the edge camera like you would any other DW Spectrum® IPVMS video surveillance system.
 
Now, what if you have a lot of cameras in your DW Spectrum® IPVMS system and the edge camera is a lone ranger out in the hinterlands? You may not monitor the edge camera all the time. When you do need to see what it captured, you simply merge it as a system with your other DW Spectrum® IPVMS system and now that camera can be managed as part of the larger video surveillance system.
 
My last question: So what about our original scenario? What if you have the MEGApix® CaaS™ Edge Camera merged with your main DW Spectrum® IPVMS video surveillance system all the time? What are the benefits to that?
 
Pretty huge, actually.
 
Picture this. Your MEGApix® CaaS™ Edge Camera loses contact with the network for some reason. As long as it has not lost power, it will record to its internal card.
 
Once the MEGApix® CaaS™ Edge Camera reconnects with the network, the video it recorded will sync with where it stopped recording to the server storage and you can playback the timeline seamlessly as DW Spectrum® pulls simultaneously from both the edge camera’s SD card and the server storage.
 
Pretty slick. Oh, you can also export the complete timeline in perfect synchronization. You can, that is, if you are using a Digital Watchdog® MEGApix® CaaS™ Edge Camera and DW Spectrum® IPVMS.
 
What can you do with your edge camera and VMS?
 
Your IP cameras might record as an emergency backup, but they are far from being edge devices – cameras that are their own surveillance systems.