What Is Edge Computing and the Edge Controller?

Each LVT Unit has an edge controller. That’s great but what does it do?

Last Updated:
August 31, 2021
| ~
min Read
Noelle Baldwin
Marketing Content Manager
LiveView Technologies

Every unit from LiveView Technologies has the capability to function without traditional internet or communication links. This is possible because of some seriously cool people and their software engineering skills and what is called the edge controller.

What is the edge?

The edge refers to the outer fringe of a network. Its purpose is to preprocess data to save time and bandwidth, a process that can be very expensive even today as the availability of networks increases. Traditional edge computing consists of a headquarters where the main network is housed and branches that feed data back to headquarters. Today, edge computing still functions in a similar method, but now data can be housed and accessed on the cloud with relay centers feeding data directly to the cloud.

What is an edge controller?

Each LVT Unit has an edge controller inside of it. This controller still functions similar to traditional edge computing methods, but it is much smaller and more advanced. In LVT Units, it has three main purposes—to communicate between the trailer and the LVT Platform, to monitor and manage the health of the unit, and to pre-process data from the unit.

The first thing the edge controller does is to communicate between each feature (cameras, speaker, and lights) and the LVT Platform. It acts as a communication intermediary since all of the sensors and devices on the LVT Unit speak different protocols. This means when you want to manipulate your unit’s cameras or turn on the lights, you click on a button on your web browser. This click is transferred through the network to the unit, interpreted by the edge controller, and then your camera moves or the light flips on accordingly. The edge controller is almost like a conductor of an orchestra—telling which instruments to move when and where. Part of the brilliance of LVT’s product is how quickly the signal is sent, received, and interpreted. Our units respond almost instantly to any command you give from your computer or phone.

All of this comes together in the form of active deterrence, which plays a major role in LVT’s security solutions. The edge controller manages all of the lights, cameras, and speakers, not only when you tell it to through the LVT Platform, but also when the unit detects an intrusion. When this happens, the edge controller kicks into action directing the unit to play audio, turn on the lights, and take additional video recordings. The response varies on your preferences and settings, but the controller is what drives and manages it, whether that is turning on the lights or playing a prerecorded message. 

Second, the edge controller is responsible for monitoring and managing the health of each component on the LVT Unit. When something freezes or goes down, the edge controller can identify which component is malfunctioning and restart just that element. The controller independently manages power and setting configurations so it can manage the unit more efficiently. It also gathers more debugging information that helps with remote troubleshooting. This means you don’t have to send a repairman out to your remote unit just to restart the cameras or the lights.

Lastly, the edge controller helps identify which data requires human eyes and which does not. Security footage is an interesting asset because 99% of it never needs to be reviewed. Rather it is collected for that 1% when an incident does happen—when someone actually trespasses or steals from the property. So why have someone review the 99% when it literally shows nothing happening? That’s where the edge controller comes in. It preprocesses the video on the edge, so you don’t have to pay for hours of useless footage to be transferred from your unit to your computer. Rather, the edge controller collects all of the input from the cameras and speaker, translates it into one cohesive language, identifies threats according to parameters you help to define, and makes it available on the LVT Platform in a very user-friendly format. The recordings of incidents and alerts are automatically sent to the cloud, but in order to save bandwidth and high data costs 24/7 footage is stored on the unit unless specifically requested. This way the edge controller sends only the needed and requested footage to you.

As part of distinguishing what footage requires human eyes, the edge controller also helps reduce alert fatigue. Through intelligent filtering, the controller is able to identify when to notify you. Part of the genius of the edge controller is it can tell when an alert is a new alert versus a continuing alert. For example, if someone triggers the LVT Unit, you don’t want to receive dozens of notifications as they continue to cross the property. The edge controller recognizes the initial alert and the related subsequent alerts. It then compiles them into one alert, instead of many alerts.

What does this mean for your security?

While edge computing is not a new concept, LVT brings it specifically to security. Thanks to edge computing, LVT Units can literally go almost anywhere in the world from the top of a mountain to a busy construction site. The edge controller ensures that data transfer does not cost an arm and a leg and is instead efficient and simple for end users. It reduces unnecessary alerts to reduce alert fatigue and manages each deterrent factor on the LVT Units. Furthermore, the edge controller decreases the cost of ownership even more because it increases automated administration, field maintenance, and technical support. In short, the edge controller is the next big thing in security technology.

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