PANASONIC CAMERAS DIVE DEEP INSIDE THE HAUS DES MEERES AQUARIUM.
Three Panasonic security cameras were used to live stream shark and fish tanks at the Haus des Meeres aquarium in Vienna.
“We chose the cameras mostly because we already used them for security reasons and were impressed with the quality.”
To offer an extended customer experience by allowing the aquarium to be accessible online.
Panasonic WV-S2231L cameras were used to create a live webcam link for their aquarium, producing high-quality images of the fish.
The Haus des Meeres aquarium used Panasonic WV-S2231L security cameras to live stream their shark and fish tanks via their website.
The aquarium wanted to improve their offering to customers by providing a live stream of the marine life. Haus des Meeres tested various brands when formulating the idea to produce images underwater and the complexity of the setting meant that there were a lot of factors to consider. For example, metal halide lamps, LEDs and various other light sources created a lot of reflection on the glass, meaning the camera had to counteract the changes in light to create a high-quality image.
“One of the most important things is the light,” explains Philipp Heinzl, marketing at Haus des Meeres Aquarium. “We chose the cameras mostly because we already used them for security reasons and were impressed with the quality. We had tried other camera brands but they were all having issues with the light which is why we chose Panasonic. It has high dynamic range on account of its intelligent auto features and is able to perform really well in these extreme circumstances.”
“There are natural halogen lights in the aquarium, about 50 HZ, so when you use a normal camera you get a flickering effect. I took one picture using the super dynamic function and one without and on the latter you can see the light reflecting from the glass from the outside, it makes it difficult to see.”
The texture of the water creates floating particles which the camera has to adapt to and respond to very quickly. “In the aquarium there is a lot of plankton swimming around in the water and they are also reflecting light so it means the cameras have to react very fast.” The Intelligent Auto (iA) feature on the WV-S2231L monitors scene dynamics and motion to adjust key camera settings automatically and in real-time reducing distortion such as motion blur on the moving marine life.
"If we were using other cameras that produce two or three times the data rate that that the Panasonic cameras are using then it would be quite a problem for our network, it would cause delays and issues.”
Haus des Meeres managed to install a system that is stable, water-proof and produces high-quality imagery to entertain customers both at home and inside the Zoo. The idea is that an extension of the experience can be realised, using technology to offer something more to the customer to remain competitive.
The founding turtle named "Puppi" can also be watched from time to time via the cameras. “We wanted to show website visitors what the tanks look like, explains Philipp. "Puppi is very famous in Austria, our mayor spent some time taking care of her and she is loved by people. We didn’t expect the webcam to be so popular, we were expecting around 200 views per day but right now we have 1000-2000 views, a lot more than we expected."
“The low data rate makes it possible for us to stream online to the website because we have up to 26 cameras which are all streaming video data through our network," says Philipp. "If we were using other cameras that produce two or three times the data rate than the Panasonic cameras then it would be quite a problem for our network, it would cause delays and issues.”
“We chose the cameras mostly because we already used them for security reasons and were impressed with the quality."
The live camera link is available every day, from 9am until 6pm, offering visitors an exclusive look into the 300,000 litre shark tank on two webcams. “At 6pm every day we have to shut down the streaming service and a local retirement home sent me an email to say that they watch the screens all day and have been asking if the cameras are coming back so I have to promise it will be on the next day.”
Outside of the aquarium, the camera link also provides a 360 degree view of some of Vienna’s landmarks from the roof. Sights such as the former flak tower (Leitturm), Milenium Tower and DC Tower are all visible on the livestream.
Haus des Meeres were impressed with the cameras having already used them for security purposes. “We had really great support from Panasonic and we have a good distributor in Austria who provide a great service. We already use the Panasonic security cameras in other areas throughout the aquarium, for example at the cashier's desk and the security area. We are happy that Panasonic security systems are very stable and not vulnerable to hacking.”