How a multipurpose AI ANPR camera is future proof
Everybody likes to invest in a device which is future proof and durable, even if it is a little higher in price. This is all about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of that particular device. Nowadays the following questions should be considered to make the best choice, when deciding which ANPR / ALPR or Smart-AI camera to buy. Do I want a device, that offers the possibility to add more or different functionality over time? Do I choose a device with the ability to perform multiple detection tasks? Or do I pick a device that is exclusively designed for a single computer vision task and that is it? There are certainly more considerations around your project, that determine your choice of device.

In order to be future-proof, a multipurpose camera is the better choice in most cases, when the TCO is of your interest. Such a device has the hardware specifications dedicated to perform one or multiple AI routines, while maintaining its ability to execute many different tasks. Of course without compromising on quality and accuracy. Let’s have a look how we define a multipurpose camera at the AVUTEC labs.

What does future-proofing look like

An example of the benefits of a multipurpose camera can clarify a lot. Imagine a company, that wants to regulate and secure their perimeter. They start off with a simple ANPR based access control solution, that consists of a barrier and a Gatekeeper (ANPR-AI camera) with an embedded whitelist. The Gatekeeper will operate the barrier directly. Over the years the company grows and an access control system is being installed as well. From now on, the Gatekeeper communicates with the access control system and its internal database, or uses both methods aimed for different user groups.
After a few months, a newly formulated access policy requires the distinction between trucks and cars at the gate. When a truck (with or without a readable license plate) arrives at the gate, a message is automatically send to the person responsible for the cargo. The vehicle-type module and the rule engine implement this functionality. Being a construction company, the vehicles that drive up to the barrier are often dirty and therefor are sometimes hard to read. The detect-a-car-or-truck-but-no-license-plate module provides the solution for this site.

During its lifetime, a multipurpose smart camera will move fluently along with the needs of the moment and even the future. And that saves buying and installing a new or extra camera each time!

What makes a multipurpose camera future proof

From the early developments at AVUTEC, three keywords summarise the quality standards, our products and services have to meet. Those keywords are: leading edge technology, connectivity and versatility.  Let’s dive into these keywords a little deeper, to see how they translate into a future proof, well invested device.

1. Leading edge technology

Different from what one might expect, leading edge technology concerns both the hardware and the system’s software. While software and hardware are inextricably linked with one another, it is only possible to get the best device performance by incorporating cutting edge technology on both levels. By doing so, AVUTEC created the opportunity to offer a product line of futureproof intelligent camera systems being ready for new functionality and capabilities over time; the X-Series.

2. Connectivity

Being part of a bigger ecosystem, an ANPR / VCA camera is constantly communicating with all kinds of third party systems, e.g. residing in the Cloud. It will feed the central ecosystem with its recognition results, that will trigger actions further down the pipeline. It will receive responses or decisions and will react accordingly.

In the AVUTEC world, all its multipurpose computer vision cameras have the ability to connect to a loyalty system just as easily as to a VMS or a dashboard, or to all, providing system or security management, graphs and statistics. They can communicate with one or more databases and/or access control systems to open the gate for authorized license plates, while checking external black lists and vehicle information repositories. They will also perform custom functionality, implemented by its internal rule engine. In other words, these intelligent visual sensors are the smart spider in the web, while minimising the infrastructure and maintenance requirements. Again another cause for an improved TCO.

3. Versatility

At the root of product versatility are the technical hardware specifications, allowing multitasking processes to be executed in real-time. The sensor’s flexibility is further implemented with CortexFramework, the AVUTEC Computer Vision integration platform, also taking care of all the connectivity. Within this framework, a wide variety of computer vision modules detect, classify, count and follow objects in the world around. CortexFramework features pre built modules, but also allows to implement custom trained modules for project specific requirements. And besides visual sensor models optimised for ANPR and vehicle or traffic specific recognition modules, the Module-X 3D is solely equipped for much different, stereo vision AI tasks, seeing and measuring depth.

With versatility, at AVUTEC we mean true versatility: That is versatility on all levels. We aim to offer a solution to all computer vision demands that our partners and their clients need. We are proud to be able to offer such a wide array of solutions within one camera, but all completely remote managed. The final cause for the best possible TCO and your Return On Investment.