Smart Vision: How Smart Cameras Observe the World Smartly

The word “smart” has become a powerful mingle with gadgets and is not just a common buzzword. Technological innovation is in its golden age and with its rapid evolution, it is becoming more likely to foresee a future filled with smart devices.

From phones to televisions to watches to cameras, IoT and artificial intelligence have engineered devices into self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology that has changed the working of this era.

Smart Observational Device

Cameras are the eyes of the modern world. The new world of the smart and aware camera is always processing the world visually and delivering actionable data directly to the user. They are no longer just a device that takes video and images; a camera’s value is now determined by its ability to extract data and take action.

Their abilities are not just limited to capturing video footages, but come with additional features like network connectivity, motion detection, face tag, remote access and communication, GPS and geofencing, and cloud storage. Moving beyond the confines of security and surveillance, the camera is now becoming a primary development platform for some of the most advanced research, from smart phones and smart cities to artificial-intelligence efforts that allow machines like cars, robots, and drones to see, think, and take action.

The advancements in smart camera technology have now made it possible to monitor many situations in real time, and to take action accordingly. The demand for their intelligence has developed a significant value of the smart camera market.


Smart cameras are intelligent because of their ability to understand and interpret images or videos, and to take action with that data. A smart camera can send alerts, track objects and movements, and intelligently search through volumes of visual data.

Smart camera has become the focal point for new innovation and development in an effort to process real-time video and information through a connected network. While just a decade ago it was simply a device for capturing images and recording videos, today, the camera has become highly intelligent, mainly through the advent of advances technological algorithms.

The smart cameras are not only accessible over the Internet, but they also represent a visual edge of a communications network.

The recognition intelligence allows cameras to learn faces or objects, often through a user supplying their own data to train the system. Based on a database of learned faces, the latest artificial intelligence, or deep learning, software can then recognize a detected individual.


For a home device to detect intruders, for a retailer to spot customers, and for a car to find pedestrians, the camera must first understand the background of a scene and then continuously look for changes, or objects in motion.

The first variable of smart homes is generally the smart security system which are becoming increasingly more common. With built-in intelligence, the devices can be used for indoor, outdoor, doorbell, or roadside use.

The camera can look for individuals, its sensors intelligently detect motion, spot a human entering a given zone, track a passing car, find an individual’s face, or even recognize the license plate of a car and run it through a watch list. They are able to users a notification when their family members arrive home, or when a parcel delivery appears at a doorstep, or when someone has been loitering around the property. This processing is all done instantly, within the camera’s internal CPU, by video content analysis.

In addition to smart homes, many retail outlets are using the perks of smart cameras and cloud-based services, turning themselves into smart retail outlets. The technology not only provides security and surveillance, but the data generated by the smart cameras also creates important insights for businesses.

They perform many retail data extractions, such as customer counts, queue lengths, report service times at the teller, and customer interest in specific sales and/or products.

Most of the cars today are equipped with multiple cameras, some luxury models have up to nine imaging devices. As a part of the vehicle’s Automated Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the cameras send critical alerts and actionable intelligence, such as lane change warnings, front collision alerts, pedestrian detection, and reverse/back-up collision signals, to drivers.

A Snapshot of the Future

All of the imaging advances are pushing the boundaries of science, demanding the latest computer vision technology and deep learning techniques. The security and surveillance sector has transitioned from a slow-moving industry to a very fast-paced one.

Where cameras were previously used to simply monitor a building or traffic junction, new technologies are being deployed in metropolitan areas to create “smart” cities, with large numbers of cameras monitoring vast areas and crowds of people.

The power of automation in the cameras allow the devices to take actions and raise alarms without human intervention. The wide-scale use of video content analytics — or the ability to process, recognize, detect, sense motion, and analyze video in real time — has opened up many new possibilities.

A camera can be used to automatically detect people, recognize faces and car license plates, spot suspicious objects, create zones of interest, protect virtual areas, look for objects left or removed, and also provide intelligent alerts or information back to users. The video analytics and intelligent video surveillance market is thriving significantly and is projected to be valued at USD 103.83 billion by 2027.

We are still on the early stages of these developments. The smart camera, via a combination of intelligent power and advanced computer vision technology, is only getting smarter and smarter.

Similar to the evolution of cell phone into the smart phone, where its overall capabilities became more significant than its ability to make simple phone calls, cameras are quickly evolving in the same way and taking on more advanced functions.

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