Genetec Cloud LPR Examined

By Ethan Ace, Published Apr 10, 2015, 12:00am EDT

The cloud is yet to be a significant factor in video surveillance.

Now, Genetec is trying a different approach, trying to simplify LPR using the cloud.

In this note, we examine the features, limitations, pricing and competitive positioning of Genetec's new cloud LPR offering.

Background

Genetec has had its own LPR cameras and software for many years (see Genetec AutoVu LPR Tested). However, it has been limited to Genetec's own cameras. Though they support high speeds and advanced analytics, they are far more expensive than conventional IP cameras (~$7,000 for Genetec's LPR camera). Additionally, Genetec charges ~$2,000 for LPR server licensing.

Cloud LPR

Now, Genetec is adding support for conventional IP cameras. The video will be streamed from the cameras on site, processed in the cloud and results sent back to the local Genetec Security Center system.

Key limitations include:

  • Maximum speed of 15 mph supported. Higher speeds still require using Genetec's AutoVu LPR cameras.
  • Camera models must be tested and approved by Genetec. Genetec says the Axis Q1765 and the Axis P1425-LE are already approved and other models from Sony and Panasonic are planned soon.
  • Like any conventional camera, night time / low light performance with IR is likely to work poorly, so caution still remains.
  • Cloud LPR on conventional cameras will not include advanced analytics available on Genetec AutoVu LPR, like vehicle speed, direction of motion, and vehicle make identification.
  • No option for local LPR processing for conventional cameras remains.

Pricing

Genetec says they are targeting a monthly subscription fee of USD $50-$55 per camera.

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Pros and Cons

The biggest advantages are that this eliminates setting up LPR processing on the server side, which can take some time and, more importantly, a fair amount of server load. From a purely Genetec perspective, it eliminates the existing ~$2,000 LPR server licensing.

On the negative side, it is limited to Genetec users and a few conventional cameras. ~$600 per year is not cheap but given Genetec's high traditional LPR licensing costs (plus annual SMA), if using with Genetec, it could work out to be less expensive.

However, other VMSes, including Genetec's biggest rival Milestone (see Milestone LPR Tested), already support third party cameras, allowing for local processing, though with a cumbersome setup and the need to ensure that resources are not overloaded.

Overall, we see some benefits of Genetec's adding support of cloud LPR for conventional cameras.

UPDATE TESTED

We have tested Genetec's Cloud LPR here.

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