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History of Surveillance: The 1970s

Colin Bodbyl
Colin Bodbyl
Founder, Zeecure.com, Sonitrol of South Central Ontario
38

At IFSEC 2013 the electronics distributor Anixter put together an incredible display charting the history of video surveillance in products.

From tube cameras and distribution amps all the way through gigaspeed patch panels and DVRs via the Axis Neteye 200, take a look at how far we’ve come.

See the History of Surveillance: the 1980s
See the History of Surveillance: the 1990-2000s

Anixter presented a history of video surveillance at IFSEC 2013

Anixter presented a history of video surveillance at IFSEC 2013

The Avo Multimeter (1973)

The Avo Multimeter (1973)

RCA tube cameras (1974)

RCA tube cameras (1974)

Addlestone's distribution amp (1975)

Addlestone’s distribution amp (1975)

Sesco ultrasonic detector (1978)

Sesco ultrasonic detector (1978)

Goodall ultrasonic detector (1978)

Goodall ultrasonic detector (1978)

Philips CCD camera (1979)

Philips CCD camera (1979)

Panasonic observation camera (1979)

Panasonic observation camera (1979)

More image galleries

See the History of Surveillance: the 1980s
See the History of Surveillance: the 1990-2000s

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Colin Bodbyl
Colin Bodbyl
Colin Bodbyl is the founder of Zeecure.com and Chief Technology Officer at Sonitrol of South Central Ontario. He has over 10 years' experience in the security industry specializing in the design and installation of physical security, IP CCTV, video analytics, and access control systems. In 2012 Colin developed Zeecure.com to connect with other integrators and end users through his unique video blogs.
38 comments
JonathanL
JonathanL

The history of surveillance in pictures makes me feel twice as old as I am because I have seen most of those at some point or another.  It is amazing to see how far we have come and makes you wonder what tomorrow might hold.

batye
batye

in Canada we have almost the same warning attached near security camera...

Lami S
Lami S

Sorry for not being able to attend the IFSEC 2013 I wonder if Anixter has mentioned that the first ever CCTV surveillance started in Germany and this paragraph from Wikipedia prove that " The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens AG at Test Stand VII in Peenemünde, Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets"

SunitaT
SunitaT

@Colin, thanks for the post. I am curious to know what is "The Avo Multimeter". Isn't it a multimeter ? How is it related to surveillance ?

Anthony Hildebrand
Anthony Hildebrand

Though given that Axis also agrees the Neteye 200 was released in 1996 (when the internet was a bit more of a thing), I hope the other dates are a touch more accurate.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

It was a pretty amazing display by Anixter, I must say, and great to see they didn't mind putting anyone's cameras and equipment on display.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

So that's what people look out for? Or is it? Speed camera signs don't look anything like speed cameras but all the car's break lights come on whenever they see it!

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

Can't remember exactly, but I suspect not. There always seems to be a bit of dispute over the provenance of CCTV, but that wouldn't surprise me as so much technical innovation seems to come out of the military.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

I guess in the old days it was part of an installer's essential kit? From a conversation I had last week, we joked that half of the stuff on display here came from one person's shed!

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

I reckon that was just a type on that sign. Funny, I really quizzed myself when I first saw it, but then I know it wasn't 1987! As you say, let's hope they got the other dates at least vaguely right.

safeNsane
safeNsane

I think it's funny to see the early tube cameras and realize that the basic design of cameras is still being used today.  Aside from the circuitry being smaller the form factor looks like many modern "box" cameras.  I'm also going to have to look up the Metal Mickey because the looks like a serious purpose built piece of hardware.

kjoeandy
kjoeandy

Here in the US most of the speed cameras I have seen are either in black or some type of dark color. It's a great wonder how technology has improved our lives over the years.

batye
batye

I think it all depends on the area of the city... and if drivers obeying traffic laws...

Tony Dobson
Tony Dobson

The 360Vision Predator is also a great piece of kit in the "Metal Mickey" mold, I'm a big fan anyway having used it, the IR versions look like something is not only watching you but also ready to pounce!!

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

Yeah, the Metal Mickey is also probably one of the few cameras to have achieved cult status (at least in the UK) after it was made famous on reality TV show Big Brother. The 'ears' made it look like a real character and it had it's own cult following among fans. Amazing.

SunitaT
SunitaT

I think it's funny to see the early tube cameras and realize that the basic design of cameras is still being used today. @safeNsane, true basic design of the camers is still being used today but digital processing part has changed a lot. For example CMOS sensors have changed the way data is captured and processed.

kjoeandy
kjoeandy

If I were in position to make that decision it will be for more than just a peace of mind. However, I believe that the most lesson humans will learn will be from their own mistakes.

ITs_Hazel
ITs_Hazel

The only solution that I could think of for this is to install human security guards again. Electronic systems have allowed people to cheat it; maybe it's time we backtrack a little before finding a better technological alternative.

ITs_Hazel
ITs_Hazel

Personally, I would pay to get this extra security, even if it might just be a perceived feeling or if it's just working as a deterrent. Anything that makes my home safer for my family is tops for me.

kjoeandy
kjoeandy

It is just for a peace of mind at this time. Nothing wrong has been recorded so far. But I saw a big danger when there was no camera. At least one step has been taken.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

Tailgating they call that, right? Has this system been known to keep anyone out, or is it just peace of mind at this stage?

kjoeandy
kjoeandy

I worked for a company where other employees will use their key card to let other people into the building. they are always under the assumption that the other people are employees are well. In fact, most times they are all employees. It was hard to tell who was not and people were just being nice. The question I posed was how do we know if someone just followed an employee into the building to cause any damage. What if the person is not an employee any more or was fired and has come back for revenge. Well, they now have surveillance cameras right at the doors where we badge in into the office. This camera is a real-time so if anything goes wrong, the worse of not finding the intruder can be avoider.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

Interesting question you pose. How has surveillance improved your life over the years?

safeNsane
safeNsane

I do feel your pain when it comes to hiding cameras from spoiling the look of a building.  Luckily I haven't had to paint any to match a building but I have seen some funny looking installs around here where they did their best to hide the cameras.  My position has always been get the best shot first then worry about who notices the camera so we use a lot of low profile domes because they are easy to tuck into small places.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

I suppose the very fact they have the option immediately differentiates them from competitors. Still, seems very consumer/marketing friendly as you said, Tony.

safeNsane
safeNsane

I was thinking more purpose driven colors like red for a municipality that is watching for brush fires with some strategically placed cameras.  If not for that then maybe they would fit in better on playgrounds so that they blend in with the equipment.

Tony Dobson
Tony Dobson

Sunshine is a dim and distant memory here in the UK! Depends on if you want your cameras to stand out and act as a deterrent but blending in is usually the way I design them. Although the architech usually has the last say so the lines of his/her building aren't spoilt!

safeNsane
safeNsane

I've only bought cameras in white because here in the land of sun nothing with color lasts long and if white fades it's just less bright.  I didn't know if someone out there had created a color code for camera usage.   I guess if you've got a bright red building you don't want white specs all over it when you install cameras and who wants to send housing out for paint?

Tony Dobson
Tony Dobson

I think its so they stand out on their marketing blurb! I haven't ever bought any other colour apart from black but nice to know you can get funky versions!

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

In an age where you could have covert cameras with a decent resolution, I quite like the idea of having colourful and fun cameras. Think from an architect's perspective that some colourful cameras might look better in certain spaces (I'm picturing a Google office here for some reason)

safeNsane
safeNsane

So I have to ask why all the different colors on that 360Vison Predator? Camouflage? We've always tried to make our cameras stand out when we hang them so that maybe someone notices and thinks twice about doing something stupid.

Tony Dobson
Tony Dobson

I get them in black though, just too loud otherwise!

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

What a great image. They're like the iPod Nano's of security!

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

Think of the signs as well, they always look like this:

Tony Dobson
Tony Dobson

Unfortunately, I'm old enough to remember the HUGE tubed cameras we used many years ago! Now they were monsters!

safeNsane
safeNsane

As I was reading the first part of your response I was thinking about dome cameras.  We're conditioned to notice those dark plastic bubbles in the ceilings of retail stores but we never really see what's behind them but when we see that oh so recognizable shape of a box camera enclosure we immediately think we're being watched.  Funny how that works.

Rob Ratcliff
Rob Ratcliff

True, and it's interesting that the 'form' has stayed largely the same. You'd have thought more people would have re-imagined the shape of the cameras by now but then when all the other technology is changing so fast, if you also changed the general shape of the boxes people might find that a bit too much. After all, the biggest deterrant of a surveillance camera is a thief seeing it. If someone doesn't know what it is, they're less likely to be put off. Saying all that, the dome camera seems pretty well shaped for its function.

safeNsane
safeNsane

That's true.  I have some old cameras laying around, some of them black and white box cameras all the way up to more modern IP based high resolution cameras and you couldn't tell the difference in them unless you knew exactly what you were looking for.  It's rare to see something keep the same format for so long but make such large leaps in technology.

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