A closed-circuit television camera can produce images or recordings for surveillance or other private purposes. Cameras can be either video cameras, or digital stills cameras. Walter Bruch was the inventor of the CCTV camera. The main purpose of a CCTV camera is to capture light and convert it into a video signal. Underpinning a CCTV camera is a CCD sensor (charge-coupled device). The CCD converts light into an electrical signal and then signal processing converts this electrical signal into a video signal that can be recorded or displayed on the screen.
Did you know that the first home security system was invented by a Black nurse? Meet Marie Van Brittan Brown. Although she was a full-time nurse, she recognized the security threats to her home and devised a system that would alert her of strangers at her door and contact relevant authorities as quickly as possible. Before security systems became a fixture in homes, an African-American nurse Mary Van Brittan Brown, devised an early security unit for her own home. She spent many nights at home alone in Queens, New York while her husband was away, and felt unsafe with high rates of crime in her neighborhood. On top of that, police were unreliable and unresponsive. So she created a device that would help put her mind at ease
Her original invention consisted of peepholes, a camera, monitors, and a two-way microphone. The finishing touch was an alarm button that, when pressed, would immediately contact the police. Her patent laid the groundwork for the modern closed-circuit television system that is widely used for surveillance, home security systems, push-button alarm triggers, crime prevention, and traffic monitoring. She added other features to the system, including a microphone to speak to anyone at the door, a button to unlock the door, and a button to contact the police. She and her husband took out a patent for the system in the same year, and they were awarded the patent three years later in 1969. Home security systems commonly used today took various elements from her design.
Marie Van Brittan Brown Biography
Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 – February 2, 1999) was a nurse and an innovator. In 1966, she invented a video home security system along with her husband Albert Brown, an electronics technician. In the same year, they applied for a patent for their innovative security system, which was granted in 1969. Brown was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York; she died there at the age of 76 in 1999.
Marie Van Brittan Brown’s father was born in Massachusetts and her mother was from Pennsylvania. Both were African-American. Brown and her husband lived at 151-158 & 135th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She worked as a nurse and her husband was an electrician, so they did not always have normal hours or simultaneously work. Her mother, father, and grandmother all had the nickname “Dee Dee”. She didn’t have any siblings. Marie and Brown had two children. Their daughter, followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a nurse and inventor. Brown passed away on February 2, 1999 at the age of seventy-six.
Invention (home security system)
Inspired by the prolonged length of time it took the police to arrive in her neighbourhood, Brown invented the first home security system. Her work hours were not the standard 9am – 5pm, and the crime rate in their neighbourhood in Queens was very high. At the time, Brown was forty-years old and spent many nights without her husband at home due to his work hours.
Marie started her invention by creating three peepholes in the door to provide access for tall and average height people along with her children. The next step was setting up a camera that could adjust from peephole to peephole to allow people inside the house to look outside to see who was there. Marie wanted to find a way to view who was outside the house from any room and decided a wireless television system would work best. To do this, she used a radio-controlled wireless system that could stream the video to any television in the house. Along with the video system, Marie and her husband created a two-way microphone system that would allow for communication between the family and the person at the door.
On August 1, 1966, Marie and her husband submitted a patent application for her invention. It would be the first patent of its kind, and her husband’s name was below hers. The patent was granted by the government on December 2, 1969, and four days later, the New York Times ran an article about her invention closed-circuit television camera
At first, the invention was difficult to sell to homebuilders because the cost of implementation was so high. The Browns initially decided to build it in their own home hoping that would spark interest in home builders. She also created a system to unlock the door remotely. Marie knew this would only help them know who was at the door or attempting to enter the home but would not improve the emergency response time. Knowing that the police or security response was slow she decided that there must be a quicker way for them to alert the authorities. To do so she invented a system that contacted police and emergency responders with just the tap of a button. She and her husband cited other inventors in their patent, such as Edward D. Phiney and Thomas J. Reardon. Even now, over fifty years later, her invention is still being used by smaller businesses and living facilities.
Although the system was originally intended for domestic uses, many businesses began to adopt Brown’s system given its efficacy. Brown was recognised for her innovation and received an award from the National Science Committee, officially making her a part of “an elite group of African-American inventors and scientists.” Brown was quoted in the New York Times as saying that with her invention “a woman alone could set off an alarm immediately by pressing a button, or if the system were installed in a doctor’s office, it might prevent holdups by drug addicts.”
The invention was the first closed-circuit television security system and is the predecessor to modern home systems today. It was the foundation for video monitoring, remote-controlled door locks, push-button alarm triggers, instant messaging to security providers and police, as well as two-way voice communication. Brown’s invention has led to the creation of many new home security systems that rely on video systems, remote door locks, and quick emergency response actions. These systems have become the leading security for homes and small businesses all over the world. The fame of Brown’s device also led to the more prevalent closed-circuit television camera CCTV surveillance in public areas. closed-circuit television camera
The effects of Brown’s home security system cannot be understated, as her initial invention was the foundation of most home security systems that are around today. She was recognized in the New York Times and received an award from the National Scientists Committee for her work. As more home security systems came to the market, Brown’s initial invention became even more influential. Her invention was cited in at least 32 future patent applications. Unfortunately, after her successful patent application in 1969, the media coverage of her product ceased. The home security business is expected to be at least a $1.5B business and is expected to triple by 2024. However, this is growth Brown will not be able to profit from closed-circuit television camera
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