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Thermal imaging cameras are gaining in popularity in Africa, because the cost of these kinds of cameras are coming down, whilst the number of usage applications for these devices are going up.

Thermal imaging cameras record images of the infra-red radiation (heat) being emitted by the skin to determine threats. The image produced by these cameras consists of a range of colors, with hotter areas represented in red, cooler areas appearing in blue and lukewarm areas in orange or yellow for instance.

These cameras have a number of advantages over conventional CCTV security cameras including being able to detect threats in extremely low light (or even complete darkness), and during unfavorable weather conditions like heavy fog, dust, excessive glare from the sun, or thick vegetation in the area being surveyed. In addition, thermal cameras provide a much clearer image compared to conventional imaging solutions and have a considerably longer threat detection range when compared to lower resolution surveillance cameras that make use of conventional optics.

This makes thermal imaging cameras particularly appealing within the property security sector such as within housing- and golf estates, as well as businesses such as a car park or train station for instance where long perimeter fences are used.

“Despite an entry-level thermal imaging camera costing in the region of KSh. 249,000, the overall return on investment comes across in the total cost of a company’s security solutions. This, as low cost thermal cameras can cover long distances of between 300 and 400 meters, whereas a company would need up to eight conventional surveillance cameras to cover the same area at an inferior image quality with devices that are more susceptible to a range of environmental factors and conditions,” says Roy Alves, Regional Business Development Manager for Axis Communications.