Bob's Adventures in Wireless and Video Headline Animator

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

microNVR remoting through the iPhone

We just finished working with a key law enforcement customer on an application of the microNVR that I have to say is really cool. The microNVR, in case you don't know, is an ultra compact, super power efficient, highly capable Network Video Processing Platform for the edge.

This particular customer wanted a turnkey solution that could be used for covert surveillance. The idea is to attach an IP camera to the microNVR, then record and store locally motion events. The microNVR is then connected to the public Internet using either 3G, 4G, DSL or cable modem. The Internet connection allows live viewing as well as review recorded events. It needs to be plug and play simple.

So we set up exacqVision, together with a set of remote access tools that allowed the system to be remotely manageable via any web browser or an iPhone. The exacqVision Mobile 2  iPhone app makes viewing live video simple. When combined with the remote server management tools that we provide pre-installed on the microNVR, which also have iPhone apps, we delivered a complete, remote surveillance solution.

With the new microNVR we enable video to literally be recorded anywhere and then viewed and managed from anywhere. We tested the microNVR with MS Windows and Firefox, OSX and Safari on the Macintosh, and the iPhone with backhaul connections using DSL and 4G LTE using a Samsung "MiFi" device. In the case of DSL, we connected the microNVR via Ethernet. In the case of the MiFi, we connected using 802.11b/g/n. We swapped the links back and fourth to see how fail over worked.

In the end, we have made some pretty significant modifications to the configuration of the microNVR to support better ease of use. More important, we proved the use of the microNVR under a variety of connection options. I have to say that the microNVR kicks some serious A!*

Next week we will have our first production batch of systems ready for deployment. Are you ready to cut the wires?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Recap of NLE 2011

Two weeks ago the National Level Exercise 2011 concluded. For HauteSpot and Global Emergency Resources the results of the exercise were absolutely terrific. GER's HC Standard product provided reliable patient and resource tracking from various sites across multiple states to central management sites. HC Standard was embellished with live video streaming provided by the HauteSpot built eWRAP and microNVR.

Here is a short video sample showing HC Standard with live video being fed via 3G wireless over a eWRAP router. 

In the case of Volk Field in Wisconsin we were 15 miles from the nearest Verizon tower. Despite this, for much of the exercise we were streaming VGA resolution video at 10fps back to the Internet. In the case of Meridian Mississippi, the cell tower was closer and we had a rock solid connection throughout the entire exercise.

The trick to reliable video from these remote sites was HauteSpots microNVR combined with the eWRAP. The microNVR provided on location recording of the video from a Moboix 3 megapixel camera at full resolution and frame rate. The microNVR also transcoded the video into a VGA resolution stream and then pushed it to a media server that HauteSpot set up for the exercise. The eWRAP provided a reliable connection back to the Internet that survived the "ups and downs" of the cellular network. The media server rebroadcast the video so that hundreds or even thousands of simultaneous viewers could watch the video.

What was really amazing was the trip home from Meridian MS. The GER team that was working at the Meridian site packed up at the end of the exercise to travel back to Augusta GA. They left the microNVR and eWRAP connected to the van power system while they drove.  The trip was over 400 miles and took over 7 hours.  Throughout the entire trip VGA resolution video streamed from the van over the 3G network at 10fps with no outages during the entire trip. Take a look (click to launch):

I recorded the video from the van throughout the entire trip home on my laptop computer in California over an cable Internet connection.

What does this all show? That even at 3G speeds of 50-150kbps, good quality VGA video is possible from moving vehicles if you architect your transmission application appropriately.

We are now looking at how to productize the media server architecture for reliable streaming. Watch for more soon.