Three Questions for Three Experts: Thermal Cameras

3x3 Special Focus is GIT SECURITY's Latest Series

06.03.2020 - In this series, GIT SECURITY EMEA ask three questions to three industry expert about the issue's special focus.

This time we asked Thermal Camera experts:

  1. What applications are best suited for thermal cameras?
  2. How can users integrate thermal cameras into AI and video analytics solutions?
  3. Please, describe one highlight of your product offering?

Martin Jensen, Global Product Manager, Thermal Cameras at Axis Communication:

1. "Thermal cameras capture images based solely on the heat radiating from people and objects. This means they can see a clear outline of a ­potential threat, no matter how poor the visibility – they’re as accurate in complete darkness as they are on a bright sunny day. This is particularly useful for 24/7 monitoring in hazardous or remote areas where there may be no light at night and that are impossible to monitor physically. Combined with features such as cross-line and motion detection and advanced analytics, thermal cameras consistently deliver a low rate of false alarms. In addition, as thermal cameras don’t deliver images that allow reliable personal identification, such as specific facial features, it’s a useful device in areas where surveillance is necessary but mustn’t interfere with people’s privacy (e.g. hospitals)"

2. "When combined with analytics technology, thermal cameras can examine a potential threat that has been detected, automatically dismiss non-threatening ones, and immediately notify guards of potentially critical situations. By using the video analytics directly in the camera – at the edge – it allows for the system to be more time-efficient when it comes to determining the threat-level. The image can be analyzed immediately within the camera, reducing bandwidth for data transfer as well as storage costs."

3. "Axis Q1941-E Thermal Network Camera is an outstanding product in our portfolio and together with the video analytics application Axis Perimeter Defender it provides a cost-effective and stable solution to protect properties as well as design and calibration for an easy installation and usage. The camera includes Electronic Image Stabilization that delivers more clarity in the footage, and the software allows simple and remote configuration of the system. Thanks to the recently added Axis Perimeter Defender PTZ Autotracking application, it’s also possible for a fixed thermal camera running Axis Perimeter Defender analytics to automatically steer a PTZ camera to zoom-in on and follow an alarm object."

Stefan Li, Thermal Product, Director at Hikvision:

1. "The most ideal and critical application of thermal cameras is for perimeter protection, especially those have higher requirements on alarm & detection. Thermal cameras are super adaptive to all kinds of environments and can pick up movement and give security teams eyes on objects, vehicles and intruders, even in complete darkness, or with complex lights, or under extreme weather conditions. When incorporated with deep learning algorithms, thermal camera can even enable human/vehicle classification for more precise target detection, and more reliable perimeter protection. Secondly, non-contact temperature measurement. Thermal can help to detect and ‘visualize’ temperature anomalies and trigger alarm when it approaches dangerous temperature, this effectively enhances the pre-warning capability before a fire occurs. Ideal for industrial applications, waste management etc."

2. "Currently, there are two types of product in the industry. The first is that thermal cameras are produced with AI and video analytics embedded, processed by GPU, the Hikvision thermal camera is the example. Employed with deep learning-based AI technology, the cameras are enabled with behavior analysis, temperature measurement, fire detection and others. This can greatly help customers to save the license cost for third-party video analytics. The other one is for device manufacturers to allow third-party algorithm companies to integrate their video analytics solutions into the hardware, so as to achieve behavior analysis, people counting and many other applications."

3. "Hikvision introduced the cost-effective thermal products featuring 160x120 resolution in 2019. This product series is designed for short-distance perimeter protection and fire prevention, ideal for applications such as warehouses, museums, data centres, and offices. It makes thermal technology an affordable solution for small to medium businesses for the first time and helps raise more awareness about the public perception towards thermal and its advantages. I can especially recommend the Hikvision DS-2TD2617 series Thermal & Optical Bi-spectrum network bullet camera, for example the S-2TD2617-3/P."

David Montague, Senior Director EMEA, Security at Flir Systems:

1. "Within commercial security, thermal cameras are well suited as one component within a total Perimeter Security solution. Thermal technology enables visibility in total darkness and in almost all weather conditions, providing excellent image contrast. This has significant advantages, providing accuracy and reducing false alarms. In addition thermal cameras will detect for considerable distances, depending on the lens and technology used, 20km can be achieved. Thermal cameras should be considered for any Perimeter Security project, such as those in Oil and Gas, Mining, airports, and VIP residences. A notable application across a range of markets is early fire detection based on radiometric which is enabled using thermal cameras capable of measuring temperature."

2. "Embedded or external AI delivers exceptional performance when combined with thermal cameras compared to visible ones as thermal cameras deliver the lowest rate of false alarms, reducing operational costs.  This is due to simplified and constant visuals regardless of light conditions. This is key for installations connected to remote alarm monitoring centers or with limitations on bandwidth and connectivity, reducing operational and infrastructure costs. Thermal cameras enable AI on long distances without the need of illumination, reducing the number of cameras needed, civil works and total cost of ownership. Thermal cameras will operate on adverse climate conditions like fog and rain, providing customers a true 24/7 operational security system. Thermal cameras are the best option available for accurate and effective auto-tracking handoff from fixed cameras, enabling automatic and autonomous intruder tracking operations."

3. "Flir Systems has a strong history and legacy of working in the military market space and many of the technologies created through rigorous development programs are available for commercial applications. Driven by the desire to innovate and develop technology, Flir Security have software, VMS and PSIM and also many complementary hardware products. This offers the best and most extensive range of thermal cameras, fixed and PT with many lens options. These cameras operate with analytics on the edge or server-based and can be used with third part analytics if required. In addition to thermal, there are sophisticated radar systems, drone detection, CCTV cameras, drones, and TruWitness, a central security system for global event handling. Flir is the only vendor in the market that can source multilayered advanced Total Security Solutions with warrantees system functionality."


Read our in-depth Special Focus: A Status Report on Thermal Cameras by Heiko Baumgartner, Publishing Director GIT SECURITY EMEA



Flir Commercial Vision Systems B.V.

Charles Petitweg 21
4847 NW Teteringen – Breda

0031 (0) 765 79 41 94
0031 (0) 765 79 41 99

Hikvision Europe

Dirk Storklaan 3
2132 PX Hoofddorp

+31 (0) 23 554 2770
+31 (0)23 5631112

Axis Communications GmbH

Adalperostr. 86
85737 Ismaning

+49 89 35 88 17 0
+49 89 35 88 17 269

Axis Communications AB

Gränden 1
223 69 Lund

+46 46 272 18 00
+46 46 13 61 30

Sonderheft 30 Jahre GIT SICHERHEIT

The trade magazine GIT SICHERHEIT is celebrating its 30th anniversary in October

Infos for the 30 Year GIT SICHERHEIT issue


Media Kit GIT SECURITY 2020 - Media Kits all publications


Sonderheft 30 Jahre GIT SICHERHEIT

The trade magazine GIT SICHERHEIT is celebrating its 30th anniversary in October

Infos for the 30 Year GIT SICHERHEIT issue


Media Kit GIT SECURITY 2020 - Media Kits all publications