Axis Introduces... An IP Horn?

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 27, 2015

Axis invented the IP camera.

[UPDATE 2017: IPVM Test Results on Axis IP Horn]

Now they claim to have the "first open standard, network loudspeaker for remote speaking".

You may not be that excited but Axis trumpets this as "really an IoT (Internet of Things) device."

In this note, we look at how it works, how it integrates with VMS systems and how it compares to existing analog and network-based horns.

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Integration *******

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Comments (39)

Get with the program, VMS manufacturers. Develop SIP communication software drivers or get left behind. Seriously, is it really that hard?

Ok, that was kind of a side note. As to the horn itself, not a bad little device. I think it's competitive to some combinations I have seen with horns attached to self amplified POE SIP devices from various intercom and VoIP brands. Kudos to Axis to be smart enough to make it SIP compatible and not just API only requiring a specific software driver being developed.

Hi Luis,

I'm interested in what you mean by 'develop SIP drivers or get left behind.." Can you elaborate in what you mean or is there a prior IPVM thread that goes into your thoughts on the topic?

BTW, I think this product is brilliant too..

Steve, I've commented before on this on this article.

Genetec Adds IP Telephony (Sipelia)

SIP would be a "generic" way of communicating audio (though SIP itself can include other things like instant messaging), similar to ONVIF or RTSP. Many networked audio devices these days are SIP compliant, like IP phones, intercoms, speakers, etc. So why not have a SIP driver for communicating with these devices same as a VMS that has a driver for an Arecont camera, or Sony camera, or Bosch camera...? No, it may not always work all SIP devices or be compatible with all features, but I think would open up a world of possibilities.

Can someone who is in development for or just works for a VMS or ACS company who does not have a SIP plugin explain to me why they feel it has not been worth their while to develop one? DON'T ANSWER. That question should probably be another topic and I don't want to hijack this thread. I just want to get people thinking.

Brillant this looks great, cant wait to install these!

Is it me but that harness is not secured on the video lol, the Axis installer seems to missing the rest of the harness and its not attached! :D

Is that what that yellow cable is? I was confused by the 2 cables sticking out the back when they kept saying "single cable" setup

I guess its just a "ground" cable, and that ist optional.

Just a point of detail that needs some clarification: "The IHVP line also is network based, and features a more powerfull (9W vs. 7W) speaker compared to the C3003". The wattage of the speaker has limited bearing on the "power" or sound output of any speaker. It is a bit like minimum lux ratings in the camera world. You need to also know the efficiency of the speaker at that wattage output at the frequency bands the sound is at.

Hey Sean:

I took that bit of the analysis out, since we can't qualify the difference. What you're saying makes sense, and we are all familiar with 'spec sheet gamesmanship', so I just dropped it. (9w vs 7w is not a big difference.)

With that said, doesn't more 'power in' = more 'power out'?

In terms of magnitude, wouldn't an inefficient 15w speaker be much louder than a super-efficient 7w speaker?

Otherwise, how to do 'ballpark' how powerful a speaker/horn is when shopping and comparing? Asking because I'm curious! :)

Thanks,

The problem with power in = power out is we are talking about different levels of clean RMS power out. Unfortunately there are huge ranges in effeciency differents, and frequencys in which some speakers are more effecient than others.

Speaker efficiency should be listed with an SPL db number @ 1m. High end efficient loudspeakers should be in the 105-125db range. This means that for every 1W the speaker receives it will output 105-125db measurable 1m away from the cone of the speaker. So comparing a 15W speaker with a 90db SPL vs a 7W speaker at 120db SPL, they are going to be very close in sound output (I can't do the math right now, but I think you get the idea...)

Is this an amplified outbound speaker only, or is it an intercom? Most of my customers are looking for a two-way system. But in the video and literature it really doesn't say two-way. In their press release they say "AXIS C3003-E receives power and plugs directly into a third-party video management system with two-way audio support and/or VoIP telephony system" but that is the only line about "two-way." While it appears to be two-way - since they can "test" it with a tone, they don't explicitly say that.

The C3003-E is a speaker only. The unit has no integrated mic.

[Edit: I was wrong. :( ]

Spec sheet says Built in mic and two way audio (mono).

Hey! You're 100% correct. Not sure how I missed that.

[I also updated the post to reflect this feature.]

A speaker is inherently a microphone. It's where the amplifier is placed that makes it "one-way." Many of the Valcom, Bogen, Atlas, Viking and such manufacturers have bi-directional speaker devices that work with phone systems. Until you get into conferencing systems, then they are duplex - listen and talk at the same time. These devices are VOX operated - Voice Operated Switching - outbound-inbound, but not a the same time. If there is too much noise on the control room end, it can false switch. Aiphone has true duplex models, but they are generally "soft" - not high powered. There is quite a bit to it; much to consider if you have never done it before.

Many of the cameras that have built in mics and speaker outputs are duplex. But care must be taken to do it right. Some place you need to acoustically break the inbound and outbound audio so it doesn't echo - IP digitizing delay.

Unless external, separately powered devices are added to amplify an attached speaker, the sound power will be a fraction of what the C3003-E drives, by a factor of 4X (ie: ~30 dB vs 120 db)

Speaking of inefficient speakers, where did you see any that were ~30db?

30db is as loud as a ticking watch.

On the other hand, since db's are logarithmic, you can't multiple/divide them to get a power factor. The rule of thumb when it comes to human perception of sound levels is every 10 db's is twice as loud. Therefore 120db is 4x as loud as 100db.

OK, so where is the companion Microphone? Sony has their SCA-M30, so you'd think that Axis would have something too?

And if you are interested, check out Sony's SCA-S30 and compare.

Not sure why you need a microphone. The product is targeted twards RVRC installations - shouting intruders off site. I like the fact its POE powered, im sure it will be a hit unless its overpriced...

Without they couldn't tout their auto-speaker test function.

And that's why I love IPVM!

Thanks!

You are correct, the spec sheet talks about two-way audio ( mono.... not duplex - as opposed to stereo ) But there must be something more to this. Very poor marketing if this device is truly "intercom" capable. To "A" - we've installed numerous CCTV system with high powered intercoms. Those same devices talk to gate locations, ceiling speakers in corridors, and outside in parking lots. Two-way is by far the request when a speaker is placed.

We have taken over projects where the customer was promised intercom functions because "the last guy" pointed out the camera has a built in microphone and speaker capable. That last guy didn't understand you needed to amplify that "speaker" so it could be heard.

Business question: how does this help Axis overall revenue and competitive positioning?

It's fair to say that with all the recent niche products (e.g., anti-suicide camera, camera knows when its being rotated, multi-imager/PTZ combo, etc.), Axis has become the 'king' of advanced gizmos for surveillance applications. On the other, these are not going to be broadly adopted for mass-market or SMB applications.

On the one hand, clearly many larger deployments will use these, regardless of who they use primarily for cameras. However, how much will this help them make incursions into the bulk of the 'standard' / vanilla camera business?

John,

I think there is clearly a market for this horn (though I am not sure if the end users will pay extra for this add-on service): the Alarm Monitoring Centers people that offer their customers remote CCTV surveillance thrown in.

The value proposal of the Alarm Monitoring Center is replacing completely the human factor on site with employees out of harms way (i.e.: replacing all the security guards that fall asleep on duty, irresponsible guards that do not show up on time which forces their colleagues to work extra shifts, guards that get robbed/killed and have their guns stolen, etc.); which has already happened in gas stations pumps (self-service, no employees to pump gas for you).

In other words: remote employees equipped with eyes (cameras) and ears/mouths (mic, horns-speakers) linked with the local police stations ..... makes sense ???

For sure, there is a market. The business question is how big that market is- 1 million usd, 10 million usd, 100 million usd annual and how much this can help Axis win other parts of the deal.

And I mean this more broadly than just the horn, i.e. for all of Axis niche differentiated products.

the security guards that fall asleep on duty, irresponsible guards that do not show up on time which forces their colleagues to work extra shifts

and working extra shifts causes them to fall asleep, it's a vicious circle.

In other words: remote employees equipped with eyes (cameras) and ears/mouths (mic, horns-speakers) linked with the local police stations ..... makes sense ???

Yes, and arms and legs too:

Background: Vigilant Robots, The RoboGuard: New Product, Why Robotic Security?

Gentec and Axis have both included VOIP into their system...?

Who else has this integrated into their VMS?

My first thought was "this idea blows"

But now that I've read the comments, I like the sound of it

:)

I think this product is a welcome addition to the industry. I have no doubt it will do well. Axis has lost market share with surveillance over the last few years, diversifying their portfolio by moving into access control, audio and other markets is what will keep them profitable.

We could have used these 3 or 4 years ago... great idea, just amazing how long it takes to develop something like this. The 2-way audio or "talk back" performance will dictate whether this product takes hold in the market. One way audio has limited application in our markets.

not onvif. not psia. not any actual standards-based interface. how early-1990's quaint.

Since any ONVIF conformant device must follow a profile, it's impossible for Axis to make this ONVIF conformant. ONVIF Profile S requires video streaming, which obviously this does not have, therefore it can't be tested to the profile.

It would be nice if ONVIF had some profile for peripheral devices, like audio, I/O, maybe positioners, etc., but since they're so uncommon relative to cameras, it seems unlikely we'll see it any time soon. I'd much rather have them make a profile for motion detection than support this.

It would be nice if ONVIF had some profile for peripheral devices, like audio.

ONVIF Profile S already has first class support of audio streaming, including bi-directional audio.

5.1 Audio and video codecs

An ONVIF compliant device streams audio and video data using suitable encoding algorithms. The device may also able to decode audio. A device supports any audio and video codecs, bitrates and resolution according to the manufacturer’s choice.

In order to ensure interoperability between client and device, this standard mandates the following codec profiles:

• An ONVIF compliant device shall support JPEG QVGA.

• An ONVIF compliant device shall support G.711μ Law (Simplex-Camera Microphone Only, 1ch) [ITU-T G.711] if the device supports audio. - ONVIF Media Specification

and

5.3 Back Channel Connection

This section describes how a bidirectional connection can be established between a client and a server. The backchannel connection handling is done using RTSP [RFC 2326]. Therefore a mechanism is introduced which indicates that a client wants to built up a backchannel connection. RTSP provides feature-tags to deal with such functionality additions. A device that supports bi-directional connections (e.g audio or metadata connections) shall support the introduced RTSP extensions. - ONVIF Streaming Specification

So the work is already done. And if necessary for compliance one could send video black on the video stream.

Brace yourselves for ONVIF Profile H.

If ya walk around telling all of us your standard will save the world I get to expect it solves all problems. Especially goofy non-problems your members introduce...

Related: Speco has recently posted a video demonstrating their bullhorn product, the totally analog Digital Deterrent.

Trivia: Idiotic bad guy in scene 1 is also irratated good guy in scene 2.

I am glad you check the IPVM spider.

Also, funny about the Speco video is that they seem to be implying their own employees are lazy in video #2.

They better watch out: Speco Reports Former Employee For Terrorism

Axis is adding to their SIP speaker line.

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