What is a Camera as a Sensor?

Concepts and Definitions

General Information


Camera as a Sensor is when you use video input from a camera (which could be visible spectrum or it could be outside the visible spectrum, such as an infrared camera), and the purpose of the camera is not to send a live video stream back to the application, but instead to capture the video feed, use some type of edge computing (often machine learning) to interpret the information that is being captured by the camera, and then return small bits of sensor data instead of sending the whole video feed. For example, a visual spectrum camera is watching a parking lot and we want to know how many empty parking spaces there are in that parking lot. One camera could potentially see the entire parking lot and allow us to quickly count and transmit the number of cars or empty spaces in the parking lot instead of putting a sensor on every single parking space. Another example would be an infrared camera that is pointed at a particular piece of machinery. It could watch for hot spots on that machine and only transmit an alarm if that machine hit a temperature threshold that was set by in the application. Instead of putting a bunch of temperature sensors all over this machine, one infrared camera can detect the temperature at all 73 places on the machine and send an alert when any one of those 73 places gets too hot.

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