Fast startup & embedded video technology
At Lisden, we specialise in video technology. We have 15 years experience in developing firmware for video devices such as cameras and digital video recorders.
Sometimes you need to be quick off the mark…
Many of the video products we build, like security cameras, once powered up can stay running for years at a time. But some camera products need to start up on demand in response to an external sensor’s signal that the camera should start recording video. This approach preserves battery life and storage space by recording video only when necessary. So, a key requirement of these devices is that they start up as fast as possible. Put simply, if you’re starting to record video because a sensor has detected an event, you want the video to start recording as soon as possible, not when the event has finished.
Nowadays, most specialist processors designed for video cameras run Embedded Linux. A key advantage of this operating system is the wide availability of software, device drivers, applications and libraries. But there are downsides: it’s not uncommon to see 15 to 30 second startup times on some video processors based on Embedded Linux. Video startup with this kind of delay therefore results in key events going unrecorded.
Animal tracking technology: fast startup in action
At Lisden, we have worked extensively on animal-borne camera projects recording footage of animals’ movements and behaviour. Our video technology has travelled with whales, turtles and penguins. For these projects, fast startup is crucial for capturing video footage of significant events. Preserving battery life and storage capacity also allows cameras to function reliably over long periods of time and over long distances, including underwater.
Fast startup video solutions
Delivering solutions for any project means using the right tools for the job. So, at Lisden, we develop some projects using large operating systems like Embedded Linux, while selecting smaller, leaner Real Time Operating Systems for other projects. We even built our own Real Time Operating System, Atomthreads RTOS.
For a recent animal-borne camera project, we took a DaVinci DM368 camera, which took several seconds to boot using Embedded Linux, and built an entire replacement software stack for it based on the Atomthreads RTOS. The result was a startup time from power on to recording video in less than one second.
What next for fast startup video?
Currently at Lisden, we are continuing to work with partners on animal-tracking projects using our fast startup solutions. But the potential applications of fast startup video technology in industry, research and security are limitless.
Get in touch if you need video technology that’s quick off the mark.