Longse Rips Off HikvisionBy IPVM Team, Published on Oct 19, 2016
Longse is on the attack, and now they are targeting Hikvision.
Evidently not content just to rip off Milestone and Video Insight, Longse has now added Hikvision to their hit list.
They are building a pretty powerful offering off the back of their competitors. Inside, we examine the details of what Longse is doing, how this helps them competitively and why this is unethical.
Longse is excited to announce their new features, including a 'unique' web interface, pay close attention to the screenshots they include below:
Not only is Longse touting that 'unique' interface, they have added in Hikvision's 'private' protocol claiming deep integration:
The following images show examples from a Hikvision camera (left) and a recent (October 2016) Longse camera (right):
Login page is nearly identical, other than Hikvision logo removed:
Live view is very similar, Longse has replaced "Hikvision" logo with an image that just says "IPCamera":
The configuration mode shows the same icons and tree as Hikvision, but has slightly different layout and wording in individual areas:
The Longse camera has no Longse branding anywhere in the UI, in fact the copyright claim (ironic) is to "HS", most likely an abbreviation for HeroSpeed, the brand Longse's VMS uses. To users of Hikvision cameras, the Longse UI will seem familiar, which surely was Longse's intention.
Longse Cameras Mimic Hikvision NVR Protocol
We tested Longse's claim of Hikvision NVR support and found that it worked as claimed. Our Longse camera connected to the Hikvision NVR on the first try, as shown below:
Not Endorsed By Hikvision
According to sources close to the company, Hikvision has not authorized Longse's use of their UI elements or NVR protocol. While Hikvision does publish various SDK's for their products, what Longse has done does not utilize standard SDKs, and is not a supported application.
Buyers of Longse product should be aware that Hikvision may change the auto-discovery protocol to block Longse cameras in the future, though they could still connect via ONVIF.
No Response From Longse
[link no longer available]
We emailed the owner of Longse (Jim Quan, [link no longer available]firstname.lastname@example.org) [link no longer available] multiple times asking for comment but did not receive any response.
Damaging To Hikvision
Longse's actions stand to negatively impact Hikvision, potentially significantly given Longse's increasing scale. If the cameras are close to Hikvision's, users will be attracted to Longse's lower prices (albeit with much less support, product availability, brand, etc.). If the cameras do not live up to expectations, users unfamiliar with Hikvision may believe that connectivity issues with NVR's, or general reliability issues are the fault of the Hikvision NVR or Hikvision protocol.
With Longse's law breaking and industry leading spam campaign plus ripping off Hikvision, Milestone and Video Insight, they now offer a very compelling but highly unethical solution.