control systems. Braddahead's first product, Second Sight, is a CCTV system built around Linux that launched Sep. 10, 2003. We contacted BraddaHead's
CTO Pete Diamond and Senior Software Engineer Alex Bennee to find out more technical details about Second Sight (SS); and as a bonus, came away with
lots of great insights about strategic operating system selection (i.e., real-time vs. not, proprietary vs. free, vendor-supported vs. roll-your-own).
What's it do?
At its most basic, SS captures, digitizes, and compresses analog TV signals from multiple sources in real-time, storing the digitized video to disk
and building a database of when and where the video was captured. Recorded video can then be reviewed locally, while still capturing and recording new
video, or streamed over a network.
BraddaHead claims SS provides a full range of CCTV/Security functionality, including motion detection (the system monitors images for changes in light
levels that might indicate movement), alarm integration, single channel audio recording, pan-tilt-zoom camera control, and more.
According to Diamond, key features include support for the new JPEG2000 image compression standard (which, he says, has many attractive features for
security applications), SNMPv3 support (plus documented MIB) for secure authenticated communications in a managed network environment, a wide range of
I/O ports and options, and -- of course -- Linux 2.4.20+ providing a stable, open operating system.