Why Smart Video Displays May Not Be the Cleverest Choice

Why Smart Video Displays May Not Be the Cleverest Choice

Video systems have been key to improving situational awareness on the ground, air, and sea platforms for quite a few years now. Cameras and other sensors mounted on the exterior of the platform give operators critical visibility of their surroundings.

Some examples of this include:

  • Military armored vehicle drivers rely on video to navigate, detect threats, and identify targets.
  • Search and rescue teams rely on video to locate people in distress and operate rescue equipment.
  • Police rely on video to help track suspects on the move.
  • Border control agencies rely on video to monitor and secure borders.
  • Utility companies rely on video to monitor remote power and gas lines.

Originally, video systems were comprised only of a camera and a video display. However, increasingly sophisticated adversarial threats and advances in video technologies led to systems that include multiple sensors and displays and the need for computer processing capabilities to combine and effectively route and display obtained imagery. When computer processing is added, video systems can manipulate video feeds to enable video blending and stitching, and they can layer regular camera feeds with infrared and thermal imaging. In addition, they can display mapping, telemetry data, and image metadata along with video streams.

When these advances first came along, it seemed logical to add computer processing capabilities to the back of the display screen. At the time, an all-in-one solution simplified cabling and installation requirements compared to distributed systems with a separate computing component. As a result, smart video displays became popular and were widely deployed.

Why Smart Video Displays May Not Be the Cleverest Choice

System architecture with smart display technology

Since that time, technology has continued to evolve, and all-in-one video display and computing solutions no longer have an obvious advantage over simple, standalone displays. In many cases, a simple video display connected to a separate computing component is the better choice. As a result, it is critical for anyone evaluating video displays to thoroughly consider their requirements and understand the advantages and disadvantages of smart and simple displays before choosing a solution.

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