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VIDEO: Who's Watching You? Part 3: Big Business

NBC | September 14 2006

One of the most powerful weapons again terrorism -- post September 11, 2001 -- is also one of the most easily obtained.

It's not a bomb detector or a stun gun. Video cameras are often the tool of choice.

NBC 11 Technology Reporter Scott McGrew explored how the security industry is moving quickly to meet demand while lawmakers in Sacramento, Calif. and Washington D.C. are moving slowly to set the rules.

In a nondescript builiding in Silicon Valley engineers can be seen on surveillance cameras. What are they doing? Developing surveillance cameras.

The cameras are powered by state-of-the-art chips manufactured by Pixim Inc.

According to its Web site, Pixim has developed imaging technology and products that revolutionize the way video cameras capture and process images. Pixim's patented Digital Pixel System technology produces superior pictures under a wide variety of lighting conditions.

"You'll notice the color is very accurate," said Pixim's John Monti, vice president of sales and marketing, looking at an image produced by one of his company's cameras.

Pixim's chips power more than 1,000 surveillance cameras sold each week, in more than 50 countries.

Industry experts estimate that surveillance cameras are an annual $10 billion business.

Our projection is it will grow for the next few decades at least," Monti said.

There are no laws restricting sales -- at least not inside the United States. In the eyes of the law video cameras are all the same.

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