Background:many sites where network-cameras are installed actually have no networks
aroba Inc. provides surveillance camera systems that make use of network-connected cameras. aroba View is a network-camera monitoring and recording system that, since its release in 2005, has been widely adopted by small-scale facilities like retailers and by large sites like power plants. For eight years running, we have maintained the top domestic share of the industry. In addition to the basic software package, the company offers recorders and cloud services, letting users select the best solution for their needs.
*Based on 2015 Japanese market data on network cameras by Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd.
One key concern the company faced in rolling out its solutions was obviating the steep costs of installing a network at sites where the client lacked a network infrastructure, as well as cases where such an installation was physically impossible. Cases like these had created roadblocks for us to move forward on potential projects.
Business hurdles:the steep cost of securing video streaming bandwidth
Amidst these issues, we began exploring if we could adopt a mobile 3G/LTE approach that would not require an existing infrastructure at the client. “Kossori Farm” (Fineseed Inc.), which uses aroba View, is a system where a network camera is installed on part of a user’s farm, letting the farmer check live video feeds on a smartphone of their farm at any time.
Pulling wire is often impossible at certain locations, so using a mobile 3G/LTE connection allows for a low-cost solution that is not dependent on existing infrastructure. However, existing connectivity options were very costly when it came to securing the bandwidth needed for proper video streaming.
How it works
Why SORACOM was chosen:secure private addressing at an optimal cost
Amidst those conditions, the company has used SORACOM’s services to keep costs down and achieve secure routing for its video footage, as well as enabling remote camera operation.
We hypothesized that users are not looking at footage around the clock, so there would in fact be large periods when data is not being used. With SORACOM Air, we used the RESTful API to toggle speed in real-time. The usual speed is set low; when a user accesses a video, it is toggled up to high bandwidth. This lets us keep our data costs down across the board.
Also, generally speaking, when connecting to a network camera over the Internet, a global IP address or Dynamic DNS service is used for the router in the camera. This adds to costs and introduces various security issues. With SORACOM Gate, there is no need for global IP addressing or Dynamic DNS, and you can still get online and remotely access and control the camera.
Future plans:bringing users new experiences through network cameras
aroba View Koro, which went on sale in August 2016, is a marketing solution that combines facial recognition and emotion analysis. Data is obtained from footage offline, then sent to Microsoft Cognitive Services and the analysis results polled. Video analysis does not take up that much bandwidth, so SORACOM Air is ideal for these needs. Similarly, there are many latent uses for cameras where there is a need to get up and running anywhere and can make use of a pricing structure for light data usage.
Combining SORACOM Air and aroba View lets a range of industries get an optimal solution for their needs and achieve a more convenient business or lifestyle.
aroba Inc.Akira Shiramasa, Representative Director, aroba Inc.