History of Recording Simulation
When the "Safe Hospital" (four simulated hospital rooms surrounding a central nurse's station) was established, the School contracted to have seven Axis IP-based cameras installed in those rooms and three other larger rooms nearby. The software installed by the contractors was Axis Camera Station (ACS), version 3.11. Designed for security and surveillance, ACS worked surprisingly well with a great live view of each room, the ability to start or stop recording in multiple rooms easily, and the ability to zoom in or out digitially with just a click.
Of course, there were drawbacks. We were running the "server" (just a desktop PC) with no RAID or redundancy for our recordings--if that one hard drive failed, everything could be lost. We later moved the cameras from our physically private Ethernet to the UTC network and began using a Virtual Server across campus which was both more powerful and redundant. Unfortunately, some problems persisted:
- Unexplained loss of audio in some rooms, which tended to move about like a ghost. Room C had constant issues, so we swapped cameras around, upgraded the cameras, switched ports in the switch, all to no avail. Then Room C worked and the ghost moved to Room D.
- Extremely cumbersome viewing from anywhere from our own building. For security and privacy, we only allow our IP cameras to be visible in specific locations. In order for faculty to view and evaluate recordings off-campus, a cumber export had to be done, and the resulting file uploaded to YouTube (unlisted but still undercutting our desires for privacy).
- Sharing the video with just one student, except in an on-campus debrief, was likewise cumbersome.
As Axis upgraded the software to version 4.x and then 5.x, the application grew less useful to us, so we stayed with version 3, ultimately settling on 3.52. Beyond this the viewing options on the timeline did not work well for a situation in which every recording was stopped and started manually.
Over the years there was much talk about replacing the system, but the turn-key solutions were expensive--very expensive--and we did not even have a list of requirements to produce a RFP.