ObjectVideo Company Update and Analysis

By John Honovich, Published on Jan 14, 2010

This report shares information from a January 2009 interview with ObjectVideo executives. ObjectVideo is a leading intelligent video / video analytics provider.

In 2009, ObjectVideo consists of two major business lines:

  • OEM distribution of ObjectVideo software embedded in cameras, encoders and servers for 36 contracted partners
  • R&D organization that provides specialized solutions to government and military organizations

ObjectVideo reports that they were cash flow positive in Q4 2008 and expect to be in 2009.

Also as of Q4 2008, David McGuinness is the CEO of ObjectVideo. McGuinness was promoted from the VP of Professional Services. Raul Fernandez, formerly CEO and Chairman, continues in his role as Chairman of ObjectVideo.

In 2009, ObjectVideo is focusing their efforts of on OEM distribution, supporting partners to quickly and more effectively sell products using ObjectVideo analytics. ObjectVideo expects to see multiple partners release support for ObjectVideo running on DVRs of IP Video Surveillance Software using Intel Chips. This would add to their existing and primary distribution through cameras and encoders using TI chips.

While acknowledging the significant global economic issues, ObjectVideo sees the government as a strong customer and believes the large number of partners will help diversify and grow their business.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

ObjectVideo's business model has great potential. The fundamental strategy is to provide video analytics to any video surveillance device. The benefit to the video surveilance companies would be access to inexpensive, high-quality video analytics. With numerous partners, Objectvideo would be able to achieve great economies of distribution and marketing. Indeed, this is why the company has explicitly compared its strategy to Intel. Economically, this makes good sense.

Comparison to other OEM Strategies

In video surveillance, Pixim [link no longer available] is a very good example of a company that has a similar business model. Pixim does not sell cameras. They provide chipsets to numerous camera manufacturers who build and sell cameras.

This is working out well for Pixim. They have no direct competitor and while a number of camera manufacturers offer other variants of WDR cameras, only Panasonic's seems to be respected.

By contrast, ObjectVideo has faced many more challenges. While it's been 6 years since they won the prestigious Best in Show at ISC West, it's clearly still a work in progress. There are dozens of analytic companies (I personally get emails from a new one, seemingly once a week). Plus, analytic has met increasing skepticism on performance.

While an OEM strategy has a lot of potential, significant issues exist for OV:

  • A very large number of direct competitors
  • Challenges on optimizing performance of video analytics

The harder it is to optimize a technology's performance, the more difficult it is to distribute through OEMs. By contrast, Pixim cameras require little if any on-site expertise making it easy to distribute broadly.

On-Board Camera Support

One of ObjectVideo's challenges is limitations on what cameras it can or does support. A number of significant competitors exist in this space. Customers want to use video analytics with existing cameras or with non-OV supported cameras (like Axis or Bosch). The challenge here is how do you use ObjectVideo with those cameras?

Neither Bosch nor Axis cameras support ObjectVideo. Bosch has their own video analytics [link no longer available]. Axis only supports limited video analytics (like VIA:SYS) but not ObjectVideo.

In the last year or so, Agent Vi has gained a lot of interest primarily because it works on Axis cameras. Of course the downside of Agent Vi is the need for server processing. And the risk of VIA:SYS is how well it can perform given the limited resources of analyzing inside an Axis camera.

While I do not believe these alternative solutions will 'beat' OV in terms of performance, their existence clearly constrains the growth and use of OV.

All-in-One Appliances

The other major competitive approach is the all-in-one appliance: a single manufacturer building cameras and encoders, developing their own analytics and bundling them together.  ioimage is certainly the most successful and largest provider using this approach. With its numerous project announcements and widely held reputation for high performance, ioimage has built itself a strong position. Their success and performance is very likely attributable to the benefits of building an all in one appliance.

The downside of such appliances is significant. You have to buy your cameras and encoders from that manufacturer. This is very limiting. To the extent that the other manufacturers can offer comparable analytics, most customers would have strong incentive to shift to them.

ObjectVideo's Positioning

While the OEM strategy has long term potential, ObjectVideo is caught on multiple sides:

  • Numerous competitors offer similar video analytics
  • Larger manufacturers like Axis and Bosch continue not to support OV
  • Video Analytics appliance manufacturers seem to perform better

Recession and Presidential Impact

I think most would agree that the recession is a negative force on video analytics. I tend to think it will be a very negative force, given that video analytics require additional or new budget (harder to obtain in downturns). I also believe that Obama will reduce (or at least slow substantially) governmental spending on defense. While ObjectVideo clearly has strong relationships with the US government, it is conceivable that eventually have an impact on the lucrative R&D projects the company has.

While ObjectVideo's OEM strategy has great potential, significant challenges remain that will deepen in 2009.

Related Reports

LSP Presents 2nd Generation FP Power Supplies on Apr 29, 2020
Life Safety Power (LSP) presented its FP2 power supply in the April 2020 IPVM...
OpenEye Presents Cloud Integration For Remote Alarm Monitoring on Apr 29, 2020
OpenEye presented its cloud-to-cloud integrations designed for remote alarm...
Avigilon Announces 10K / 61MP H5 Pro Camera on Oct 05, 2020
Avigilon announced its 10K / 61MP H5 Pro camera at the 2020 IPVM Fall New...
Ambarella Speaks On Huawei, Shortages, And China on Sep 09, 2020
The Huawei Hisilicon shortage is impacting the global market, with major chip...
Hanwha Presents AI Analytics and First 8K Camera on May 11, 2020
Hanwha presented their AI Analytics and the "Industry's First 8K" camera at...
Openpath Presents Two Door PoE Controller on May 21, 2020
Openpath presented its new PoE controller at the May 2020 IPVM Startups...
100+ Companies Profile Directory on Nov 06, 2019
While IPVM covers the largest companies in the industry regularly (like Axis,...
Axxon Presents VMS 4.4 and AI Behavior Analytics on May 20, 2020
AxxonSoft presented its VMS 4.4 and AI behavior analytics at the April 2020...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud...
Verkada Access Control Tested on Sep 09, 2020
Verkada raised $80 million earlier in 2020, expanding from video into access...
The Battle For the VSaaS Market 2020 - Avigilon, Arcules, Eagle Eye, OpenEye, Qumulex, Tyco, Verkada on Jan 13, 2020
While VSaaS suffered from inflated expectations in the 2010s, 2020 marks a...
Vivotek 4K S-Series Camera Tested on Sep 30, 2019
Vivotek's highest-end S-series camera claims "Supreme Night Visibility",...
Clinton Electronics Presents Axis Camera Equipped Public View Monitor on Apr 22, 2020
Clinton Electronics presented their Axis camera-equipped corridor mode M10PA...
Startup Vaion Presents End-to-End Cloud Managed Video Surveillance on Aug 20, 2020
Vaion presented its end-to-end cloud managed video surveillance offering at...
Ava / Vaion Releases Cloud Connected IP Cameras, Verkada Competitor on Oct 01, 2020
Ava (formerly Vaion) announced its new direct-to-cloud AVA Aware IP cameras...

Recent Reports

ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...