April 07, 2021 | Gerald Baker
Years ago, securing a building meant some savory – or unsavory – character sitting in front of a building with a shotgun and hot cup of coffee in tow. This is a far cry from where physical security sits today, as overtime, alarm security systems emerged and then were supplemented with video camera. Over time, analog solutions gave way to IP video surveillance and, recently, an even newer sensor tech is building momentum in the physical security space: LiDAR.
Camera-based systems have traditionally been unreliable in addressing identification without the addition of computer vision or analytics.
Environmental factors like shadows, bright sunlight, or nighttime darkness pose limitations to legacy video solutions, like reduced range and resolution. The natural environment creates the need for unnecessary oversight from administrators. For example, motion-based systems trigger false alarms frequently from trees or shrubs blowing in the wind or leaning a certain way. In order to maximize visibility, cameras require recalibration, such as changing the field of view or camera resolution. Another challenge with video systems is privacy. GDPR, the threat a tidal wave of biometrics can pose to compliance, as well as the negative ramifications of tracking skin tone, color, or religion, all have privacy implications.
Things we see with LiDAR
LiDAR is extremely accurate in location tracking of vehicles, humans, and objects. LiDAR reduces the chance of false alarms, negating the impact of a bag caught in the breeze. With LiDAR, we don’t look at objects and identify by name, class, or biometric feature. Instead, Quanergy creates unique IDs for each object, and won’t know any further unless it is integrated with another solution for video comparison.
While cameras are limited in their field of view, Quanergy LiDAR delivers 360-degree views up to 200 meters via proprietary laser technology, creating a 3D perception layer from the collected data. Automated ID handover allows continuous tracking on a near-unlimited scale with over 95% identification accuracy. Automated ID handover delivers a seamless experience. Installation and implementation of LiDAR sensors is very similar to deploying cameras – assigning IP addresses and tuning configuration but with less cabling, thanks to LiDAR’s extended range and 360-degree field of view, which reduce the number of units needed to cover a space.
Once set up, mechanical and solid sensors are capable of addressing areas of need like security, flow management, liability as well as analysis like heat mapping, intent, and environmental factors. The M-series offers minimal mounting restriction, robust range as well as day and night operation, whereas the solid-state S-Series brings scalability, affordability and is immune to moving or vibration resulting in precise data.
In terms of taking that next step with LiDAR, Video Management System (VMS) integration is integral. Quanergy, for instance, is leapfrogging the competition via both hardware and software development to enhance VMS systems with a turnkey solution to understand objects in the field of view. While most applications use video analytics and computer vision to track objects in a 2D space, Quanergy provides 3D real-time object tracking. Quanergy LiDAR solutions leverage AI to offer the unique perspective of 3D and continue to compile new VMS integrations and capabilities that improve physical security over traditional solutions. Cameras are cool, but LiDAR doesn’t lie.