Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Look mom, no wires! (Wireless Vue cameras)

Avaak has a new web cam system -- Vue -- that does not require a computer, Ethernet wires or even a power cord. Additionally, while it transmits over the Internet using wireless signals, that signal can ride over links between camera units. These units use mesh networking to link one camera to another. At the end of the chain is a base station that links to your network. Mesh networking is a great way to extend a network's range well beyond the source of the school's Internet connection.

These units can be great for a school that needs to get a video camera to a difficult to support area. Because the units require no wires, it should be easy to put these cameras into weatherproof enclosures and us them outdoors. These could be used to monitor the parking lot, play ground, and other places that video cameras have difficulty being installed.

Another aspect I like is that this is a mobile system. As long as you have some access to the Internet for the base station, you could "string" the video cameras all around a special event, such as a sporting event or a performance in on the stage.

These cameras use lithium batteries for power. I have no idea how long these unit operate. Fortunately, given the fact that the units broadcast over the Internet, it should be easy to see when a unit has run out of power.

I should point out that broadcasting over the Internet does not mean the video streams are public or even that the video goes over the public Internet. Your school may just want to use it for internal coverage and have the signals stay on the school's LAN.

In any case, this system does appear to solve a number of video needs that are not otherwise easily addressed.


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