What Are Active Deterrent Cameras?

With technology as a whole advancing so rapidly, it makes sense that the tech that powers security cameras would advance too. First, this technological revolution allowed manufacturers to produce security cameras at prices that all homeowners and businesses could afford.

Now, technology has progressed to the point manufacturers can make sophisticated cameras with advanced security features for reasonable prices. Active deterrent cameras are an excellent example of this, as they feature several components which make people in their vicinity aware of their presence, preventing attempts at criminal activity in the process.

Let’s take a detailed look at active deterrent cameras, what they can do, and why you should consider installing them.

What Is An Active Deterrent Camera?

As useful as CCTV and other security cameras are, their utility kicks in after an incident has taken place. After a burglary, act of vandalism, etc., security cameras enable you to back and watch footage of an event to see what transpired. If you can identify the criminals, you can pass it on to the authorities in the hopes they can apprehend them.. Security cameras, therefore, are a reactive security measure.

Now, as we’ve said in previous posts on security cameras, they can be a deterrent – but only if potential perpetrators happen to notice them, which isn’t guaranteed. Active deterrent cameras address this problem by combining advanced camera technology with some of the features of alarm systems. Active deterrent cameras use motion sensors to detect when someone is close to the camera, at which time it will trigger flashing strobe lights and an alarm. This not only alerts the person to the presence of the camera but also informs the property owner, or their security company.

Active deterrence cameras also use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve motion detection by distinguishing between relevant objects, like people and vehicles, wildlife, weather conditions, trash, etc.  This largely eliminates false alarms and only sends out real-time notifications for genuine events.

How Do Active Deterrent Cameras Work?

So, now that we’ve covered what active deterrent cameras are and how they differ from conventional security cameras, let’s delve a little more into their features and how they work.

Features of an Active Deterrent Camera

Advanced Motion Detection

Active deterrence cameras have more advanced motion detection capabilities than standard security cameras. Instead of the pixel-based motion detection that’s usually employed by security systems, active deterrent cameras use AI and machine learning to implement smart motion detection (SMD).

SMD is far more reliable because it distinguishes between people and other objects before triggering an alarm. Instead of triggering an alarm when it detects any change in pixels, as many motion sensors are prone to doing, SMD analyses the cause of the change in pixels. SMD takes the shape of the moving object and compares it against a library of shapes in its database. From there, it identifies the object as a person, vehicle, or other – and acts per your programmed instructions: sound an alarm, play an audio message, etc.

Flashing Lights

outdoor security light

Flashing strobe lights are another key aspect of active deterrence cameras. When the camera detects motion, the strobe lights will flash repeatedly, letting anyone close to it know they’re being monitored. These lights can be different colours, such as red and blue, making them more noticeable at further distances and in adverse weather conditions.

Speakers

Active deterrence cameras feature speakers that emit either a high-decibel siren or custom audio messages. These can be used to designed to disorient and distract intruders and inform whoever’s in the vicinity they’re being monitored. Some models have two-way speakers, so whoever’s monitoring the camera footage can directly interact with the person close to the camera. This alarm is a crucial aspect of active deterrence and distinguishes them from other cameras.

Additionally, when applied to purposes other than anti-theft, custom audio messages can deliver instructions. For example, you could use it to greet customers as they walk through the front door or inform someone they’re attempting to park in a space that should be kept clear.

Real-Time Notifications

An active deterrent camera system will alert you, in real-time, whenever their motion detectors are triggered and there’s a potential incident in progress. You can then open the app linked to the system and observe what the camera picks up in real-time.

Notifications to Security Company

If you hire a professional security company to secure your home, residential building or business, active deterrent cameras can be integrated into your back-to-base monitoring solution. This offers the additional advantage of the security company’s employees supporting an event as it takes place. Additional fees apply for this service.

Remote Viewing And Control Capabilities

Active deterrent cameras feature a Digital Mobile Surveillance System (DMSS), which allows you to monitor footage in real-time, via an app on a computer, laptop, or mobile device.

security monitoring on tablet

Pain Points Solved By Active Deterrent Cameras

Here are some of the problems caused by conventional security systems that active deterrent cameras help to solve.

False Alarms

Conventional motion sensors can be triggered too easily, leading to false alarms. Instead of being set off by a genuine intruder, the system could be triggered by animals, insects, and other random objects. This can lead to a situation where you become conditioned to not respond urgently to alarms or notifications from the remote viewing app, because you don’t think they’re genuine. Then, when there’s actually an intruder, you’re less inclined to take the appropriate action quickly enough – if at all.

Also, if you have back-to-base monitoring, false alarms usually result in false call-out charges. So, unreliable motion detectors can cost you money too!

An active deterrent camera’s SMD functionality distinguishes between humans and objects, leading to fewer false alarms.

Lack Of Deterrent Aspect

Although the presence of security cameras and alarms is supposed to act as a deterrent, that only works if they’re someone notices them.

The speakers and strobe lights built into active deterrent cameras activate when an intruder is nearby, ensuring they notice each security device as intended.

Late Response To Potential Incidents

Unless you have a security guard constantly monitoring a camera feed, video footage only helps after an event occurs – which is what makes security cameras reactive. In contrast, active deterrent cameras have a proactive aspect because it makes those close to them know they’re under surveillance. Thereby reducing the chance, they carry out their intended crime.

Difficult Evidence Retrieval

On a similar note, video footage is only useful as evidence if it’s clear. Unfortunately, some security cameras, particularly those at the lower end of the price scale, take inadequate footage in low-light conditions. Active deterrent cameras record clear, colour footage, even at night, so you, or the authorities, can examine the details of an event with greater accuracy.

blurry security footage

What Are The Benefits Of Active Deterrent Cameras?

Enhanced Deterrent Aspect

Just as their name suggests, active deterrent cameras proactively make their presence known instead of hoping that a criminal notices them. They achieve this through the combination of flashing strobe lights and a siren and or recorded audio message. These measures distract a person visually and auditorily, as well as draw attention to their location.

Greater Alarm Accuracy

Active deterrent cameras can target people, and, when necessary, vehicles, while filtering out objects like animals, leaves, insects, and trash. This makes for a far lower rate of false alarms, with some models falling achieving less than 2%. Better still, active deterrent cameras usually have longer-range motion detection so they’re capable of sensing potential problems from further away.

Only Receive Relevant Alerts

Consequently, with a more accurate alarm, you’ll only receive real-time notifications when there’s the possibility of a genuine incident. SMD technology is better at determining if an object near a motion sensor is human or not, resulting in few false alarms. That means you won’t be forced to respond to non-events – and won’t risk growing complacent about real-time notifications.

Control Cameras From Anywhere

An active deterrent camera’s remote control capabilities allow you to control a camera from wherever you are, through its associated app. This includes activating and deactivating the system and talking through the two-way speaker.  You will require internet at the location of the camera as too on your remote device.

Applications Of Active Deterrent Cameras

Crime Prevention

An Active Deterrent Camera’s primary application is to prevent crimes from occurring. By activating strobe lights and a siren or audio message, a potential intruder is made aware a property is under surveillance. This distracts from their original plan and brings more attention to them. 

In a residential property, active deterrent cameras could be installed at main entry points, to offer enhanced protection when you’re not home. They could also be installed close to a home’s vulnerable annexes, like garages and sheds, giving you greater awareness of what’s always going on around them. Best of all, the lights and sound that the camera emits could attract the attention of your neighbours.

For business premises, meanwhile, active deterrent cameras can be used to better secure a company’s assets. They can be used to prevent members of the public and non-authorised personnel from entering areas in which they’re not supposed to be, such as construction sites and warehouses.

Keeping Restricted Areas Clear

SMD is also useful for detecting when an object comes within the vicinity of an area you want to keep clear. Examples include emergency exits, fire lanes, vehicle entranceways, and parking spaces. You can program the cameras to play audio messages, through their speakers, letting the person know they’re obstructing an area. You can also program the message to become louder and more authoritative the longer that goes on, maybe adding sirens to draw attention to the obstruction.

Greeting Messages

While on the subject of programmable audio messages, active deterrence cameras can be used as “greeters” to welcome people to a residential property or business. In the case of a residence, the camera could be positioned in an entry point, such as a lobby or front gate, welcoming guests as they enter.

Similarly, in the case of a business, the camera could offer a warm greeting or even play a simple chime, in the same way as some doors when you enter a store. This has a dual purpose of letting the person know of the camera’s presence while alerting staff that a potential customer has just walked in.

Active Deterrent Camera Brands

Hikvision AcuSense

Hikivision incorporates active deterrence technology into their security cameras with their AcuSense range.

  • Their cameras with Acusense range from resolutions of 2MB to 8MB.
  • The AcuSense range includes network, varifocal, dome, mini dome, and turret cameras.
  • Each camera features a strobe light alarm, high-decibel sirens, and speakers for transmitting custom, recorded voice messages.
  • The deep learning algorithm within AcuSense technology allows you to recognise whether a motion sensor was triggered by a human, vehicle, or another type of object, with a false alarm rate of 2%.

AcuSense creates a label when it identifies a person or vehicle, making it easier to find events when scanning through recorded footage.

Dahua TiOC 2.0

TiOC (Three-in-One Camera) combines 24/7 full-colour monitoring, active deterrence and AI.

  • The TiOC range includes IP and PTZ cameras and an HDVCI solution for properties with an existing coaxial cable infrastructure.
  • Simple installation and easy to use; easily integrates with other alarm systems.
  • The TiOC provides full-colour video footage, even in low light conditions for more effective event documentation and evidence analysis.
  • The TiOC’s ability to efficiently record full-colour footage is assisted by its AI-powered Smart Dual Illuminators. This advanced technology switches between infrared and white light when someone is close to the camera. In contrast, many security cameras only emit IR light and don’t generate full-colour footage at night. By the same token, only emitting white light increases light pollution, so only switching between the two when necessary offers an eco-friendly compromise.
Smart Illumination Mode: Switch Illuminators Through AI.
  • Each TiOC camera is fitted with red and blue flashing strobe lights: more eye-catching than white light for increased visibility, even in dense fog and heavy rain.
  • Built-in speakers are capable of a volume up to 110db. You cab choose between a siren and custom recorded messages to suit different applications. A two-way speaker for addressing people in the vicinity of a TiOC is available on IP cameras.
  • Voice catcher technology incorporates high sensitivity dual mic array that provides longer-range threat detection
  • . This addresses the common interference caused by excess background noise, short pickup distance and limited mic function.
  • The TiOC’s AI capabilities allow for Smart Motion Detection (SMD) Plus that can distinguish between people, vehicles, and other objects, for more accurate alarm triggering. SMD Plus allows for a false alarm rate of under 1%.
  • AI-powered perimeter protection for detecting unauthorised personnel in restricted areas.
  • An integrated mobile app allows real-time notifications, visual alarm verification from anywhere, and one-tap arming and disarming.

If you’d like a free onsite security assessment or to talk more about installing deterrence cameras, give us a call or drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to help.

Kylie Butchard.

Article by:

Kylie Butchard

Managing Director of Pacific Security Group.

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