Everyone knows that green hue of the night vision goggles, from TV or games you’ve seen them help police and search and rescue teams with spotting people from a distance or soldiers using them to gain that upper hand in the night. One thing you may have noticed though is that the night vision you see people wearing tends to be large devices and are often very heavy. The reason for this is quite simply because most night vision units require cryogenic cooling due to the heat the materials and electronics generate; that could soon change though with the use of graphene.
While able to pick up a hand and logo the next step they hope to achieve is to increase the resolution of the images, with its size enabling the devices to be inserted into devices as small as smartphones they want to make sure that the technology is of a high enough quality to be used in everyday systems. One of the suggested uses is in your windscreens, meaning that your screen could display night vision in real time, reducing all those lights that block your eyes while your driving.
It’s late, it’s already dark and you’ve still got a little while to walk home from the bus stop. Your mind’s imaging everything from the safe walk home to a full night Halloween special. With a flick of your finger suddenly your best friend’s next to you, walking you home and keeping you company every step of the way to your bedroom door. That’s the concept behind the popular App coming out from University of Michigan students titled Companion.
The concept is to solve a problem as old as parents have had children when your alone and scared you want to know that someone’s watching out for you. Companion aims to solve that by allowing you to send web links to several contacts, all or any of whom, can then view the web page with a map detailing the user’s current location and their destination and path they wish to take. Now say you have a fall from your path, or even have your headphones yanked out because they got caught on someone’s bag as they passed by, the app will detect these and ask the user if they are okay. If the user’s okay they press the button within 15 seconds, however if they can’t press it because they’ve fallen and is injured or had their phone stolen the phone will turn into a personal alarm. The alarm mode sets off a loud noise that aims to alert nearby people that something has/is happening and has a link to instantly call the emergency services, enabling you to quickly report when your injured or something has happened.
Originally designed to work with American Universities the app creators are hoping to bring in universities and countries around the world to the personal safety app. Available for both iOS and Android for free, Companion could soon see you and your friends enjoying those late night walks with a little more peace of mind.
If I was to go out onto the street and ask people what they thought surveillance was, I’d imagine a high percentage of those asked would answer with CCTV or constant video recordings for security. Now for the most part, this is what surveillance is however there are other applications for remote cameras, where the surveillance is not necessarily for security. Take lorries and HGV’s for example, most of them today have a surveillance system built into the cab with a camera situated on the rear of the vehicle so that the driver can easily see what is behind him, whilst in other situations, cameras are used for monitoring wildlife and animals to save them from the disruption of a person being present in the area.
Another area of use for remote cameras could be for monitoring a baby or young child in their bedroom once they have gone up to bed. Baby monitors are a highly popular product with today’s generation of parents with new borns and infants, with the piece of mind factor there for users to see that their child is safe and well. Now whilst there are dozens of applications for cameras and monitoring applications, the biggest use for them is we all know in today’s world is security. With dozens of different types of cameras and numerous environments that they are built to work in, choosing a product that is suited for your needs and user level is a somewhat daunting task and consequently home security is a rather empty market in respect to commercial use.
Netgear’s VueZone camera system that I’m looking at today is designed specifically for the consumer market. With such a wide variety of situations where cameras could be of an assistance, the totally wire-free system and the ability to record in low light conditions makes this system ideal for the home user, where the speed of installation and simplicity to operate and maintain is far more important than what it is at the commercial level.
Packed into the box, Netgear have packed in a lot of kit and alongside the key components that the system needs to operate, the VZSX2800 bundle has two cameras, one of which is able to record video at night though the use if an infra-red light. Besides the cameras we get four semi-circular magnetic mounts for the two cameras (to allow quick and simple changes in areas covered), screws and rawlplugs for fitting the camera mounts and infra-red lamp where necessary and a quick setup guide to get you up and running in no time. Netgear quote that this system should take no time at all to get setup and running, so let’s have a look and see if things are just as simple as they say they are.