LP Tech Basics: What is Edge Recording?
In this part of our series on LP technology basics, we’ll explain edge recording and storage, and their uses in loss prevention.
Simply put, edge recording is a system that uses cameras that do not store video on a main server. Instead, surveillance cameras store footage either on an SD card, a separate hard drive or a PC attached directly to the camera itself.
This method of recording is a part of what’s called a decentralized surveillance system, which is a system that does not rely on a central server to constantly receive and monitor all data from all cameras that are a part of it.
Imagine a spider with long legs, where the cameras are attached to its feet. If the cameras transmit recorded footage to be stored together in a little backpack at the spider’s body, that’s a centralized system. If, instead, the cameras don’t transmit footage to the backpack, but each one keeps its footage within itself where it’s recorded — spider’s feet (i.e., the edge of its body “system”) — that’s edge recording.
With decentralized system like this, cameras only send the data to the central server if you request it or if a pre-defined event triggers an alert.
So, why do some LP teams really like edge recording? The biggest reason is bandwidth. Streaming video requires a lot of bandwidth, which costs money and slows down other traffic on your network. With edge recording you don’t stream video — it stays on the camera until you need it. This is especially well-suited for areas that don’t require constant monitoring, like parking lots or storage areas.
By saving bandwidth on video, you can then dedicate more of it to other functions like access control, point-of-sale monitoring or EAS reporting.
Another benefit of edge recording is that it provides system redundancy and fault protection. If the network or server goes down, the data is preserved in the camera.
What kind of a camera is used for edge recording? Well, as you can imagine, a camera “on the edge” will need to have more processing power than a typical security camera. More processing power also means that these cameras can do more than just record — some even have embedded analytical software that can do facial recognition, heat mapping and motion detection.
As the technology progresses, we can expect even more advanced stuff in the future. To find out what edge recording technologies are currently available, talk to your solutions provider, or contact one of our technology experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.