Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) Overview 2011

By Ethan Ace, Published Oct 24, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

From time to time, we hear questions about Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), a US headquarted VMS / video analytics provider. Interestingly, we rarely hear about them within the US but we have heard about them numerous time from industry people in Europe and South American. Additionally, the company tells us that they are expanding in North America. In this overview, we examine their VMS offering, SecurOS, and their integrated suite of video analytics, comparing them to Aimetis, Genetec and Milestone.

VMS Tier Overview

ISS offers four versions of SecurOS, their VMS, which is sold only through authorized ISS integrators, not through any distributors. Each base server license also includes the first four camera licenses, with additional licenses purchased on an as-needed basis:

  • Lite: SecurOS Lite [link no longer available] ISS' free entry-level product, offering basic video management capabilities for up to four cameras. It contains none of the extended capabilities of other versions, but has no archive or other restrictions, such as Milestone XProtect Go's five-day recording period. SecurOS Lite is single-site, meaning a single monitoring client may only be connected to one system at a time.
  • Xpress: The second version, SecurOS Xpress [link no longer available] ($400 bases + $50 MSRP per channel), is capable of managing up to 16 cameras on a single server. These cameras may be IP or connected via ISS' analog capture cards directly to the server.  Xpress shares the same single limitation as Lite, allowing only one server to be connected to a client at a time.
  • Professional: SecurOS Professional [link no longer available] ($1,000 base + $100 MSRP per channel) is ISS' multi-server/multi-site solution, allowing up to 64 cameras per server to be connected, and monitored via a single client.
  • Enterprise: The top-tier version, SecurOS Enterprise ($2,500 base + $200 MSRP per channel), is similar to Professional, with the addition of full analytic and integration capabilities (separately licensed).

Customers needing to upgrade to higher-tier versions may apply a 100% trade-in credit, paying the difference between the cost of an Xpress license, and an Enterprise license, for example.

ISS does not support as wide a variety of cmaeras as some manufacturers. Instead they have chosen to integrate with leading manufacturers, such as Axis, Bosch, Panasonic, Sony, Arecont, Vivotek, and others. SecurOS also supports camera integration via ONVIF, up to current specifications.

Add-On Analytics

In addition to VMS functions, ISS also offers a suite of analytics. These include typical analytics, such as cross line detection, direction of travel, object left behind, etc., as well as a variety of recognition analytics, and an analytics package used specifically for intelligent traffic systems.  

ISS offers the following recognition analytics.

  • Face Capture and Recognition [link no longer available]: Facial capture is one of the most controversial analytics in the industry, with many in the public citing privacy concerns, and many in the industry questioning its accuracy rates. ISS claims to have successful deployments in narrow areas, such as entrances, tops of stairs, etc. Indeed, the widest field of view in their demo videos is a double set of doors with even lighting, much more manageable than many manufacturer claims.
  • License Plate Recognition [link no longer available]: ISS provides a license plate recognition algorithm which can be used with any manufacturer's camera. ISS requires at least three frames on target for accurate reading, and recommends IR illumination. A single camera is capable of reading up to three plates in its field of view, though this would most require optimum setup, lighting, and positioning of vehicles in the frame.
  • Cargo Container and Railcar Recognition [link no longer available]: SecurOS Cargo and Transit are used for similar purposes in different applications. Both are intended for recognition of text on cargo containers, with Cargo used for containers on trucks and cranes, and Transit specific to rail cars. While these are similar to LPR in that they also use optical character recognition, the algorithms are completely different due to the varying angles and conditions of containers.

Outside of the above analytics, SecurOS also offers a traffic monitoring package [link no longer available], SecurOS Traffic, intended for use in intelligent transportation systems (ITS). It features realtime analysis of vehicles, such as speed, count, concentration, which are used for reporting purposes. It also includes analytics for detection of incidents such as accidents, travel in the wrong direction, and debris or objects on the road.

Analytics licenses vary from $800-2,000, depending on capabilities required.

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Competitive Comparison

The most direct comparison for ISS is Aimetis Symphony, which offers multiple add-on analytics, as well. Aimetis licenses range from $99-$299, giving ISS an advantage on price. Aimetis analytics start at $999 per channel, about the same as ISS. Analytics integration in systems such as SecurOS and Symphony should be simpler than using separate VMS and analytics packages, since addition of analytics is simply a license to turn on a feature, instead of having to deploy an additional server and software platform.

Analytics integration in SecurOS should be simpler than using separate VMS and analytics packages, since addition of analytics is simply a license to turn on a feature, instead of having to deploy an additional server and software platform.

ISS' tiers of licensing roughly match up with competitive VMS offerings, such as Milestone ($49-$300, as well as a free version) and Genetec ($150-250 per camera). 

As far as analytics providers, ISS is generally competitive, as well. The low end of their pricing range ($800) refers to their more common analytics, such as virtual tripwires or direction of travel, with the high end referring to the recognition or industry-specific analytics. This pricing is in the same range as competitors such as AgentVi and ObjectVideo as well as others, who are normally in the range of $500-1,000 per channel.

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