No more VMS? That's the plan for Axis's new Camera Companion (ACC). The 800-pound IP camera gorilla has taken aim at the low end of surveillance, looking to displace analog cameras in the sub-16 camera market segment. Not only free, it eliminates having a PC or server: No more DVR, NVR, or VMS.
The key development is having the camera manage its own storage. In a traditional architecture, IP cameras send and forget. The camera streams live video but has no knowledge if or where video is being recorded. Because of this, Video Management Software is required to retrieve, search and export recorded video.
With a decentralized approach, pioneered by Mobotix and now being adopted by Axis, the camera gains intelligence to manage its own recorded video, tracking its location and time. Instead of connecting to a VMS server, a simple client can connect directly to the cameras who serve up their own recorded video. In that manner, smarter cameras can replace traditional recorders.
What Do You Think?
The Big Questions
Axis's powerful position in the market undoubtedly means this is a force to be reckoned with, but many operational and logistical issues will determine its ultimate competitiveness. Inside, we examine the following key questions:
Limitations: What limitations in functionality, camera support, configuration, etc. does the new offering face?
Pricing: Eliminating the recorder reduces cost. However, how much does it reduce the cost and how competitive does it really make the offering? Is it enough?
Compared to Mobotix: Mobotix has been offering the same architecture for years (see our Mobotix test results). Is this truly significantly better than Mobotix or simply marketing bluster?
Compared to Milestone and Exacq: A number of VMS software providers have focused on smaller camera deployments. Does this new Axis offering change the balance of power in this segment?
Compared to VSaaS: Axis has been hyping VSaaS non stop for the last few years. Is this better, different or a replacement?
Compared to Analog DVRs: The king in this market segment is the analog DVR. Are Axis's pricing and features sufficient to change the game?
Hikvision has attacked IPVM repeatedly over the last month, both in the international press and in its dealer communications.
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