CCTV is everywhere now, in fact the UK has one of the highest ratios of cameras to people in the world. But how did we get to here? Who invented the CCTV camera and why?
Let me explain…
In 1942 German scientists were working to perfect rocket technology, and in particular, they wanted a rocket engine that would be powerful enough to launch missiles.
Of course, in order to perfect something, you need to be able to watch how it currently operates, see if it’s going wrong and then fix it. If you’ve ever seen a rocket launch, you’ll notice that they’re very quick and very hot. Staying close enough to a rocket during launch in order to examine it isn’t really an option, so something had to be done!
Walter Bruch was the man tasked with solving this particular conundrum and in doing so he created a whole industry which had major implications on the world as we know it (and now see it) that has grown year on year and shows no sign of slowing down yet.
His solution was to create a camera that would allow the scientists to watch a rocket’s launch from a safe distance. This was a revelation as they could now, at last, watch as if they were right next to them, but without the obvious danger.
Technology was a little basic back then, so the camera was low quality and all it did was transmit back to a monitor. The scientists could watch the launch in real time but they couldn’t record anything.
When reel to reel tape eventually came along, it gave them a few more options and at last they could record what was going on , but it was a fiddly exercise and it wouldn’t work at a consumer, or even business level. With these limitations, it would be a long time before CCTV would become mainstream.
However, in the 1970s the VCR became commonplace, and it didn’t take long before someone realised you could connect the two. Very soon, cheap, effective and higher quality CCTV began to take off and soon it was cost effective for use in homes.
And where are we now? Well, the gadget explosion of the last decade has seen cameras shrink and recording quality get better and better. With wireless technology, you don’t need huge reels of cable between your camera and the viewing station, you can simply connect with your iPhone!
But better still, not only can you record more footage than ever before, you can also set your camera to trigger only if something is happening. No longer do you have to record hours of nothing!
And rest assured with the latest camera technology, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to install or use them.