The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens AG at Test Stand VII in Peenemünde, Nazi Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets. The noted German engineer Walter Bruch was responsible for the technological design and installation of the system.
In the U.S. the first commercial closed-circuit television system became available in 1949, called Vericon.
The earliest video surveillance systems involved constant monitoring because there was no way to record and store information. The development of reel-to-reel media enabled the recording of surveillance footage. These systems required magnetic tapes to be changed manually, which was a time consuming, expensive and unreliable process, with the operator having to manually thread the tape from the tape reel through the recorder onto an empty take-up reel. Due to these shortcomings, video surveillance was not widespread. VCR technology became available in the 1970s, making it easier to record and erase information, and use of video surveillance became more common.
During the 1990s, digital multiplexing was developed, allowing several cameras to record at once, as well as time lapse and motion-only recording. This increased savings of time and money which then led to an increase in the use of CCTV.
Recently CCTV technology has been enhanced with a shift toward Internet-based products and systems, and other technological developments.
In September 1968, Olean, New York was the first city in the United States to install video cameras along its main business street in an effort to fight crime. Another early appearance was in 1973 in Times Square in New York City.
During the 1980s video surveillance began to spread across the country specifically targeting public areas. This proves to be a cheaper way to deter crime compared to increasing the size of the police departments. Some businesses begin to use video surveillance. From the mid-1990s on, police departments across the United States install an increasing number of cameras in various public spaces including housing projects, schools, and public parks departments. CCTV later become common in banks and stores to discourage theft, by recording evidence of criminal activity. In 1998, 3,000 CCTV systems were in use in New York City. A study by Nieto in 2008 found many businesses in the United States had invested heavily in video surveillance technology to protect products and promote safe workplace and consumer environments. A nationwide survey of a wide verify of companies found that 75 percent utilize CCTV surveillance. In private sector CCTV surveillance technology is operated in a wide variety of establishments such as in industry, manufacturing, retailing, financial, insurance, banking, transportation and distribution, utilities, communications, health care, and hotels, motels.
- Crime prevention
- Body worn
- Industrial processes
- Traffic monitoring
- Transport safety
- Sporting events
- Monitor employees
- Use in schools
- Criminal use
- Home security
There are an estimated 350 million surveillance cameras worldwide as of 2016 compared with about 160 million in 2012.