Launches Video Analytics PlatformBy: John Honovich, Published on Sep 22, 2009
Axis has launched a video analytics platform that according to Axis will be the "cornerstone of their video analytics strategy."
Designed as an open platform, "Axis Camera Applications" enables 3rd party developers to add video analytics. The first 5 participants announced are AgentVi, Via:sys, IBM, Aimetis and Cognimatics (though AgentVi, Via:sys and Cognimatics have all previously run on certain Axis cameras).
For this new program, the first product that will support the platform is the P3301, starting with firmware release 5.10. Axis will not charge for this software but, of course, the analytics partner will separately license their analytics. Axis plans to expand the breadth of their camera support in 2010.
A major limitation will be the processing power available for performing analytics. Other IP camera vendors limit their analytic support to cameras with a secondary processor to handle the load of performing analytics (like Sarix [link no longer available], Cisco and Lumenera). Some analytics like AgentVi that run half of their processing at a server and others like Via:sys that are simpler may run on Axis cameras with no issue. However, load will be a key concern for selecting and using analytics on these cameras (as it is on all 3rd party cameras).
On this point, AXIS responded that their cameras feature , "a multi-core processor with one core dedicated video encoding, and another core available for e.g. video analytics. This approach is totally unique which is instrumental in the ability to open up the network cameras and video encoder to third party analytics. "
Specifically, Axis reports that their new generation ARTPEC-3 product line has a MIPS core of 200 MHz [dedicated for analytics]. We believe most analytics applications are better run on a normal processor than on a DSP which offer an incredible amount of operations/second but is very difficult to program."
[Update 2012: Axis continues to slowly develop their platform but it is still a niche with few supported applications and uncommon use.]