Development Partners recently installed a webcam on the Inverness Campus for Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Given the importance of the Inverness Campus project to the future Highland economy we are using the camera to capture time-lapse footage that will provide a priceless historical record of the construction period for future generations to look back on.
This is a one off opportunity to record, for posterity, the process of turning 220 acres of farmland into an all singing, all dancing, modern, 21st century, Further and Higher Education establishment.
The Inverness campus project will offer future Highland generations the prospect of receiving a first class, life changing educational experience without having to leave the region as well as attracting thousands of students, over the next few years, to visit the Highland area to continue their education. What a potential turn-around from the decades when the Highlands and Islands exported the cream of our young talent to the South, never to return in many cases!
But back to the project....
The camera is high quality, and is capable of producing HD quality video at 30 frames per second but we were faced with the issue of not having access to a robust broadband connection on site.
But here at Development Partners we are inventive!! To overcome this thankfully decreasing obstacle we are using a dual bonded Sim, Wi-Fi router that employs the 3G network. This is not generally available consumer technology at the moment but should increasingly be a way forward for businesses looking to either remotely operate and control kit or, just to communicate in those places where usable broadband access is still compromised.
Using this technology allows us to ‘webcast’ the images from the camera for access by the public while simultaneously streaming images to our server for storage and use in the future time-lapse video. The camera is currently refreshing twice per minute which provides us with 15 to 20,000 images per month. As said earlier the camera is capable of 30 frames per second rate so is currently operating way below its capability but, when we can get access to broadband, we can up the image rate for live viewing to full video and just set the system to store occasional frames for timelapse using the existing kit.
Using this technology is extremely exciting. We now have relatively few places where we cannot webcast live. All we need is power so with use of a small (muffled) generator we can operate anywhere that has reasonable 3G access, your garden, the top of a mountain or that special place with the memorable view. How good is that?