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The Office surveillance video

Published by Dan on November 4, 2009 10:17 AM

If you watch television on Thursday nights, odds are you caught this remarkable scene from last week's episode of The Office:

Once you're done guffawing and knee-slapping, let's take a closer look at this surveillance setup. What we have here is a standard PTZ camera on patrol (or tour) mode, monitoring a koi pond in the lobby of a large office building. The koi pond might be unique, but the use of video surveillance isn't.

Many office buildings have security cameras installed in entry areas and lobbies as a way to capture footage of all individuals who enter and leave over the course of the day. This footage can be extremely valuable for identification purposes, and for analyzing specific incidents.

In this particular incident involving Michael Scott (he's the guy who takes a dip in the koi pond), the video images could prove quite handy if, say, a liability claim were to be made. The office would be able to prove that Scott was paying more attention to his Blackberry than the curious, yet highly visible, body of water in his pathway.

From a setup standpoint, it could be argued that a touring PTZ camera is not the best strategy for monitoring this lobby. Notice how the camera moves back and forth, occasionally leaving blind spots on one side of the room or the other. A more effective solution might feature two fixed cameras providing full views of both the entry and the reception area at all times.

There are many things we can glean from this surveillance video, but the most important one is this: if your office doesn't have its own koi pond, you've yet to make it in this world.

Learn more about video surveillance for office buildings...