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May 7, 2023

In-store WI-FI security camera: installation and operation

Security cameras have become indispensable in combating the increasing rate of shoplifting. New-generation cameras now operate over WI-FI. How does a retailer go about installing this kind of camera in a store? How is the footage recorded and transmitted to a monitoring device? Let’s take a closer look at this new security equipment.

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Using a video surveillance system to enhance store security

To combat shoplifting, store managers are turning to high-performance security systems, e.g. cameras, CCTV monitors, and security gates. Video cameras are at the heart of any security solution. Why?

The benefit of security cameras

In larger stores, cameras provide backup for security staff. In smaller retail businesses, they enable the manager to directly monitor the whole store more easily, and can thereby do without recruiting security staff.

Location of cameras

Before installing cameras, it should be remembered that in France a store manager is legally obligated to apply to the local prefecture for authorisation. Shoppers must also be notified about the presence of security cameras. Cameras can be installed in a number of strategic locations around the store: at entrances and exits, product aisles, and at checkouts, especially self-checkouts. By law, security cameras are not permitted in changing rooms and toilets. The number of cameras required will vary depending on the size of the store.

Recording of footage

Cameras transmit live images. These images are also recorded. This means a security officer can act quickly whenever a theft is in progress. The recorded footage constitutes evidence, and can therefore be used to establish the offence. The footage is useful when filing a complaint with the police.

The different models of security cameras available

Various models of security cameras are available for use in stores. The most efficient being an IP camera, which is connected to the Internet. IP cameras can operate using a management app and Artificial Intelligence, such as Veesion’s theft detection software. IP cameras can be connected via a cable (i.e. Ethernet) or over WI-FI.

How does a WI-FI security camera work?

There are several models of WI-FI security cameras available. Store managers can avail themselves of the services of a specialist camera provider, or purchase a readily available CCTV kit off the shelf. All these cameras work in a similar way. Their price varies depending on the options chosen and the number of cameras.

Internet routers and speed

To operate professional security cameras over WI-FI, a store first needs to be equipped with a firewall-protected router, such as an Internet box. Please note that the more cameras a store has, the higher the internet speed will need to be. Most WI-FI cameras operate using a frequency of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.

Power supply

Depending on the model, the cameras may be connected to the mains, or run on rechargeable batteries. There are also models available that are powered by a solar battery. Autonomous batteries mean that the cameras can be placed very discreetly anywhere in the store.

Image quality

Video footage constitutes admissible evidence when a shoplifting charge is filed with the police. It’s therefore important the footage is of a good quality. To ensure that images are transmitted in high definition, 4 MP or 5 MP cameras are recommended.

Data storage

The cameras transmit video images in real time. They are also connected to a CCTV recorder (via a server or the cloud). The footage can therefore be stored for as long as necessary (usually one month) depending on the storage capacity.

Night vision

Some security cameras are equipped with infrared LEDs. These make it possible to transmit colour images even when there’s no light in the store. Such cameras are weatherproof and can work both indoors and outdoors. They are particularly useful for monitoring a closed store or warehouse, or equipment left outside at night.

The benefits of installing WI-FI security cameras in a store

Compared to analogue cameras, IP cameras connected over WI-FI offer several advantages when it comes to in-store video surveillance.

Easy installation without the need for prior technical knowledge

One of the great advantages of wireless cameras is they don’t need to be installed by a technician. The store manager can simply acquire the most suitable CCTV kit and then follow the supplier’s instructions.

Alerts

In the event of an anomaly, a WI-FI connection means the camera can send an alert to a number of different monitoring devices. These include a smartphone, a computer or a tablet, as defined in the settings by the store manager. The nature of the alert will depend on the specific chosen AI and/or management app.

Surveillance autonomy

Some security cameras can operate autonomously 24/7. All you have to do is set them up. The security officer will be notified of any anomaly, even when they’re outside the store.

Combining IP cameras with Artificial Intelligence

IP cameras can easily be enhanced by AI. Such cameras have the capacity to provide AI algorithms with huge amounts of high-definition images on a continuous basis, regardless of the light levels in the store. When Veesion software is used, this means that the store manager can be notified whenever any suspicious behaviour, i.e. any body movement typically associated with shoplifting, is detected. 

In short, WIFI-connected security cameras offer more autonomy to store managers and/or security personnel. Their installation is simple and, with the right settings, users can be alerted as soon as an anomaly is detected. When coupled with Artificial Intelligence, security cameras can greatly optimise the security of a store, both day and night. High quality footage makes for irrefutable evidence when challenging a shoplifter, and for backing up a shoplifting charge.

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