Riskiest Companies 2009 - BRS Labs and TimeSight

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 09, 2009

BRS Labs and TimeSight are likely the riskiest video surveillance companies.

With extensive marketing campaigns and multiple awards received from questionable award programs, they are creating a lot of noise and obscuring significant risks.

Extreme Marketing Claims

Both have extreme marketing positions; TimeSight claims 90%+ storage cost reduction and BRS Labs contends a new form of video analytics which virtually eliminates false alarms.

Storage claims are easy to make based on assuming metrics on cameras, codecs, storage duration, etc that have limited applicability or are simply unrealistic.

Bogus video analytics claims are common as many companies have proven over the last decade.

Extreme marketing claims are easy to do if you are ignorant or unethical enough to make them. Where's the independent proof? BRS has none. Timesight's VMS has a negative review from the PSA [updated 9/11: and no detailed comparative analysis on storage savings vs. other systems in typical deployment scenarios - see our recommended evalaution criteria (premium)].

Specific Product Concerns

[updated 9/14: In the comments, we have discussed a number of specific product concerns. These are summarized below to make it easier to understand the risks]

Timesight:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

TimeSight's product claims suffer from 2 main risks:

  • The product's storage claims are significantly overstated for almost all surveillance deployment. TimeSight assumes the use of only MJPEG megapixel cameras for 3 - 24 month recording compared to VMS systems with no storage optimization and continuous recording. By contrast, the use of more typical assumptions, like H.264 megapixel cameras, a high percentage of analog or SD cameras and the activation of competitor's storage optimization, TimeSight's claims would not be very impressive.
  • TimeSight is being praised for its storage optimization but it's overall VMS performance is questionable (including the PSA's statement that TimeSight is "an extended storage solution versus a video management solution." However, TimeSight must be competitive as a VMS system because it is incompatible with other VMS systems.

BRS Labs

BRS Lab's products claims suffer from 2 main risks:

  • BRS Labs sometimes claim they detect abnormal behavior without rules and other times that they do traditional video analytics (perimeter detection, abandoned object, etc.). If they are just doing the later (traditional video analytics) or their use cases can be solved by traditional video analytics, there's lot of other options out there that work fairly well, less expensive and integrate well with existing VMS/PSIM systems. In this scenario, there's nothing much interesting about BRS and should not win any awards.
  • BRS Labs is drawing attention and winning awards for abnormal behavior detection. There's no independent published proof of how well this works (false negatives/false positives, environmental issues, etc.). Abnormal behavior detection without rules is a very hard technology to implement for production level security systems (especially if the costs for high end servers and software are to be kept at levels that users can pay - not $3,000-5,000 USD per camera, etc).

Strong, Large Competitors

Both enter established markets with competitors that have developed sophisticated products with extensive field deployments, numerous features and integration with large numbers of 3rd party systems.

Timesight and BRS Labs are nowhere close to the level of their direct competitors (companies like Milestone and Genetec for Timesight and ObjectVideo and ioimage for BRS Labs) [updated 9/12: in overall features, maturity of product and support for third party systems].

Their core claimed advantages are questionable and what they lack in comparison is significant.

Refused to do Independent Tests

Both BRS and Timesight have refused my repeated requests to perform an independent, unpaid, hands-on test of their product. [Plus, I have spoken with both companies repeteadly over the last year and the only independent test publicly available is the PSA one for TimeSight].

Update 9/11: Companies that leverage aggressive marketing claims, face stiff competition and base their validation on questionable awards are, by definition, risky. These criteria all fit BRS Labs and TimeSight.

4 reports cite this report:

Investments & Acquisitions Directory 2011 on Dec 26, 2010
This directory provides a single source of information on funding and acquisitions in the video surveillance market. It is part of our Video...
Readers Respond: 134 Votes, 25 Comments Examined on Feb 14, 2010
Over 100 people voted and more than 25 left detailed comments to our recent question/discussion. In this post, we review and respond to the...
BRS Labs Layoffs and Skepticism Mount on Dec 04, 2009
Revelations of problems and concerns with video analytics up-start BRS Labs is mounting. An investigative report by the Houston Chronicle on BRS...
Is the Web Replacing Security Magazines and Shows? on Sep 27, 2009
While ASIS show attendance was down and disappointing for the second consecutive year, online traffic to security websites continues to rise...

Related Reports

Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...
Hikvision USA Head of Cybersecurity Exits on Jul 18, 2017
Hikvision USA's Head of Cybersecurity has exited the company. In this note, we review the move, share Hikvision's feedback and examine the...
Genetec Mission Control Tested on Jul 13, 2017
Genetec continues to move up market with their Mission Control, "Decision Support System", bringing PSIM-like procedures and incident management to...
OnSSI Gets $16 Million Funding on Jul 11, 2017
OnSSI has had a rollercoaster past few years. Between acquiring VMS company Seetec, breaking up with former OEM partner Milestone and a rocky...
Nest Cam IQ Tested on Jul 10, 2017
Nest has released their latest entry in their camera line, the Nest Cam IQ, touting 4K "Supersight", facial recognition, "HD audio", invisible IR,...
ONVIF Widely Used Toolkit Vulnerability Discovered on Jul 10, 2017
A vulnerability has been discovered in a toolkit that video surveillance manufacturers widely use for implementing ONVIF. In this report, we...
H.265 / HEVC Codec Tutorial 2017 on Jun 30, 2017
For years, video surveillance professionals have talked about the potential for H.265. Now, in 2017, H.265 is starting to gain mainstream...
Top 5 Improvements For Manufacturer Sales People on Jun 28, 2017
Manufacturer sales people are very important to integrators, but it takes more than just punching a clock to be successful and truly valuable to...
Hikvision H.265+ Tested on Jun 27, 2017
Hikvision, which in the past few years released H.264+ (see test results) has now released H.265+, that claims even greater bandwidth savings. We...
Milestone / Canon Launch Cloud Startup Arcus Global on Jun 27, 2017
Milestone has spun off a business, Arcus Global, funded by their parent company Canon. The new company aims to transform the VSaaS market with an...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We tested Axis'...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide on Jul 19, 2017
This 120 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It covers our 20 manufacturer favorability rankings and 20 manufacturer...
$8 Billion Utility Georgia Power Enters Surveillance Business Offering Avigilon And Genetec on Jul 19, 2017
Utilities are typically considered major customers of surveillance integrators but one utility, Georgia Power, with $8+ billion in annual revenue...
Knightscope Laughs off Robot Drowning on Jul 18, 2017
A day after a Knightscope robot drowned, Knightscope has issued an 'official statement' making fun of the issue: The implied message is that...
Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...
Hikvision USA Head of Cybersecurity Exits on Jul 18, 2017
Hikvision USA's Head of Cybersecurity has exited the company. In this note, we review the move, share Hikvision's feedback and examine the...
'Suicidal' Knightscope Robot Drowns on Jul 17, 2017
Knightscope continues its hyper growth, at least when it comes to controversy, this time with a 'suicidal' robot in Washington DC. And here is...
March Networks Company Profile on Jul 17, 2017
March Networks was one of the most well-known video surveillance manufacturers of the 2000s. In 2012, March was acquired by Chinese / American...
Milestone Beats OnSSI In Court on Jul 17, 2017
The litigation between former partners Milestone and OnSSI has finished, confirmed by both parties. In April 2016, OnSSI sued Milestone and in...
Power For Burglar Alarms on Jul 14, 2017
In order to operate, alarm panels require the high voltages found in electrical outlets be converted to the low voltages they run on. In this...

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