Milestone plans to release support for both ONVIF and PSIA IP camera specifications in the 4th quarter of 2009, allowing 3rd party camera manufacturers using either specification to interface with Milestone's IP video surveillance software.
While a number of camera manufacturers have declared their intent to support one or both of the specifications, Milestone is one of the first VMS providers and the largest to confirm timetable for release. The participation of the VMS providers, especially ones with large market share, is critical to driving the growth of interoperability.
Expectations on Roll-Out
While Milestone plans for release by the end of the year, they expect additional time may be needed for optimization to occur:
"We will be aiming at covering the full functionality, but this depends on when a sufficient number of compliant cameras can be available for our work and testing. The initial drivers may therefore be more limited and not cover the full feature set of the standards since our software support depends on when we get the cameras that offer them."
This will be an important factor in determining how soon, well and widely the specifications can be used in production.
As we have discussed over recent months, interoperability specifications can shift competitive positioning. As a company with one of, if not the largest 3rd party IP camera support base, Milestone has risk here. Milestone responded:
"We are aware that the establishment of standards in the market will be changing the competitive landscape in the long run. Providers will therefore be competing more on having the strongest product capabilities, performance, usability and reliability and less on having the broadest device support. We are confident we can compete in this respect, not least because the standards will allow us to redirect our resources toward other innovations. We also embrace the standards for their ability to significantly accelerate the convergence from analog to IP."
This is a positive and important sign for the acceptance of IP camera specifications that should help accelerate use.