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Title:
REMOTE SECURITY CAMERA BANDWIDTH OPTIMISATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/161118
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A security camera comprising an image capturing arrangement for capturing image data, a non-transitory memory arrangement for storing the captured image data, a transceiver to receive instructions and transmit captured image data to a remote terminal, wherein a processor is in communication with the image capturing arrangement, the memory arrangement and the transceiver and is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into a short-term image buffer for storing compressed image data and a long-term image database for storing uncompressed image data, and transmits, to a remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of a transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from said remote terminal, transmits the uncompressed image data from the database such that the bandwidth usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by the camera allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring using the camera.

Inventors:
WILKINS, Charles Richard (2/6 Merino Entrance, Cockburn Central, Western Australia 6164, 6164, AU)
HOLTON, Peter William (2/6 Merino Entrance, Cockburn Central, Western Australia 6164, 6164, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/050206
Publication Date:
September 13, 2018
Filing Date:
March 06, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SPECTUR LIMITED (2/6 Merino Entrance, Cockburn Central, Western Australia 6164, 6164, AU)
International Classes:
H04N21/238; H04N19/164; H04W72/04
Foreign References:
US20100245582A12010-09-30
US20110128150A12011-06-02
US20160205422A12016-07-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTEUR PTY LTD (Amberley Business Centre, IBM Building Level 3,1060 Hay Stree, West Perth Western Australia 6005, 6005, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A security camera comprising:

an image capturing arrangement configured for operatively capturing image data;

a non-transitory memory arrangement for operatively storing captured image data;

a transceiver configured to receive instructions and transmit captured image data; and

a processor arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement, the memory arrangement and the transceiver, the processor adapted to:

i) apportion the memory arrangement into a short- term image buffer and a long-term image database;

ii) compress the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database; and

iii) transmit, to a remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of a transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from said terminal, transmit the uncompressed image data from the database;

wherein bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by said security camera allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring.

2. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the image capturing arrangement comprises a high-definition still or video camera.

3. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the image capturing arrangement comprises a motion sensor configured to activate the image capturing arrangement when motion is sensed .

4. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the image capturing arrangement comprises an activator for activating the image capturing arrangement upon occurrence of a particular event.

5. The security camera of claim 4, wherein the particular event comprises an alarm triggering.

6. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the memory arrangement comprises solid-state non-volatile electronic storage .

7. The security camera of claim 6, wherein the memory arrangement comprises embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) storage.

8. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the transceiver comprises a modulator-demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel, and reception of instructions from the remote terminal.

9. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short- term image buffer and the long-term image database according to a storage capacity of the memory arrangement.

10. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short- term image buffer and the long-term image database according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel .

11. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the processor is adapted to compress the image data according to a particular compression algorithm, said processor adapted to determine said particular compression algorithm according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

12. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the selectable threshold of the transmission channel is selectable by the processor according to a desired image quality of the compressed image data.

13. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the selectable threshold of the transmission channel comprises an available bandwidth of the transmission channel whereby the compressed image data is transmissible without delay.

14. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the transceiver is configured to determine an available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold .

15. The security camera of claim 1, wherein the processor is configured to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold .

16. The security camera of claim 4, wherein the processor is adapted to transmit the compressed image data from the buffer to the remote terminal only upon occurrence of the particular event .

17. A system for optimising security camera bandwidth- usage, said system comprising:

a remote terminal; and

at least one security camera arranged in signal communication with the remote terminal via a transmission channel, the camera having:

i) an image capturing arrangement configured for operatively capturing image data;

ii) a non-transitory memory arrangement for operatively storing captured image data;

iii) a transceiver configured to receive instructions and transmit captured image data via the transmission channel; and

iv) a processor arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement, the memory arrangement and the transceiver, the processor adapted to:

a) apportion the memory arrangement into a short-term image buffer and a long-term image database ;

b) compress the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database; and

c) transmit, to the remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of the transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from the remote terminal, transmit the uncompressed image data from the database;

wherein bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by the system allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring .

18. The system of claim 17, wherein the image capturing arrangement comprises a high-definition still or video camera.

19. The system of claim 17, wherein the system comprises a motion sensor configured to activate the image capturing arrangement when motion is sensed.

20. The system of claim 17, wherein the system comprises an activator for activating the image capturing arrangement upon occurrence of a particular event.

21. The system of claim 20, wherein the particular event comprises an alarm triggering.

22. The system of claim 17, wherein the memory arrangement comprises solid-state non-volatile electronic storage.

23. The system of claim 22, wherein the memory arrangement comprises embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) storage.

24. The system of claim 17, wherein the transceiver comprises a modulator-demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel, and reception of instructions from the remote terminal.

25. The system of claim 17, wherein the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to a storage capacity of the memory arrangement.

26. The system of claim 17, wherein the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

27. The system of claim 17, wherein the processor is adapted to compress the image data according to a particular compression algorithm, said processor configured to determine the particular compression algorithm according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

28. The system of claim 17, wherein the selectable threshold of the transmission channel is selectable according to a desired image quality of the compressed image data.

29. The system of claim 17, wherein the selectable threshold of the transmission channel comprises an available bandwidth of the transmission channel whereby the compressed image data is transmissible without delay.

30. The system of claim 17, wherein the transceiver is configured to determine an available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold .

31. The system of claim 17, wherein the processor is adapted to determine an available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold.

32. The system of claim 20, wherein the processor is adapted to transmit the compressed image data from the buffer to the remote terminal only upon occurrence of the particular event.

33. A method for optimising security camera bandwidth- usage, said method comprising the steps of:

capturing image data via an image capturing arrangement; storing captured image data in a non-transitory memory arrangement ;

via a processor arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement and the memory arrangement:

i) apportioning the memory arrangement into a short- term image buffer and a long-term image database;

ii) compressing the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database; and

iii) transmitting, to a remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of a transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from said terminal, transmitting the uncompressed image data from the database ;

wherein bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring.

Description:
REMOTE SECURITY CAMERA BANDWIDTH OPTIMISATION

TECHNICAL FIELD

[ 0001 ] This invention relates to a security camera, a system for remote security camera bandwidth optimisation, as well as an associated method for remote security camera bandwidth optimisation.

BACKGROUND ART

[ 0002 ] The following discussion of the background art is intended to facilitate an understanding of the present invention only. The discussion is not an acknowledgement or admission that any of the material referred to is or was part of the common general knowledge as at the priority date of the application .

[ 0003 ] Security cameras are known in the art. Such security cameras are also generally known as closed-circuit television

(CCTV) , or video surveillance, and typically involve the use of still or video cameras to transmit a secure signal to a specific place, typically on a limited set of monitors, as opposed to broadcast television. CCTV has become prevalent for applications including crime prevention, industrial processes, traffic monitoring, transport safety, sporting events, monitoring of employees, use in schools and home security. As of 2016, there are approximately 350 million surveillance cameras in use worldwide.

[ 0004 ] A traditional CCTV methodology generally relies upon a local storage medium, such as a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) , so that cameras can record activity on a site being monitored. More modern CCTV systems permit connectivity via the Internet to recover any recorded activity from a local storage medium, but this approach has two main disadvantages, namely a) if the DVR is stolen or damaged and the recorded activity not previously uploaded via the Internet to a remote terminal, the activity is lost, and b) continuous video, unless it is of relatively low resolution, consumes a massive amount of data to upload, which usually precludes users from having this facility.

[0005] The present invention was conceived with these shortcomings in mind.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a security camera comprising:

an image capturing arrangement configured for operatively capturing image data;

a non-transitory memory arrangement for operatively storing captured image data;

a transceiver configured to receive instructions and transmit captured image data; and

a processor arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement, the memory arrangement and the transceiver, the processor adapted to:

i) apportion the memory arrangement into a short- term image buffer and a long-term image database;

ii) compress the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database; and iii) transmit, to a remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of a transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from said terminal, transmit the uncompressed image data from the database;

wherein bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by said security camera allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring.

[0007] It is to be appreciated that reference in this specification to bandwidth generally refers to a data transmission capacity of a transmission channel. Similarly, reference herein to transmission channel is generally to be understood to refer to any communications channel such as an assigned carrier frequency for wireless data transmission, or a physical media channel such as a data cable, and typically comprises any physical transmission medium or logical connection over a multiplexed medium, e.g. a radio channel in telecommunications and computer networking.

[0008] In addition, reference herein to image data is to be understood as generally referring to a digital image typically comprising any numeric representation, such as binary representation, of a two-dimensional image. Importantly, image data also comprises video data, generally being a series of digital images displayed in rapid succession.

[0009] Accordingly, reference herein to an act of compressing image data includes any act or instance of reducing or removing irrelevance and/or redundancy from the image data in order to be able to store or transmit said image data using less bandwidth than before such compression, and include digital image resolution reduction and related pixel sampling and compression techniques and algorithms.

[0010] Typically, the image capturing arrangement comprises a high-definition still or video camera.

[0011] In one example, the image capturing arrangement comprises a motion sensor configured to activate the image capturing arrangement when motion is sensed.

[0012] In other examples, the image capturing arrangement comprises an activator for activating the image capturing arrangement upon occurrence of a particular event.

[0013] In one example, the particular event comprises an alarm triggering.

[0014] Typically, the memory arrangement comprises a solid- state non-volatile electronic storage.

[0015] In a preferred example, the memory arrangement comprises embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) storage.

[0016] Typically, the transceiver comprises a modulator- demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel, and reception of instructions from the remote terminal .

[0017] Typically, the processor is adapted to perform its relevant functions by means of executing a particular set of instructions . [0018] In one example, the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to a storage capacity of the memory arrangement.

[0019] Typically, the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

[0020] Typically, the processor is adapted to compress the image data according to a particular compression algorithm.

[0021] In one example, the processor is adapted to determine the particular compression algorithm according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

[0022] Typically, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel is selectable according to a desired image quality of the compressed image data.

[0023] Typically, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel comprises the available bandwidth of the transmission channel whereby the compressed image data is transmissible without delay.

[0024] In one example, the transceiver is configured to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold. [0025] In another example, the processor is adapted to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold.

[0026] Typically, the processor is adapted to transmit the compressed image data from the buffer to the remote terminal only upon occurrence of the particular event.

[0027] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a system for optimising security camera bandwidth- usage comprising:

a remote terminal; and

at least one security camera arranged in signal communication with the remote terminal via a transmission channel, the camera having:

i) an image capturing arrangement configured for operatively capturing image data;

ii) a non-transitory memory arrangement for operatively storing captured image data;

iii) a transceiver configured to receive instructions and transmit captured image data via the transmission channel; and

iv) a processor arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement, the memory arrangement and the transceiver, the processor adapted to:

a) apportion the memory arrangement into a short-term image buffer and a long-term image database ;

b) compress the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database; and

c) transmit, to the remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of the transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from the remote terminal, transmit the uncompressed image data from the database;

wherein bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by the system allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring .

[0028] Typically, the image capturing arrangement comprises a high-definition still or video camera.

[0029] In one example, the system comprises a motion sensor configured to activate the image capturing arrangement when motion is sensed.

[0030] In other examples, the system comprises an activator for activating the image capturing arrangement upon occurrence of a particular event.

[0031] In one example, the particular event comprises an alarm triggering.

[0032] Typically, the memory arrangement comprises a solid- state non-volatile electronic storage.

[0033] In a preferred example, the memory arrangement comprises embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) storage. [0034] Typically, the transceiver comprises a modulator- demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel, and reception of instructions from the remote terminal .

[0035] Typically, the processor is adapted to perform its relevant functions by means of executing a particular set of instructions .

[0036] In one example, the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to a storage capacity of the memory arrangement.

[0037] Typically, the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

[0038] Typically, the processor is adapted to compress the image data according to a particular compression algorithm.

[0039] In one example, the processor is adapted to determine the particular compression algorithm according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

[0040] Typically, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel is selectable according to a desired image quality of the compressed image data. [0041] Typically, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel comprises the available bandwidth of the transmission channel whereby the compressed image data is transmissible without delay.

[0042] In one example, the transceiver is configured to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold.

[0043] In another example, the processor is adapted to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold.

[0044] Typically, the processor is adapted to transmit the compressed image data from the buffer to the remote terminal only upon occurrence of the particular event.

[0045] According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method for optimising security camera bandwidth- usage, said method comprising the steps of:

capturing image data via an image capturing arrangement; storing captured image data in a non-transitory memory arrangement ;

via a processor arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement and the memory arrangement:

i) apportioning the memory arrangement into a short- term image buffer and a long-term image database;

ii) compressing the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database; and

iii) transmitting, to a remote terminal, the compressed image data from the buffer in accordance with a selectable threshold of a transmission channel and, upon receipt of instruction from said terminal, transmitting the uncompressed image data from the database ;

wherein bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel is optimisable by allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring.

[0046] Typically, the step of capturing image data is performed by means of a high-definition still or video camera.

[0047] In one example, the step of capturing image data is performed upon occurrence of a particular event.

[0048] In one example, the particular event comprises an alarm triggering.

[0049] Typically, the step of transmitting is performed via a transceiver comprising a modulator-demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel, and reception of instructions from the remote terminal.

[0050] In one example, the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to a storage capacity of the memory arrangement.

[0051] Typically, the processor is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement into the short-term image buffer and the long-term image database according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel. [0052] Typically, the processor is adapted to compress the image data according to a particular compression algorithm.

[0053] In one example, the processor is adapted to determine the particular compression algorithm according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel.

[0054] Typically, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel is selectable according to a desired image quality of the compressed image data.

[0055] Typically, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel comprises the available bandwidth of the transmission channel whereby the compressed image data is transmissible without delay.

[0056] Typically, the processor is adapted to transmit the compressed image data from the buffer to the remote terminal only upon occurrence of the particular event.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The description will be made with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic representation of one example of a security camera in accordance with an aspect of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a diagrammatic representation of one example of a system for optimising security camera bandwidth-usage, in accordance with another aspect of the invention; and Figure 3 is a diagrammatic representation of one example of a method for optimising security camera bandwidth-usage, in accordance with a further aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0057] Further features of the present invention are more fully described in the following description of several non- limiting embodiments thereof. This description is included solely for the purposes of exemplifying the present invention. It should not be understood as a restriction on the broad summary, disclosure or description of the invention as set out above.

[0058] The following embodiments, given by way of example only, are described in order to provide a more precise understanding of the subject matter of the present invention. In the figures, incorporated to illustrate features of such example embodiment or embodiments, like reference numerals are used to identify like parts throughout.

[0059] With reference now to Figure 1 of the accompanying drawings, there is shown one embodiment of a security camera 10 which generally comprises an image capturing arrangement 12 configured for operatively capturing image data, a non- transitory memory arrangement 14 for operatively storing such captured image data, and a transceiver 16 configured to receive instructions and transmit captured image data to a remote terminal 24. The security camera 10 further typically comprises a processor 18 arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement 12, the memory arrangement 14 and the transceiver 16, as shown.

[0060] In use, the processor 18 is adapted to perform various functions by means of executing a particular set of instructions, as is well-known in the art. Accordingly, in this example, the processor 18 is adapted to i) apportion the memory arrangement 14 into a short-term image buffer 20 and a long-term image database 22, to ii) compress the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer 20 and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database 22, and to iii) transmit, to the remote terminal 24 (shown in Figure 2), the compressed image data from the buffer 20 in accordance with a selectable threshold of a transmission channel 26 and, upon receipt of instruction from said terminal 24, to transmit the uncompressed image data from the database 22.

[0061] In this manner, bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel 26 is optimisable by the camera 10 allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring using the camera 10. The skilled addressee will appreciate that the transmission channel 26 may include the Internet 25 or a similar distributed communications network.

[0062] In one example, the processor 18 is adapted to apportion the memory arrangement 14 into the short-term image buffer 20 and the long-term image database 22 according to a storage capacity of the memory arrangement 14. However, in a preferred example, the processor 18 is generally adapted to apportion the memory arrangement 14 into the short-term image buffer 20 and the long-term image database 22 according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel 26.

[0063] For example, the bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 may have a direct influence on a storage capacity of both the buffer 20 and the database 2. A higher bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 may lead to a smaller buffer size, whereas a lower bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 may lead to a larger buffer size.

[0064] Typically, the processor 18 is adapted to compress the image data according to a particular compression algorithm. In such an example, the processor 18 may be adapted to determine the particular compression algorithm according to the bandwidth of the transmission channel 26. For example, a very small bandwidth may require a very high compression ratio algorithm, whereas a larger bandwidth may only require a lower compression ratio algorithm.

[0065] Importantly, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel 26 is typically selectable according to a desired image quality of the compressed image data. As such, the selectable threshold of the transmission channel 26 comprises the available bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 whereby the compressed image data is transmissible without delay. For example, if a user only requires low-quality compressed image data for situational awareness of a particular site monitored by camera 10, the selectable threshold may be low. Similarly, where the available bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 is constrained or limited, the selectable threshold may also be low. [0066] In one example, the transceiver 16 may be configured to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold. Similarly, in another example, the processor 18 may be adapted to determine the available bandwidth of the transmission channel 26 to facilitate selection of the selectable threshold, i.e. a suitable bandwidth detector, or the like.

[0067] In a preferred embodiment, the image capturing arrangement 12 comprises a high-definition video camera. In addition, in certain embodiments the image capturing arrangement 12 comprises a motion sensor 28 which is configured to activate the image capturing arrangement 12 when motion is sensed. Similarly, in other examples, the image capturing arrangement 12 may comprise an activator (not shown) for activating the image capturing arrangement 12 upon occurrence of a particular event, such as an alarm triggering, or the like .

[0068] As such, it is to be appreciated that the activator may comprise any suitable means for triggering a security alarm, such as a door or window opening, e.g. using a reed switch, or the like, or any other suitable detector or alarm. In one example, the processor 18 is adapted to transmit the compressed image data from the buffer 20 to the remote terminal 24 only upon occurrence of the particular event. Conversely, in another example the processor 18 is adapted to continuously transmit the compressed image data from the buffer 20 to the remote terminal 24. [0069] The memory arrangement 14 typically comprises a solid-state non-volatile electronic storage, as is well-known in the art of electronic storage. In a preferred example, however, the memory arrangement 14 comprises embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) storage, as Applicants have found eMMC- based storage protocols to reduce storage mounting issues. However, other solid-state storage arrangements are possible and within the scope of this invention.

[0070] The transceiver 16 generally comprises a modulator- demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel 26, as well as reception of instructions from the remote terminal 24. Various modems can be used, as will be appreciated by the skilled addressee.

[0071] With reference now to Figure 2 of the accompanying drawings, there is shown an associated system 8 for optimising security camera 10 bandwidth usage. The system 8 generally comprises the remote terminal 24 and at least one security camera 10, as described above. The terminal 24 and the camera (s) 10 are arranged in signal communication with the remote terminal 24 via the transmission channel 26, which may include the Internet 25 or a similar distributed communications network. As described above, bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel 26 is optimisable by the system 8 allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring.

[0072] Referring now to Figure 3 of the accompanying drawings, the skilled addressee will further appreciate that the present invention includes an associated method 40 for optimising security camera bandwidth-usage. The method steps, as described below, are indicated by method step blocks indicated by the below reference numerals.

[0073] As such, the method 40 generally comprises the steps of capturing 42 image data via the image capturing arrangement 12, and storing 44 captured image data in the non-transitory memory arrangement 14. Further steps of apportioning 46 the memory arrangement 14 into the short-term image buffer 20 and the long-term image database 22, and compressing 48 the captured image data for storing in the short-term image buffer 20 and storing uncompressed image data in the long-term image database 22, as well as transmitting 50, to the remote terminal 24, the compressed image data from the buffer 20 in accordance with the selectable threshold of the transmission channel 26 and, upon receipt of instruction from the terminal 24, transmitting 52 the uncompressed image data from the database 22, are typically performed by the processor 18 arranged in signal communication with the image capturing arrangement 12 and the memory arrangement 14.

[0074] In this manner, bandwidth-usage of the transmission channel 16 is optimisable by allowing selective transmission of compressed and/or uncompressed image data during security monitoring under the method 40.

[0075] The step of capturing image data 42 is typically performed by means of a high-definition still or video camera. In addition, the step of capturing image data 42 may be performed upon occurrence of the particular event, as described above. [ 0076 ] The step of transmitting 50 and/or 52 is performed via the transceiver 16 generally comprising a modulator- demodulator (modem) for transmission of image data via the transmission channel 26, and reception of instructions from the remote terminal 24.

[ 0077 ] Applicants believe it particularly advantageous that the present invention provides a unique buffering methodology, as described above, useable to overcome the problems associated with low bandwidth of the transmission channel 26, e.g. slow 3G/GPRS broadband data systems which can cause the transmission of high definition image data to become flogged' and therefore possibly subject to deletion if the broadband modem temporarily disconnects the camera from the remote terminal 24.

[ 0078 ] For example, a high definition alarm image may be approximately 420 Kbytes per images and there may be 20 or so images as part of the alarm sequence, i.e. the particular event. In some rural areas, the upload speed via busy 3G cell sites can limit speed to 50 Kbytes. The present invention enables temporary storing of the CCTV images in the buffer 20 before storing them in the database part 22 of the memory arrangement 14, e.g. eMMC . This allows, for example, a 10Kbyte λ thumbnail' or compressed image data to be sent to the remote terminal 24 for each sequence of CCTV activity along with date and time stamps.

[ 0079 ] In this manner, a user is able to view on the remote terminal a number of timed and dated thumbnail images, which uses a relatively small amount of data. If the user wants to examine the sequence in more detail, he/she can select or click on the thumbnail of interest, which causes the terminal to send the instructions to the camera 10 to retrieve the high definition or uncompressed stored image data on the eMMC in full resolution. Only then is a significant amount of data used via the transmission channel 26.

[0080] In one example, the present invention enables up to 10 thumbnails for each CCTV activity to be sent immediately to the remote terminal 24 so that even if the camera 10 is stolen or destroyed, the thumbnails can be viewed via the remote terminal to detect unauthorised activity even when the camera is not 'armed' , such as during day activity on a busy building site.

[0081] Optional embodiments of the present invention may also be said to broadly consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated herein, individually or collectively, in any or all combinations of two or more of the parts, elements or features, and wherein specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which the invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth. In the example embodiments, well-known processes, well-known device structures, and well-known technologies are not described in detail, as such will be readily understood by the skilled addressee .

[0082] The use of the terms "a", "an", "said", "the", and/or similar referents in the context of describing various embodiments (especially in the context of the claimed subject matter) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms "comprising," "having," "including, " and "containing" are to be construed as open- ended terms (i.e., meaning "including, but not limited to,") unless otherwise noted. As used herein, the term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed subject matter as essential to the practice of the claimed subject matter .

[0083] It is to be appreciated that reference to "one example" or "an example" of the invention, or similar exemplary language (e.g., "such as") herein, is not made in an exclusive sense. Various substantially and specifically practical and useful exemplary embodiments of the claimed subject matter are described herein, textually and/or graphically, for carrying out the claimed subject matter.

[0084] Accordingly, one example may exemplify certain aspects of the invention, whilst other aspects are exemplified in a different example. These examples are intended to assist the skilled person in performing the invention and are not intended to limit the overall scope of the invention in any way unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Variations

(e.g. modifications and/or enhancements) of one or more embodiments described herein might become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this application. The inventor (s) expects skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventor (s) intends for the claimed subject matter to be practiced other than as specifically described herein. [0085] Any method steps, processes, and operations described herein are not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance in the particular order discussed or illustrated, unless specifically identified as an order of performance. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.