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Electronic Surveillance Products

To Catch a Criminal

Patricia Evans

Recently, my husband returned home from work to find that our X-box gaming area looked different. The controllers were not in their original places and all of the cords were pulled out. I assumed our new puppy had gotten into the cords and played with them, pulling all of the components out of place. My husband did not agree and began to walk around the neighborhood asking the kids that lived nearby if they had seen anything. Sure enough, they confirmed what he had suspected; one of the neighborhood boys had snuck into our house through the doggy door and taken the X-box. The children in the neighborhood, all good friends with my son, immediately insisted that he replace the X-box and threatened to tell on him if he did not. We currently have a security system, but do not enable the motion sensors because we have pets that could easily set the sensors off. This recent development made it clear that we need to augment our security system so that should something like this happen again, we can be sure we have the evidence needed to catch the one responsible for the crime. My husband and I discussed enabling the motion sensors but leaving our pets outside during the hot summer months would not be good for their health, so we decided to check into home security cameras.

An internet search resulted in many hits for home security cameras. Evidently this problem is quite common and more people are arming themselves against criminals in this way. My husband had heard about the X-10 security cameras so I decided to check there first. The X-10 internet site had many cameras to choose from and even had package deals. The package I found most interesting was the Ultimate 4 Camera Mega System listed on the website. The package includes a total of 4 cameras with different capabilities. 2 cameras operate well in low light, one camera provides an instant on capability, so that there is no warm up time for the camera, and the last camera is the instant on camera plus a wide angle lens. Included with the cameras are various components, such as motion sensors that will turn the cameras on only when motion is detected, and computer software so that the cameras can be hooked up to the computer and monitored remotely via the internet. The entire system can be purchased from their website for $349.00. (Ultimate 4 Camera Mega System)

More and more manufacturers are marketing security cameras to the average person. "Declining price points, as well as new, streamlined designs are making more home owners able to consider security cameras []"(Myer). The primary use is to monitor the home and business and capture criminals in the act of perpetrating a crime. Other uses are mentioned by the x-10 website, such as monitoring babies to be sure they are safe in their rooms and monitoring the front door for safety before opening it to a stranger. One Article I found in the Arizona Republic reported on nanny-cams. A woman named Amy Bowes, of Queen Creek, who provides day care in her home purchased a camera system so that her clients would be able to use the internet to monitor their children from work. She said she "[]wanted the camera to give parents a feeling of control"(Haller).

Before making a final decision, I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing anything, or buying something that wouldn't give me the proper resolution when it came time to take a video tape to the police. In the course of my research I found a short video clip on the Do It Yourself Network that provided a critique of security cameras in the home. According to the segment, some things to consider include covert versus overt camera systems and low light capabilities. The segment also mentioned that most cameras today have very good resolution, but like all things, you get what you pay for.("Home Security") I hadn't thought about low light capabilities myself, but who's to say that someone won't come into our home when we are gone at night? A camera without low-light capabilities would not capture a clear image of the perpetrator, so it's obvious that this is definitely something that needs to be considered.

The X-10 Ultimate 4 Camera Mega System, in my opinion, provides all of the necessary components to cover the interior of the home. The website also provides a clear privacy policy which includes a brief history of their company and their years in business. ("Privacy and Security Questions") The ease of installation and wireless capabilities make this system ideal for our home and we will most likely purchase the system in the near future and have plans to augment the system further to include an outdoor camera/floodlight system, which can also be purchased from the X-10 website.

Works Cited

Haller, Sonja. "Sitter Surveillance." The Arizona Republic. 20 Mar. 2006. 1 Apr 2006. http://www.azcentral.com/families/articles/0319fam_nannycam.html

"Home Security." [videoclip] Home Tech. DIY Network. Knoxville. Episode HTC-105. http://www.diynet.com/diy/home_improvement/article/0, 2037, DIY_13954_2273253, 00.html

Myer, Tedra. "Security Camera Makers Gaze at Home Uses." TWICE: This Week in Consumer Electronics. 3 Apr. 2000 Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Glendale Community College Library Media Center, Glendale AZ. 1 Apr. 2006.

"Ultimate 4 Camera Megasystem." X-10.com. 1 Apr 2006. http://www.x10.com/products/xx20a_sp_knv_fb249_ps1208.html

X-10.Com. "Privacy and Security Questions." 2 Apr. 2006. http://www.x10.com/support/faq_privacy.html

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