ASIS 2008 Announcements Review

By John Honovich, Published Sep 15, 2008, 09:58pm EDT

Megapixel cameras, storage solutions and managed video are the 3 areas with the greatest momentum of new product annoncements.

A brief review of each follows after 2 general observations:

  • Traffic was light as I wrote earlier.  I am interested to see if tomorrow is better.
  • Unfortunately, phony Frost & Sullivan awards abound.  Insiders are aware that these awards are paid by the vendor and not legitimate but most end users do not. Frost even creates or shapes awards for vendors. Take Sightlogix, whose award today is the lengthy and unclear Homeland Security Surveillance Product Differentiation Award. Also, Orsus 'won' an award for the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Emerging Company of the Year Award [link no longer available]. Seems interesting except their direct competitor Vidsys won the exact same award 2 months ago. Please do not support these awards and be aware of this tactic.

On to the 3 areas with momentum:
  • The megapixel camera announcements indicates the mainstreaming of not simply IP cameras but high definition (or megapixel) IP cameras. IQinvision announced a new basic line of megapixel cameras.  This is not novel as many companies offer less expensive, simpler, megapixel cameras than IQinvision. What interests me is that this signals the increasingly viability of selling megapixel cameras as a replacement for analog (and not just for super high end projects). Cisco announced a 1900 x 1028 / 30 fps h.264 megapixel camera (the 4300 MSRPs for $1600, the 4500 supporting analytics MSRPs for $1850).  Sanyo announced a 1900 x 1028 / 30 fps h.264 megapixel camera as well.  How well 264 works, I do not know. March also announced a megapixel camera [link no longer available] plus I am sure there were others announcing. Pelco pre-announced a megapixel camera series (Sarix) that could be very important but is not planned for release until April 2008.
  • Both of the storage clusters vendors offered interesting new options and lower pricing that should have immediate practical benefits. On the lower pricing component, my previous reviews were both indicating pricing at or below $2000 per TB.  Now the price 2 months later is at or below $1400 per TB (that's significant even factoring in the continuous drop in storage prices). Intransa released a small storage cluster starting at 2TB [link no longer available]. Pivot3 and Intransa both announce support to run video management software on their storage clusters.  The concept is essentially: you need to buy storage. If you buy their storage appliances, those appliances have extra computing resources available (they are mainly disk throughput constrained). By using virtualization (like VMware), you can manage storage and run video surveillance (or any) applications on the same storage appliance.  In practical terms, this could mean a small storage appliance like the 1RU Intransa storagebox could eliminate the PC and simply run everything on Intransa. On a larger scale, an example from Pivot3 would be using a 36TB storage cluster that supports 250 cameras eliminating the need for 3 or 4 servers (which could save $10,000 USD, a modest sum).
  • More managed / hosting announcements.  Eptascape launched their gotomycamera.com [link no longer available] service while March Networks announced a SaaS service for their LP data mining [link no longer available]. While both of these are clearly early stage or experimental. my private conversations with multiple vendors indicate significant interest in exploring this market. As I mentioned in my review 2 weeks ago, this is a solution that will take years to mature. Nonetheless, I believe the announcements will continue to increase.  One of the interesting elements to consider is that a service such as Eptascape's gotomycamera.com is a very inexpensive service for them to launch and scale (as it leverages web services such as Amazon's S3).  With this low cost structure, someone may find the right combination to grow a viable offering even in a recession.

One other announcement that I thought was potentially interesting was Proximex's SDK [link no longer available] and the potential to embed Proximex's functionalities and UI components in video management systems. The problem this could solve is that DVRs/NVRs generally lack PSIM functionality but customers often would benefit from some aspects. Proximex's SDK would allow video management systems to embed certain Proximex features in their DVR/NVR.  The most interesting example would be to use Proximex's EZ Track which simplifies operators tracking suspects through large sets of cameras.

Finally, I spent an hour examining the back areas looking for up and coming companies.  I did not find anything that really impressed me today.
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