Sony Electronics and Motorola today announced two Sony IPELA cameras that can be integrated into a Motorola MotoMesh network with a new wireless modem card.

“Before, when we wanted to mesh-enable IP cameras, we needed to connect a piece of mesh hardware to it,” said a Motorola spokeswoman. “Now we simply take our MEA 2.4 GHz card, or our MotoMesh 4.9 GHz card, and we insert it into the PCMCIA slot of these IP cameras, and they automatically become part of the mesh network.”

As such, the mesh-enabled camera serves a router/repeater that extends the coverage and capacity of the mesh network, the Motorola spokeswoman said. Not only does the new solution result in a sleeker look for the camera, it draws less power than cameras with external modems, which combines with a reduced hardware cost to cut down total deployment costs by as much as 50%, she said.

“Previously, if you wanted to mesh-enable a camera, you needed to attach an … enhanced wireless router, and the cost of those is a few thousand dollars,” the spokeswoman said. “Now, inserting a mesh PC card costs just a few hundred dollars.”

Unveiled at the ISC West show in Las Vegas, the mesh-enabled Sony IPELA SNC-RX550N/W-MT and SNC-RX550N/B-MT cameras will be sold by Motorola as its mesh camera video networking system designed for security and video surveillance. The cameras are designed for outdoor environments and can be deployed for fixed or mobile applications.

The cameras let personnel remotely control options such as 26-times zoom function, a 360-degree "endless" pan and tilt from 0 to 90 degrees and includes Sony’s Real Shot Manager software. The full-range pointing capabilities can be masked to create privacy zones with spherical (three-dimensional) tracing, according to Sony.

"By having the SNC-RX550N/W-MT and B-MT cameras use Motorola's mesh-enabled wireless modem cards, the cost to deploy these networks is reduced dramatically," said Ken LaMarca, general manager of Sony's security group, in a prepared statement. "The cameras' advanced features, coupled with Motorola's mobile mesh-networking technology, bring surveillance to police forces where they need it most—in the field."

An IPELA camera with a mesh-enabled PC card will cost about $5800, Motorola’s spokeswoman said. Requests from customers with existing IPELA cameras wanting to mesh-enable the devices with the PCMCIA card will be considered on a case-by-case basis, she said.