IP Video Security | from Nanny Cam to Surveillance Solutions

It’s amazing to think that it has been more than a dozen years since security professionals first started to hear about the benefits of IP, or network video. The ability to transmit video over the network enabled virtually anyone with a computer to view video footage from any location so long as they used a network camera with a unique IP address -the birth of IP Video Security.

The security market, and the general population, saw wide-scale deployment of web cameras and nanny cams. For parents, a nanny cam at a daycare provided a sense of comfort; it gave them a chance to check on little Johnny to see how his day was going. For the business owner away on a business trip, it enabled him to see in real-time if his employees were in the office working or taking a long lunch break.

Fast forward to today, and the IP video market has made significant gains since the network camera was first introduced. IP video surveillance solutions have gone from single camera installs and nanny camera usage to enterprise-wide systems leveraging the benefits of mega-pixel cameras and network video recorders handling several terabytes worth of surveillance data.

IP Video Security Migration

Like any good disruptive technology, IP video’s introduction to the market was marred by performance issues and greeted with general mistrust by security practitioners, who were wary of issues like security, reliability and efficacy. Countless small IP video firms looking to be first out of the gate were funded and then folded, stung by the early, immature iterations of the technology and the security market’s skepticism of this transformative technology.

Recognizing the current demands of customers as well as their future needs — whether they know them yet or not — has long been a delicate balance. It has been important to ensure that analog solutions, which are still used and in demand by large majority of customers, remain a mainstay of most of today’s video surveillance manufacturers. However, that support for analog must happen in tandem with the creation of a migration path from analog to IP, enabling security directors and other end users to make the shift at their own pace.

Tyco Security Products has embarked on that very mission, and you can read more about our shift to IP by reading a recent interview in Security Sales & Integration with Tyco’s Warren Brown, Director of Global Product Management: Legacy Provider Strives to be an IP Specialist.

What struggles do you have adopting an IP migration strategy?
Let us know in the comments section and maybe we can help.

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CCTV in Emerging Markets: Price or Quality is the big dilemma

Emerging Markets Are GrowingWhile mature market CCTV manufacturers in the United States and Europe are fighting to develop new products focusing in High Definition, Megapixel, Video Analytics, long-term warranty, etc., emerging markets (like Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific) CCTV purchases are 99% defined by price. That explains why Asian manufacturers succeed so well, not only in their internal markets but also exporting security products to countries with the same buying profile.

So, the big question is how can mature market manufacturers succeed in emerging markets? Following the river? Not exactly… lessons must be learned from the regional voice of customer and then the product portfolio adapted for those markets – definitely in this case the same products do not fit all.

But if price is a competitive advantage for products from Asia Pacific, it is possible to create some differentiators that make real differences for the customer and swing some advantage back to mature market manufacturers. Many times they are willing to pay more for the added benefits – local inventory (or quick delivery) and local warranty (or free warranties) are key differentiators, but product localization (language translation for user interface and technical documentation) also go a long way to making inroads.

Selling CCTV products in emerging markets is very challenging but not impossible – we just need to hear the voice of the market and deliver those differentiators.

Learn more about CCTV in YOUR Emerging Market with a FREE Consultation.

Do you do business in emerging markets, what other differentiators should be considered? Let us know in the Comments area below.

Video Analytics: Motion Based vs. Foreground/Background Separation

Most video analytics operate by simply detecting pixel changes or motion on the camera view. This is useful in low activity settings (like a perimeter fence) where not much happens and security personnel want to pay attention to every activity. However, in busy retail, simple motion-based analytics produce too many false positives. Users looking for when an item on a shelf moved will get hits for everyone who walked in front of that shelf.

In Foreground/Background Separation analytics the software analyzes the video and separates foreground and background motion, people vs. assets, and records those movements as different object types. So when a user wants to see when merchandise leaves the shelf, they do an asset search, looking only for background activity. This results in fewer false positives – getting you to the video you need faster.

Video Analytics RetailFor instance, a loss prevention Investigator wants to monitor a rack of expensive, high-theft handbags. Simple motion-based alarms alert him every time a person walks between the camera and the shelf. With Foreground/background analysis, the Investigator defines an asset alert (focus on background activity) and only receives alerts when the merchandise moves.

Additional parameters, allow him to tune the alerts to differentiate between normal customer shopping behavior and a shelf wipeout, for example.

What other aspects of Video Analytics would you like to learn about? Post your question in the comments area.