When Were Security Cameras Invented: Historical Insights

From the earliest forms to the sophisticated systems we rely on today, security cameras have significantly shaped our approach to safety. But have you ever wondered, when were security cameras invented?

Discovering when security cameras were first developed isn't just about pinning down a date; it's about understanding a technological revolution. Each advancement in camera technology has brought us closer to a safer, more monitored world.

In this blog, we will explore the intriguing history of security cameras, from their inception to the technological innovations that have propelled their popularity. We'll also provide expert recommendations for choosing the right security camera to meet your needs, ensuring you stay informed and protected in an ever-evolving digital age.

looking at security camera

When Were Security Cameras First Invented?

When were security cameras invented? Did you know that the first modern security camera was invented in 1966 by Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband in New York? They designed a system that used a sliding camera to peek through door peepholes, projecting images onto a monitor, revolutionizing home security.

But the roots of surveillance technology go back even further. The very first CCTV system was developed in 1942 by German engineer Walter Bruch to monitor rocket launches. These early systems were basic, and focused solely on live monitoring without any recording capabilities.

How Did Security Cameras Evolve?

Security cameras have come a long way since their inception in the mid-20th century. Here's a quick timeline on its evolution.

The Beginnings

  • 1930s: During WW2, German inventor Walter Bruch created the first prototype CCTV camera, used for monitoring V2 rocket launches from a military bunker.
  • 1940s: The US army adopted this technology for monitoring atomic bomb tests.
  • 1950: Portable movie cameras used for covert surveillance, employing hand-cranked film reels for discreet operations.

Public and Commercial Use

  • 1960: The Thai Royal Family's visit to England saw the use of surveillance cameras for public safety in Trafalgar Square.
  • 1965: Police started using surveillance cameras for public monitoring.
  • 1969: Marie Van Brittan, an African American inventor, created the first home security system, which included peepholes and a sliding camera connected to a monitor.
  • 1970s: Commercial use of security cameras increased, particularly in banks and high-end retail stores.
  • 1976: Introduction of Charged Coupled Device (CCD) technology enabled low-light cameras, significantly enhancing nighttime surveillance.

Digital Advancements

  • 1990s: Digital multiplexing allowed multiple camera feeds to be displayed on a single monitor, revolutionizing video security.
  • 1996: Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) replaced VCRs, automatically compiling various video feeds and storing footage on SD cards, improving efficiency and storage.

Modern Innovations

  • 2000s: Network Video Recording (NVR) technology emerged, encoding footage in the camera and streaming it to NVR for storage via the internet, eliminating the need for physical data retrieval.
  • 2010s: CMOS camera sensors replaced CCD sensors, reducing power consumption and manufacturing costs.

Present Day

  • Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Cameras: These cameras offer 360° views by panning and tilting, reducing the need for multiple fixed cameras.
  • AI-powered Analytics: Modern security systems now include internal analytics for movement detection and AI systems capable of distinguishing between non-threatening objects and urgent security incidents, providing more effective monitoring.

Technological Innovation of Security Cameras

From when were security cameras invented, to the popularity of security cameras soared, it all thanks to remarkable technological advancements. Here are five key innovations:

High-Resolution Imaging

Modern security cameras now feature high-resolution capabilities, such as 4K and even 8K video quality. This allows for clearer images and finer details, crucial for identifying faces, license plates, and other important elements in security footage.

AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been integrated into security camera technology, enabling smart features like facial recognition, object detection, and unusual activity alerts. These cameras can differentiate between humans, vehicles, and animals, reducing false alarms and enhancing security monitoring.

Wireless and Remote Technologies

The rise of wireless security cameras has made installation and placement more flexible. Coupled with IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities, these cameras can be monitored and controlled remotely via smartphones or web interfaces, making it easier for users to keep an eye on their properties from anywhere in the world.

Night Vision Improvements

Advanced infrared (IR) night vision technology allows security cameras to capture clear video in low-light or no-light conditions. Some newer models use color night vision, enhancing the quality and detail of nighttime video footage.

Edge Computing

Edge computing technology processes data on the camera itself rather than relying on a central server. This not only speeds up data processing but also reduces bandwidth usage and enhances privacy by limiting the amount of data that needs to be transmitted over the network.

Security Camera Recommendations

Let’s delve into some specific security camera recommendations that cater to different needs and preferences, ensuring you find the perfect match for your security requirements:

1. SoloCam S230 (S40)

SoloCam S230

SoloCam S230 stands out as a top security camera due to its efficient solar-powered system, ensuring continuous operation with minimal sunlight. Its 2K resolution provides crystal-clear footage, and the on-device AI recording feature captures relevant events, enhancing security without extra costs.

Key Features:

  • Requires only 2 hours of sunlight daily for continuous power.
  • Ultra-clear video quality for detailed surveillance.
  • One-time purchase with no hidden costs.
  • Records only when a person is detected, reducing unnecessary footage.

2. eufy 4G LTE Cam S330

eufy 4G LTE Cam S330

The eufy 4G LTE Cam S330 is one of the best IP cameras, coming with advanced features and reliable performance. With seamless 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, you never lose access to your security feed. Its 4K color night vision camera offers crystal-clear images day and night, while the AI tracking and 360° viewing ensure comprehensive coverage of your surroundings.

Key Features:

  • 9,400 mAh battery with an upgraded solar panel for continuous power.
  • Auto-switches between 4G and Wi-Fi for uninterrupted access.
  • Compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
  • Clarity to identify details up to 30 feet away.
  • Detects and tracks people and vehicles with extensive motion range.

3. Blink Outdoor 4

Blink Outdoor Cam

The Blink Outdoor 4 ranks among the top security cameras because of its remarkable two-year battery life, advanced motion detection, and ability to identify individuals. Its 1080p HD live view, coupled with infrared night vision, ensures clear video footage day and night. The seamless integration with Alexa and easy setup make it a convenient choice for any home.

Key Features:

  • Crystal-clear video and night-time visibility.
  • Long-lasting power with AA lithium batteries.
  • Dual-zone motion sensors for faster alerts.
  • Alerts for human activity with optional Blink Subscription Plan.
  • Store events in the cloud or locally with the included Sync Module 2.
  • Control with voice commands via Alexa-enabled devices.

4. Wyze Cam v4

Wyze Cam v4

The Wyze Cam v4 is an exceptional choice, which features a superior 2.5K QHD resolution, ensuring every detail is captured with clarity. Its enhanced color night vision provides vivid images even in low light, while the IP65 weather resistance makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. With motion-activated spotlight and voice warning features, it significantly boosts your home's security.

Key Features:

  • Captures every detail with impeccable image quality.
  • See everything clearly, even in the darkest conditions.
  • Durable for both indoor and outdoor use.
  • Enhances security with an LED spotlight and voice prompts.
  • Clear communication through a powerful amplifier and updated microphone.
  • Seamlessly integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.

5. Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen)

Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen)

The Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen) excels in its exceptional 1080p HD video quality, versatile mounting options, and seamless integration with Alexa. It offers advanced features like Color Night Vision and Advanced Pre-Roll, ensuring you capture every crucial moment.

Key Features:

  • Crystal clear video quality for day and night monitoring.
  • See clearly in the dark with vibrant color details.
  • Records a few extra seconds before motion events for a complete picture.
  • Manually turn off the camera and mic for privacy with a simple swivel.
  • Get real-time notifications and choose specific areas to monitor.
  • Easy to place on a table or mount high with a swivel mount.


As we reflect on the question, when were security cameras invented? We see the remarkable journey from simple observation tools to complex, integral parts of modern security. These advancements promise even more innovative future developments. Security cameras, which started as basic surveillance aids, have evolved into sophisticated devices that enhance safety across the globe. Embracing the future, we can expect further enhancements that will continue to transform how we protect our properties and ensure public safety.


When Did Security Cameras Become Common?

Security cameras started becoming more common in the 1970s and 1980s. Initially, their use was predominantly in high-risk areas like banks and government buildings due to their high cost and complex maintenance. However, with technological advancements, particularly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the cost of video recording technology dropped significantly. This made security cameras more accessible to a broader range of uses, including small businesses and eventually private residences.

Did Security Cameras Exist In The 80s?

Yes, security cameras existed in the 80s. During this decade, security cameras were used primarily in public and commercial spaces for surveillance purposes. The technology was still somewhat primitive by today's standards, often involving bulky cameras connected to closed-circuit television systems (CCTV). The 1980s also saw the introduction of video cassette recording (VCR) technology, which allowed for the recording of footage, a significant advancement in security technology at the time.

What Is The Oldest Security Camera?

The oldest known security camera dates back to 1942. It was developed by German engineer Walter Bruch. This early CCTV system was used to observe the launch of V-2 rockets in Germany during World War II. These cameras were primarily used for monitoring purposes rather than security, but they laid the groundwork for the development of surveillance technologies.

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