No Longer an AV Tech Only, LiDAR Finds Its Niche in Security
Autonomous vehicles featuring LiDAR brought the technology to center stage. Now, security sectors are also embracing LiDAR in next-gen systems.
One of the major hardware breakthroughs that has emerged from the push for autonomous vehicles (AVs) has been the proliferation of LiDAR technology. Thanks to the AV industry, LiDAR is significantly cheaper, more powerful, and higher performing than ever before.
As the technology has evolved, companies outside of the AV industry are looking to LiDAR to augment their products. One of these fields is the security industry, which has been adopting LiDAR in droves.
In this article, we’ll examine several security companies that have recently adopted LiDAR.
Quanergy and Mirasys Marry LiDAR with VMS
Earlier this week, LiDAR company Quanergy made headlines when it announced a technology integration with video management system (VMS) company Mirasys. From a hardware perspective, this collaboration is based on Quanergy’s QORTEX DTC platform, a mechanical LiDAR-based tool for real-time detection, tracking, and classification of people and vehicles.
QORTEX DTC is based on Quanergy’s M8 LiDAR sensors. Image courtesy of Quanergy
Designed specifically for security and "smart city" applications, the QORTEX DTC platform harnesses the benefits of LiDAR to provide an accurate security system with a range of up to 70 meters, 360-degree FOV (field of view), and a 3D point density of 1.3M points per second with three returns. By using LiDAR for security, QORTEX DTC boasts immunity to poor lighting conditions. This is a stark contrast to traditional, camera-based security cameras that are easily obstructed by poor environmental conditions such as glare, darkness, rain, or snow.
On the software side, Quanergy will be integrating its technology with Mirasys’ intelligent VMS. The VMS provides users with important features such as analytics and video content analytics (VCA). Beyond this, Mirasys' VMA is designed with scalability in mind, allowing for an unlimited amount of connected cameras within a centralized managed network domain.
The goal of the collaboration is clear: By integrating LiDAR with VMS, customers will be able to obtain advanced insights and analytics for physical security applications.
Ouster and Hexagon Team for Volumetric Security
More headlines were made in the LiDAR-security field late last month when Ouster and Hexagon announced their collaboration.
According to the companies, the collaboration seeks to yield a new LiDAR-based security solution known as the Ouster x Accru8vision. The basis of the new product is a combination of Ouster’s digital LiDAR technology with Hexagon’s volumetric security system, known as Accru8vision.
The companies will be combing LiDAR with a volumetric security solution. Image from Business Wire
Ouster offers a number of digital LiDAR sensors that span from long-range to ultra-wide view, where a combination of sensors can provide a holistic, all-encompassing view of a scene. This is exactly the approach the companies plan to take. They explain that they will be using multiple LiDAR sensors simultaneously within the Accru8vision volumetric security architecture to enable a complete view of an area.
The solution will be specifically designed for crowded settings such as airports, where the companies hope to aid security solution operators with a number of useful features. Some of these features include monitoring any custom-sized area with a single view and setting up 3D zones for custom priority alarms and controls. The companies claim that the major value proposition of their new product is the significant reduction of false alarms through the improved resolution and accuracy offered by LiDAR.
Blickfeld Outdoor LiDAR Includes PoE
The final news on LiDAR-based security comes from Blickfeld, which recently released a new outdoor LiDAR sensor for security applications.
The new product, the Cube 1 Outdoor, is an IP65-compliant LiDAR sensor designed for rugged outdoor environments where rain and dust could potentially damage other sensors. This is an important feature for security cameras, which are often deployed outdoors and need the ability to withstand all environments.
The Cube 1 Outdoor LiDAR sensor. Image courtesy of Blickfeld
The LiDAR sensor also features Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology. This innovation allows the camera’s power supply to run via the same cable as the data line, which in this case is an Ethernet cable. The technology uses an integrated PoE splitter to separate the power from the data signals. This significantly reduces the number of external components, allowing for a simpler and more compact design.
Blickfeld says its PoE innovation is possible thanks to the low power consumption of the Cube 1 Outdoor, which minimizes EMI and other interferences.
Leveraging LiDAR for Security
Because LiDAR offers attractive characteristics such as immunity to lighting and other environmental variables, LiDAR sensing has found important applications in the field of security systems. The promise of the field has led many companies to collaborate and develop new LiDAR-based systems specifically for security, where a combination of imaging and video monitoring is paving the way for use cases like zone monitoring, object and person tracking, intrusion detection, and facade surveillance.