British firm Jabbakam has announced a service that allows small businesses to set up CCTV camera networks that can be shared and accessed from any internet location.
Companies can set up the IP cameras on their own networks and access live feeds through the web. Camera details can be shared with others to form groups and create what the firm called a "high-tech neighbourhood watch".
Jabbakam chief executive James Wickes explained that the technology was developed as an easy way set up and manage his own CCTV network by using the rise in IP technology.
"By being able to set up networks that are either completely hidden, private but open to those with access or completely public, the public or small business can operate systems that offer a more dedicated and useful means of providing security," he said.
"Furthermore, with the rise of smartphone devices, the technology can alert users when something is actually happening on the cameras through SMS alerts and images, so that they can react in real time if anything is happening."
Wickes played down accusations that the system could lead to a surveillance state, arguing that giving citizens and businesses more power is better than letting the authorities control surveillance technology.
"I've always thought that CCTV is a technology that can have a lot of positive impacts but has a bad name because of the authorities. People always run things better than the government or big business, and security systems are no exception," he said.
Cameras are supplied through manufacturer Y-Cam which will automatically connect to the Jabbakam network via the home network using hard-line, Wi-Fi or 3G.
Jabbakam will charge per gigabyte for bandwidth, server storage and SMS alerts, while camera subscriptions will cost around £5 per month per camera.
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