Huawei Software Defined Cameras

By John Honovich, Published Jun 25, 2018, 09:33am EDT

Huawei is aiming to break the reputation of Chinese companies not being good at software. The company is now leading their video surveillance marketing with 'Software Defined Camera' at the IFSEC 2018 show:

What is a 'software defined camera'? In this note, based on an interview with Huawei, we answer that question and contrast Huawei's approach with Axis, Dahua, and Hikvision?

Software ******* ****** = ****** **** 

******'* ******** ******* ****** **, as **** ********* ** themselves, **** ** *** App ***** ** *******. Rather **** * ***** shipped **** ******* ********, Huawei's ******** ******* **** allow ****** *** ***** applications.

***** ***** **** **** Huawei ******* **** ** 'OS' ***** (****** *** Hisilicon ***) **** ****** 3rd ***** ************ ** be ****** (*.*., *** Studio) *** *** ** managed *** *** '**********':

****** **** ****** * demo ** *** ********** interface ***** **** ****** dragging *** ******** ************ on ** *******:

****** ***** *** ******* how **** ***** **** processor *********** ** ******* models ****** ****** **** some ******* **** '**' enabled *** ****** **** not, ***** * *** limitation ** ****-***** ***** analytics.

***** ** ******'* ********* pitch ** ********* ** a ***** ******** ******** at * ********* **** earlier **** ****. **** the ***** ***** ** emphasizes **** *** **** is **** **** "*** going ** ** ** extremely *** ***** *****":

The ****** / *********

********* *** *** ***** / ****** *******, *** upside ** **** ****** could ******* *** **** functionality *** ************ **** any ***** ****** ************, making ***** ******* * 'standard' **** ***** ***** to *** **** ******* intelligence / *********** *******.

Axis *** *** **** *** * *****

**** *** ********* *** this **** ******** *** 9 *****: *** ****: **** ****** *********** Platform (****) ********. ******, * ***** ago, **** **** ******** the ** **** ****, Axis ******* ********:

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Huawei ********* ** **** 

** *** ***** ****, one ***** ******* ****** has ***** ** ****. We ********* **** **** to ******. *******, **** told ** **** ** good ** ****** ******* but *** **. 

Problems **** *** ***** *****

***** *** ***** ******* generates * *** ** excitement (*.*., **** *** big *********** **** ******), making **** **** **** IP ******* ** * lot ******. * *** reasons:

  • **** ************ *** ** cameras **** **** **** value **** **** ********* resources ************ (*.*., *********), making ** **** ** 'fit' **** ** ** cameras. ** ********, *** **** popular ************ *** *********** have *** ************ (*.*., Snapchat, ********, *********, *******, etc.).
  • *******, ********** *** ********** third-party ************ ** ** cameras ** **** ********* than ** ******. ******, this ** *** **** high-end ********* *** *** on dedicated '*****' ******* ** outside *** ****** (******* or *****).
  • ***** ** ** ******** yet **** * '**** tail' ** **** ****** for ** *******, ******* that ** ********* ***** the **** ***** ** develop **** *** ************ (e.g., *** ******** ********). Even **** *** ************ expanded ***** *** ************ for *** **** ******** used *********.

****** ****, **** ********* with *** ************ ********. Axis **** **** *** to ** ****** **********, making ** ********** ** **** and ****** (*.*., *** thing ************* ** ****** ***********).

Compared ** ***** *** *********

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Outlook - ****** ********** ******* ********, ** ****** ******

*******, **** ******* *** problems **** *** ****** for ** *******, ***** Huawei's ***** ** ********** surveillance ********, ** ***** expect ******* ****-****** ****** of ******. **** *** vendors, ******* ** *******, the **** *********** ****** of ******* **** ** how **** *** ** their ********* (******** ** third *****) ****.

****** *********, ** *** show, **************, **** ** Huawei ***** ************ ********* are ******** ** *****, given *** ** **********'* opposition ** ******.

Comments (27)

I would think that Arecont, with their FPGA approach, would be the closest thing to a "software defined camera" in the sense of using software to perform functions commonly done in hardware.

Unless Huawei is offering some way for the software/apps to fundamentally alter the performance of the camera, like massive low-light improvements, or very fast shutter speeds (without trading off some other functionality), this does not really qualify as a "software defined" product.

Can't say I'm very surprised that they would try to over-sell it this way though.

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I am not sure if they are as much trying to over-sell it as they just don't know much English. For example, the banner says 'Software Defined Camera', which is awkward to phrase as a singular, i.e., they are not selling a single software defined camera.

Related, as I mentioned in the IFSEC roundup, Huawei had very few people there who spoke English and knew anything about the product. This is not like Hikvision or even Dahua.

Ultimately, as one of the few English speaking Huawei people described to me, they win by low cost and effort. He told me (and I think this is more myth than reality) that they had 1,000 engineers work overnight to build something for a customer (the mythical man-month is evidently not as popular inside of China).

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He told me (and I think this is more myth than reality) that they had 1,000 engineers work overnight to build something for a customer (the mythical man-month is evidently not as popular inside of China).

The insanely inflated engineering staff numbers seem to be a common claim with the Chinese firms.  Did you tell them you would have 2,000 engineers test it when it launches?

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I think Huawei is just copy the magic word from IT field : SDN (Software defined network)

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Based on the words of @BetaBay (the Huawei 'influencer' in the embedded video), it sounds like Huawei wants to sell a really inexpensive camera and require users to pay for the sensors they want to use - as a subscription.... he calls it 'Sensors as a Service'.

Unlike ACAP.

Are they going for the DirectTV model where they give you the equipment (or almost, based on the 'extremely low' price point) if you sign up for a 2 yr minimum package of channels sensors that you can choose from à la carte?

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pay for the sensors they want to use - as a subscription.... he calls it 'Sensors as a Service'.

I am not sure if they literally mean it 'as a service' / subscription or they are just jumping on the hype for 'aaS' offerings.

Related: China Huawei Gives France Free City Surveillance. They are giving things away but more in the government model than the consumer TV model.

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Maybe in the future :
Borrow money; "Money as a service" (OK. This one already used by coin mining)
Car rentals; "Car as a service"

Some company is just too crazy about marketing word...
They see everything pay by subscription is equal to "aaS"

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However, they told us Axis is good in analog cameras but not IP.

Welp, it looks like they really have great market intelligence.

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However, they told us Axis is good in analog cameras...

In the same way that Michael Jordan was a good right fielder...

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However, they told us Axis is good in analog cameras...

In the same way that Michael Jordan was a good right fielder..

 

Except Michael Jordan actually did play right field.  Axis has never produced an analog product.

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I thought this same thing at first - and even found a clip showing MJ playing right field - called by Harry Carey himself in an exhibition game with MJ playing for the White Sox against the Cubbies.

But then I re-read the post you replied to and realized the comment was referring to MJ being a 'good' right fielder.... so I didn't post the Harry Carey clip :(

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i.e. Axis never made an analog camera

...and MJ was never a 'good' right fielder

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Except Michael Jordan actually did play right field. Axis has never produced an analog product.

Actually they did release an analog output product a while back, though it’s probably not very well known and will certainly not be what they will be remembered for.

Hence M.J.

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hey, I was agreeing with your first post and rebuking UD Integrator 4 because you mentioned being a 'good' right fielder in your simile comparing MJ's baseball skills to Axis's prowess in analog cameras (which I pointed out that UDI4 missed)....

...now I have to rebuke YOU. ;)

that Axis device looks a whole lot like an encoder - i.e. something to be able to add an analog signal to an IP network.

Am I wrong?

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hey, I was agreeing with your first post...

appreciate, thx.  In any event, I’m glad to see a couple of my fellow nitpricks on the site.

that Axis device looks a whole lot like an encoder - i.e. something to be able to add an analog signal to an IP network.

Am I wrong?

Here’s the front of the jersey:

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and that is an analog device how?

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Red boxes

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Axis 2420 supports direct analog video output (1V p-p, 75 ohm) + external power supply

=> possibilty to operate without network / PoE,... ;-))

 

https://www.axis.com/files/datasheet/2420/2420ds.pdf

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this is a networked device that allows for existing analog topologies of the day.

this doesn't mean it is an analog camera.

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this is a networked device that allows for existing analog topologies of the day.

this doesn't mean it is an analog camera.

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This Michael Jordan subthread is way off topic. I'll delete any further comments on that.

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Could it be that Huawei surveillance offerings wouldn't come to the USA because they just maybe break several patents for all analytics?

I like the 1,000engineers yarn! As so often no testers involved, because they call a tester a customer.

Expect nothing less from a company who forces staff to work one weekend a month, makes management buy shares in the company from own bonuses. which have a value decided by the boss! Go figure that one.

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HIK + Dahua were banned due to security issues.

But Huawei is accepted?

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Huawei is included in the US House bill ban. We don't focus on them in our coverage since Huawei video surveillance products are rarely, if ever, sold in the US.

Though, to note, from this post:

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The posting of this content from the bill makes me wonder, could "...or affiliate of such entities)" include HiSilicon which would encompass basically everything coming from China having to do with CCTV these days?

 

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Huawei definitely has interesting HW and SW for cameras. Just looking at the capabilities in their new P20 Pro.

Using the HiSilicon Kirin chips in CCTV stations would be interesting, but their high end chips are quite expensive. 

Their 970 version was just launched and is available: https://www.gizmochina.com/2018/03/20/huawei-launches-hikey-970-development-board-with-ai-a-dedicated-npu-based-on-kirin-970/

There are similar chips available from Qualcomm with their 8xx products. The 820 chip is already available from numerous suppliers like:  https://www.iwavesystems.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-820-apq8096-single-board-computer.html

In this context more and more can be done with computing power at the edge. And features can definitely be added after initial release. The units are basically a very capable Linux computer.

I think this shows much opportunities for CCTV in the coming years. The mobile phone market is driving a lot of innovation that the security industry can take advantage of. And the chip prices will only go down.

 

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I don't get it. Typically an app-based approach like this will only survive if the sevice has a huge amount of 3rd party developers creating a great commumity to support it with apps that are easy to use and work well. Who in their right mind would spend resources developing for a device that is banned federally in the USA while we are seeing this influencing bans in state and local government and other countries?

I see it now, when a free OCR app sees a Ford go by, an ad for the new F150 pops up on the device.

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