Panasonic Business Intelligence Kit Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 08, 2011

In May 2011, Panasonic introduced a Business Intelligence Kit. The most noteworthy aspect of this kit is functionality that automatically detects faces and estimates the age and gender of people. This is the first mainstream commercial offering of this technology we have seen in the surveillance market. In this note, we examine the functionality, pricing and competitive positioning of the kit.

Let's start with the basics:

  • The kit is offered as an add-on for Panasonic's NVR (the WJ-NV200). This NVR includes facial detection / recognition (see our overview of this function). The kit only works with this NVR and is not available to be integrated / added on to 3rd party systems.
  • The kit adds face and gender identification, statistical analysis of people trends (breakdown of age and gender over time) and increases the watchlist size (from 16 to 64) and concurrent matching size (from 8 to 32) for facial recognition
  • A 3 month free trial for the kit is offered with purchase of the NVR. The MSRP of the Business Intelligence Kit is $1,273 USD. By contrast the MSRP of the NVR with 1TB of storage is $3,273 USD(online pricing is about $2,000). We would expect online pricing for the Business Intelligence Kit to be $800 - $900 USD.
  • The intelligence can only be applied on a single camera, automatically set to H.264, 1.3MP, 5fps (see operating manual for details).
  • In the technical documentation, Panasonic notes a number of limitations: matching may not work outdoors, for partially concealed faces, with strong direct light or when a subject is moving fast (see page 6 of NVR manual). Up to 500 faces/people can be analyzed per hour.
  • While the documentation does not cite a maximum FoV width, from their sample images, we suspect it is relatively narrow (12 feet or less wide).

Panasonic supports both a real time output for face/gender analysis and a statistical one. Below are examples:

Here is video from a Japanese trade show demonstrating the kit in action:

Our Analysis

We believe the gender and age estimation has potential with some important limitations.

On the positive side:

  • Gender and age estimation does not need to be extremely accurate nor does it matter if any particular individual is misidentified (unlike facial alerting which is highly sensitive to this problem).
  • For retailers, this could be a useful feature as it provides them a data point that is not easily determined by traditional means.
  • The pricing is fairly 'cheap' and one can try it out for a few months for free.

On the negative side:

  • Only supports Panasonic cameras and recorders.
  • Only supports 1 camera per recorder
  • May have problems with various lighting and environmental scenarios (though less likely to be a practical problem as most use cases will be indoors).

At the very least, we think this will be a valuable marketing differentiator for Panasonic as this functionality is commercially so uncommon yet engenders interest and potential value. This is something we plan to test, minimally to better understand how well face and gender detection work.

1 report cite this report:

New Surveillance Products Directory Fall 2011 on Sep 21, 2011
This report provides a summary of key announcements and news being made related to or around the ASIS 2011 show.For each product or change, where...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Admits USA Sales Falling on Apr 22, 2019
Hikvision, in a new Chinese financial filing, has admitted that its USA sales are now falling. Less than a year after the US government passed a...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...
H.265 Usage Statistics on Apr 19, 2019
H.265 has been available in IP cameras for more than 5 years and, in the past few years, the number of manufacturers supporting this codec has...
ACRE Acquires RS2, Explains Acquisition Strategy on Apr 19, 2019
ACRE continues to buy, now acquiring RS2, just 5 months after buying Open Options. One is a small access control manufacturer from Texas, the...
Access Control Course Spring 2019 - Last Chance on Apr 19, 2019
Register for the Spring Access Control Course. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the industry. Unlike manufacturer...
Riser vs Plenum Cabling Explained on Apr 18, 2019
You could be spending twice as much for cable as you need. The difference between 'plenum' rated cable and 'riser' rated cable is subtle, but the...
Verint Victimized By Ransomware on Apr 18, 2019
Verint, which is best known in the physical security industry for video surveillance but has built a sizeable cybersecurity business as well, was...
Milestone Drops IFSEC on Apr 18, 2019
Milestone has dropped out of Europe's largest annual security trade show (IFSEC 2019), telling IPVM that they "have found that IFSEC in EMEA no...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact