From DSLRs designed to produce captivating stills to video cameras capable of super slow motion, technology has radically changed the camera. New models bring us new features primed for everyone from professional and amateur photographers to security personnel, delivering new capabilities in how we capture what we shoot.
And with Qualcomm Technologies’ inaugural foray into the Internet Protocol, or IP, camera ecosystem—the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 (formerly 618) IP camera reference design and development platform— connectivity has primed us for the next step in the evolution of camera technology: the smart camera. Built around the Snapdragon 650 processor, the platform combines overhead capture, analytics, and communications into one product, integrating 4K HEVC encode and decode capability, comprehensive connectivity, and advanced analytics within the camera.
This conscious camera is designed to give OEMs the ability to provide a unique, differentiated product to enterprise and personal security clients that boasts benefits in effectiveness and cost-savings. Advanced imaging capacity with 64-bit processing power supports a new class of big data applications: The Snapdragon 650 IP camera is engineered to support uses such as understanding real-time traffic patterns, recognizing employees and customers, and keeping physical perimeters secure with fewer false positives.
Consciousness implies discrimination in thoughts and actions—elements classically attributed to humans. And while the camera might not ponder its own existence, it does its own share of ‘thinking.’ For example with third party software analytics, rather than streaming all movement and generating an alert, the camera could internalize the process of intelligently selecting which events fit the parameters of potential threat, providing a huge advantage in cost-savings and effectiveness by executing the capture, processing, and analytics functions within the camera itself. That means people who have been added to a pre-approved list wouldn’t trigger a notification to the security team—but someone who isn’t on the list would.
The underlying technology is engineered to drive an array of business benefits for end users and OEMs. The cameras boast dual-image signal processors that support up to 21 megapixel images and 4K HEVC video, providing crystal clear imaging. Combined with on-board analytics, the camera system could potentially be configured to signal fewer false positives. And with H.264/ H.265 (HEVC) encoding, the images and videos that are flagged can be transmitted with up to a 50 percent reduction in bandwidth than those using traditional codecs.
The Snapdragon 650 IP camera platform is built on a powerful processor that supports robust connectivity. It features a 64-bit hexa-core CPU, designed for advanced processing needs. It also features integrated X8 LTE with Global Mode and carrier aggregation with support for up to 2x20 MHz for both downlink and uplink, and LTE Cat 7, which supports peak upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Connectivity over a cellular network, supported by the Snapdragon 650, may result in huge benefits across wide applications: body cameras on police officers or rescue personnel, for example, experience the benefit of LTE connectivity.
The Snapdragon 650 IP camera platform supports 802.11a/b/h/n/ac Wi-Fi for easy connection to your existing home or enterprise networks. GPS, ethernet, and Bluetooth Smart 4.1 round out the connectivity possibilities. This is designed to give customizability to the device and also help ensure that interruptions—accidental or nefarious—can be circumvented with alternative network access. Integrated within the processor, the Qualcomm Adreno GPU and Qualcomm Hexagon DSP together with the hexa-core 64-bit CPU are designed to provide a powerful heterogeneous computing platform that enables advanced analytics.
The platform is available today, and is expected to be available in commercial cameras in the first half of 2016. You can order the Snapdragon 650 IP camera reference design from the ThunderSoft site.