Covi Megapixel to Make a Comeback?

By John Honovich, Published Oct 13, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

Covi, one of the most embarrassing failures in the video surveillance market over the last decade, may be making a return. In February 2008, Covi's assets were acquired in a firesale by GE Security [link no longer available]. In the press release of the firesale acquisition [link no longer available], Frost & Sullivan affirmed Covi as "one of the technology leaders in the video surveillance industry." Then, over the following year and a half, hardly any public announcements were made about Covi.

Now with GE Security on the defensive over their own impending sale, they are promising "some great leading-edge products" from the Covi acquisition to launch in 2010. GE Security's CEO states, "It would have been easy to just take [Covi's] products and put them out there but we've taken a longer-term approach and making sure we can commercialize it."

If this sounds confusing, it's because they are spinning the fact that Covi fundamentally failed. Covi's closed HD solution using coaxial cabling [link no longer available] lost to more open, IP based megapixel. 

Relaunching Covi with its existing architecture is pointless as megapixel options have greatly expanded in the last 2-3 years. Covi has either 2 choices:

  • Launch IP Megapixel cameras like the other 50 companies already providing them. This means they will be extremely late to the game.
  • Launch HDcctv cameras using the emerging HDcctv specification. This would make sense for their core analog market and would put them in an early group of HDcctv camera manufacturers.

The original idea of Covi seems to have even less market interest than years ago. The only alternatives is to become a 'regular' megapixel manufacturer (IP or HDcctv) which could be useful for their customers but will hardly be state of the art in 2010 or exhibit technological leadership.

[Update 2012: Nothing has come of Covi nor, in general, any innovative GE Security product releases.]

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