Throughout the history of humanity, engineering has led the major advance home monitoring systems for the advancements of civilization. The past has seen some great miracles of science and technologies, from electrical engineers who lighten up our world to aerospace engineers who connected the peoples of the world through travel by reducing the weeks of the journey to an hour flight. As the humanity grew, it is nurtured and improved with all the sophisticated tools of agriculture, textile technology and inventions that changed the way human interacted and communicated with each other. Inventions, such as Engines, mechanical clocks, and digital devices changed the entire civilization irreversibly.
The modern era of industrialization has brought the influence of engineering to all divisions of life, as automation and control systems have replaced human labor with innumerable tasks completion, improved the health by improving the sanitation system, created ease in mining by inventing the steam engine, and supplied power to the industries. In the recently ended century, engineering recorded the brightest achievements. Computers and Internet are important inventions of the century which completely has changed the daily life of humans.
As this progress gave birth to dreams for the future, the next century gives implications about the challenges worse than the previous one. With the exponential growth in the world’s population, the needs and desire of people also increased. So addressing the problem of continuous progress of civilization along with the possible life quality enhancement became more urgent and critical. Industrialization brought many diseases along with the advancements, so the general public is demanding more efficient, quick, cheap and easy treatment options. Scientists are feeling pressure for creating protective and preventive methods to alleviate the violence, epidemic diseases, and natural disasters. Meanwhile public wishes for the new products and process which create entertainment for them and increase the joy of life.
Humanity has always been concerned about the issues like health, safety, sustainability, liability along with the enjoyment of life and it wants the engineering to answer these issues. Engineers are always in search of the ways to cater these problems by applying their knowledge and research. Engineers are solely responsible for forging a better future by applying the wit, critical thinking, reason, scientific methodologies, and imagination.
The most important challenges are the ones which are time critical and needed to be met at the earliest to ensure the sustainable future. As the earth has limited resources and these resources are close to depletion with this rate of population growth. At the moment humans are using the energy resources more vigorously than ever. The famous warnings emphasize the need to develop new energy sources while preventing or reducing environmental degradation. Nuclear energy seems promising, but we also have some reservations about it. The fusion and fission power generation must be regulated as it also contains some serious health issues. We should also consider the economic and environmental feasibility of nuclear power while planning the complete reliance on the nuclear energy. Computers and the Internet have become the two basic needs of the 21st century, and people are living without them seem. Social life and virtual reality are becoming more important than real life. We generate thousands of gigabytes of data daily, and companies are selling millions of communicational devices worldwide. Privacy and information security pose new challenges for computers, as well as storage problems, network problems, and hacking. Data engineers, network experts, and computer architects must deal with all these problems. Above provided examples is just a tip of an iceberg of challenges which 21st-century engineers and computer scientists are supposed to cater in coming decades. Engineers are going to face some hard times while answering the problems like sustainability, climate change and greenhouse gasses, physical and psychological impacts of technology, data security, and unemployment due to automation.
In today’s world with the rise in the crime rate, home surveillance has become very critical. Especially in the case of elderly or children we want to keep an eye on them so to be aware of their situation. Home monitoring is also very important in the case of theft or break-in scenario, as surveillance can provide us the moment by moment activity and can help us in recognizing the face of criminal or home invader. Home surveillance system got real importance in the crime solution, so law enforcement agencies are recommending everyone to have the system installed in the areas where there is a happening crime probability. So, the home monitoring system has become the need of time. A typical home monitoring system is consist of an array of cameras, a controlling device called DVR with recording capability, and a display screen mostly an LED or a TV monitor. DVR is the central device with which we connect all the cameras, DVR gets the video stream from the cameras and then decode it and store it in the hard drive. This DVR can display the real-time stream as well as the back time on the display device. In the resent times, with the advancements in the field of control and automation, the bulky DVR has been replaced with the smart micro controlling devices like PIC, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. The devices have more functions and high flexibility as well as more efficiency. In this survey paper, we have researched and reviewed some smart home monitoring systems using Raspberry Pi. These Raspberry Pi based monitoring systems have replaced the old Radio Frequency Identification-based monitoring systems which were very expensive as compared to the Raspberry Pi. In the paper, we have described the use of low cost and highly efficient Raspberry Pi, as a standalone platform for the image processing, which is a very cost effective single onboard computer (OBC). This monitoring system has the capability of capturing the high-resolution data from the IP cameras and then sending it to the mobile application via a 3G network so that we can see the real-time video at any place.
Home intrusion has become a real headache during the recent times due to the development in the technology; thieves have developed the new ways of entering into your home, no matter how reliable your door security system is. So in this case, if you have installed a system of security cameras than you will be able to monitor your home and property at any time. Most of the companies and landowners are taking advantage of these surveillance systems to keep an eye on the property in case of illegal intrusion and terrorist activity. Security cameras have evolved with the passage of time; now security cameras are more advanced, cheap, simple to use and with high resolution.
These monitoring systems come with a lot of benefits depending upon their place and purpose of use. These used to be times when the practice of surveillance techniques was only limited to the shopping malls and gold markets due to the high price and complex working, but nowadays we can observe the CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras at every place from schools to playgrounds. This plague of monitoring network has made the surveillance more reliable, and as a result, we have enhanced our feeling of being safe, and we are witnessing a great decrease in the crime.
In the past capturing a video and sending it through wired or wireless medium used to be a lengthy process and there used to be a huge delay in the processes which made the real-time surveillance almost unmanageable. But with the invention of micro controllers like Raspberry Pi, the processing time has reduced to microsecond which made possible the real-time observation of scenario. This factor has helped the organization and home user to act on the situation accordingly because they know what exactly is happening in real time.
We are leading a busy life; we got very less to no time to sit and monitor and to keep the record every time. Every family member is supposed to pinch in for the expenses of the home, so everybody has to work and to monitor everything in this scenario seems impossible. We are moving from hard work to smart work, and smart solution to this problem is a smart monitoring system which you can carry around everywhere you go. So a smart home monitoring system with Bluetooth, WIFI, or 3G, connectivity can enable you to monitor your house, elderly and kids anytime anywhere.
We have surveyed three different research papers and journal articles to establish a conclusion on the matter at hand; we will discuss them one by one. First of all, we have a conference paper on the topic of “Network video capture and short message service alarm system design based on embedded Linux” in which designer used the S3C2440 microprocessor as a central processing unit in the video acquisition system (Zhou & Tan, 2010).Designer based this system on the Linux operating system, and they used the V4L (video for Linux) API for real-time video capture. This system came with many advantages like easy to install, good stability of video frames and overall an intelligent system, but there some disadvantages too like it was a very costly system, and it needed continues presence of GSM network for its proper functionality. It used the GSM technology to communicate with the host. Here is the flowchart of video for Linux video capturing protocol.
This flow diagram shows the complete video capturing process of Linux operating system. In the initialization process the V4L checks the buffer information, and then it acquires the video frame than it checks whether the capturing process ended or not, and at the end, it closes the current capturing process and deletes the data from the buffer so to make room for next acquisition. This system had the capability of managing the anti-theft intelligence, smart home and premises surveillance, smart medical treatment, and intelligent transportation.
Second, we have a journal article named “Implementation of Embedded Video Retrieve System Based on ARM9 Processor”. This article elaborates the basic principle of the OV511 camera to USB Bridge in Linus operating system. The video format used in the paper is the MPEG-4 video technology. The microcontroller used in the process is again S3C3440 which is a built-in the chip in the ARM9 processor. They used the Video4Linux, Application Programming Interface (API), for the processing of the captured video. Here is the graphical representation of the video capturing and transmission process in the proposed system. They linked the cameras with the ARM processors who collect the data stream from the cameras and then transmit it to the personal computer with V4L API.
This video capturing and transmission system was very efficient in the way they designed it. It realized the live streaming and real-time transmission of the captured video. This system had the stable performance, and it was not very costly too, but it needed some improvements in the image processing as image quality enhancement. Overall it was a great achievement in the line of real-time video surveillance and monitoring (Jyothi, Rao, & K.Hanuja, 1970).
Next, we have a video surveillance system based on the 3rd generation wireless mobile telecommunication technology. Wang Liwei, Yan Shi and Xu Yiqiu proposed a monitoring system named “A wireless video surveillance system based on the 3G network ”. In the system propped a video control server database is used to automatically capture and store the selected frames of the captured video stream. This system could transmit the captured video on the wired Ethernet network as well as transmit the data on the wireless 3G data network to a remote server. IEEE 802.11 is used as a media access control to implement the wireless communication in the frequency band of 900 MegaHertz. Below is the structure of data capturing and transmission in the system proposed (Liwei, Shi, & Yiqiu, 2010).
The main advantages of this 3G video surveillance system are the high speed and excellent quality data capturing and transmission, but this proposed system did not cater the malfunctions associated with the 3G network.
Everybody wants to be in the trusted and secure world, and constant monitoring and surveillance is the need of time. In this survey paper, we tried to cover some of the research and development in the field of video acquisition and surveillance. These systems have evolved with the evolution of control systems and micro controllers. This paper tried to cover the main structure of three proposed monitoring systems along with their advantages and disadvantages. Future is bringing the wireless world, so we are hoping for some fast, cheap, high definition, and reliable monitoring systems.
Jyothi, V., Rao, P. M. S., & K.Hanuja. (1970). IMPLEMENTATION OF EMBEDDED VIDEO RETRIEVE SYSTEM BASED ON ARM9. International Journal of Innovative Research in Computer and Communication Engineering, 1(8), 1659–1666.
Liwei, W., Shi, Y., & Yiqiu, X. (2010). A wireless video surveillance system based on the 3G network. In 2010 The 2nd Conference on Environmental Science and Information Application Technology (Vol. 2, pp. 592–595). https://doi.org/10.1109/ESIAT.2010.5568400
Zhou, D., & Tan, G. (2010). Network video capture and short message service alarm system design based on embedded Linux. In 2010 Sixth International Conference on Natural Computation (Vol. 7, pp. 3605–3608). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICNC.2010.5584185