Interesting products of 2013 - Part 1

IP cameras... I'd never heard of 'em before 2013, and now I have.
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Axis Q1765-LE IP-based camera

As 2013 slides to its end, I'm thinking about what the past year has meant in terms of video. Since it's me doing the thinking for this blog entry, I shall go with the one thing that made the most impression on me this past year: IP video cameras.

IP cameras have been around for a while, but I never heard about them until this year. That's mostly because I come from video production/engineering background and have no experience with video surveillance, which is the domain of IP cameras. However, once I understood what IP cameras were, it was completely obvious that this was a great step forward in video technology, one that will likely make an impact in video production in addition to its substantial effect on surveillance video.

IP cameras -- cameras that use Ethernet technology and connect via standard Cat-5/6 cables -- are simply a better mousetrap. They are easier to install, easier to control, and use industry standards that go well beyond just the surveillance industry. The adoption of standard computer networking technology means that these cameras (and associated technology) are less expensive to build and install, and can be administered by people with an increasingly common network background. If you need to build a surveillance system that incorporates more than three or four cameras, using IP cameras is the dead-obvious choice.

So, my first choice for noteworthy technology from 2013 is the IP camera. Technically, they may have been around for a while, but it looks to me like 2013 was an important year in the transition from old clunky analog surveillance systems to much sleeker and easier-to-operate IP-based systems.

Let me mull over other recent products and technologies and get back with more thoughts.

Bob Kovacs