Google Cloud Integration with ZistosHD Pole Camera Systems

One of the design objectives for the new ZistosHD Pole Camera System was to provide a simple way to remotely share recorded images and videos. Traditionally this was accomplished by offloading images and videos onto a computer by either removing the system’s SD memory card or using a USB cable to transfer files. While the files reside on the computer, they can be emailed to the specific individuals for review. This process works, but we were hoping to come up with a mechanism that would provide faster access to the files for those who may be situated in remote locations.

To achieve this desired result, we utilized Google Cloud services along with the ZistosHD Pole Camera System’s dedicated imaging application. A Google Cloud account needs to be set up in advance. The ZistosHD tablet normally connects to a dedicated network created by the system’s handle. Following the Google account creation, the ZistosHD tablet can be configured to access a secondary network with internet access. This network can be a local WiFi network used in an office, facility, or even a WiFi based cell modem. Once setup is complete, all that needs to be done to upload images and videos to your Google account is simply turning off the ZistosHD pole camera with the tablet still powered on.

When the pole camera is turned off, the tablet will automatically connect to the local secondary network. It will then begin syncing the images and videos to your Google account. Once the sync is complete, just turn the handle back on and you are instantaneously ready to continue using the system to inspect, surveil, or search. The time for this process to complete will vary and depends on the amount of data, along with the bandwidth of the network connection.

With this process, anyone with access – and only those with access – to your secure Google account can access your photos and videos anywhere with an internet connection. This Google Cloud account can also act as an archive for your collection of videos and images that can be accessed from anywhere.

The ZistosHD products can now share and archive images and videos anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection by just connecting a Google account to our system tablet. This solution facilitates image sharing with anyone/anywhere, and it is accomplished with a single push of a button.

Selecting the Proper Telescoping Pole Camera Design

An integral part of all ZistosHD portable video systems is the telescoping pole on which our cameras are fastened.  Our poles are offered in two styles  – manual positioning and motorized positioning:

Manual Positioning:

Our “Friction Hinge” design provides for the end of the pole to be positioned manually at an angle of +/- 120 degrees. While easily bent, the hinge maintains the desired angle with a holding force that is strong enough to maintain the camera position, but it still allows the position of the camera to be adjusted by “nudging” the assembly against a stationary object or structure. The entire pole can be rotated to allow the camera to pan 360 degrees around an area. The friction hinge is protected with a rubber boot that prevents dirt and debris from entering the assembly. This design is best suited for an open environment, or when the access / entry point of the area to be inspected is large enough to accommodate the size of the camera assembly. It is also best used where the camera tilt position does not need to be continually adjusted. The advantages of this pole design are that it is usually lower in cost, uses less battery power, and is lighter in weight than the motorized poles.

Motorized Positioning:

The camera angle of our motorized pole is controlled remotely using the keypad on the pole handle or using the touchscreen display on the included tablet. The camera can be positioned at an angle of +/- 120 degrees at a speed of articulation controlled by the user.  The gearhead motor is designed with a special slip-clutch that protects the motor against mechanical shock, if the motor is back driven by a camera head being pushed back when mounted to the motorized assembly. Like the above friction hinge pole, the motorized pole can be rotated to allow the camera to pan 360 degrees. The advantages of this design are that it allows inspection of areas with narrow openings that only allow the camera to be inserted in its smallest footprint orientation (usually 0 degrees, positioned straight); or when the application requires inspection of a broad area and constant adjustments to the camera position are required.

Problems with 360 Degree Video Pole Cameras:

There are some systems that are available from other manufacturers, which use poles that offer no articulation. The reason for this is that they use cameras that provide 360-degree imaging and claim that no panning of the camera is required. This in practice is problematic because of several issues that impact image quality to a significant extent. One of the main problems is that generating even illumination in a dark area is not easily achieved. This creates dark areas in the inspection location and limits the image details that can be observed by the inspector. The ZistosHD product line uses traditional camera optics on their cameras. The traditional video cameras used in the ZistosHD system produce a bright beam of light that is bore-sighted with the field of view of the camera and will always produce a usable image regardless of orientation. The other issue has to do with image resolution and zoom capabilities. The 360-degree cameras are limited to using only digital zoom using software processing. Digital zoom reduces the resolution of an image when you zoom in. This means that the bigger the image gets on your screen; the less detail is observable. The ZistosHD systems have optical zoom cameras available that allow the user to zoom into image details without losing any image resolution. In addition, ZistosHD offers thermal imaging options, which are not available with 360 degree systems.

ZistosHD poles are lightweight, carbon fiber and are available in lengths from 2’ to 30’. The sections that telescope in and out can be locked into position with collars that are turned by hand. All ZistosHD camera heads and pole are interchangeable, so a system can be equipped with different add-ons and attachments to address varied application needs.

Whatever your application – tactical surveillance, urban search and rescue, vehicle/cargo search, or industrial inspection – please call us for more information or to set up a no-obligation in-person or virtual product demonstration.