Riskiest Companies 2009 - BRS Labs and TimeSight

By: 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 [link no longer available] [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 Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

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 [link no longer available] 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].

4 reports cite this report:

Investments & Acquisitions Directory 2011 on Dec 26, 2010
This directory provides a single source of information on funding and...
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...
BRS Labs Layoffs and Skepticism Mount on Dec 04, 2009
Revelations of problems and concerns with video analytics up-start BRS Labs...
Is the Web Replacing Security Magazines and Shows? on Sep 27, 2009
While ASIS show attendance was down and disappointing for the second...

Related Reports

Verkada Falsely Claims "First Native Cloud-based Access Control and Video Security Solution" on Jun 18, 2020
Verkada's false claims continue, this time to be the first native cloud-based...
Don't Be Fooled By Hot Water Bottle Fever Camera Demos on Aug 24, 2020
Fever camera salesmen like to fool buyers (and themselves) with hot water...
False: Verkada: "If You Want To Remote View Your Cameras You Need To Punch Holes In Your Firewall" on Jul 31, 2020
Verkada falsely declared to “3,000+ customers”, “300 school districts”, and...
Faked Convergint Fever Camera 'Expert' Marketing on Jun 16, 2020
Convergint touts they are "THERMAL CAMERA SOLUTION EXPERTS" while faking...
Anixter Runs Fake Coronavirus Marketing Using Shutterstock Watermarked Images on Jul 24, 2020
Coronavirus faked marketing is regrettably commonplace right now but Anixter...
The Next Hot Fever Detection Trend - $100 Wall-Mounted Units on Jul 06, 2020
The first wave of the booming fever detecting market was $10,000+ cameras,...
Spectron IR Thermal Fever Screening System Examined on Apr 14, 2020
Most are quick to avoid "fever screening" and "medical" labels, but...
The Problem With Fever Detecting Thermal Sunglasses on Apr 15, 2020
While the media has promoted using thermal sunglasses to detect fevers, this...
Sunell Panda Cam Body Temperature Measurement Camera Tested on May 14, 2020
Sunell is far less well known than its gargantuan domestic competitors Dahua...
ADT: 'Fever' Cameras Are Medical Devices on Jun 15, 2020
While many manufacturers are avoiding admitting their 'fever' cameras are...
HID Presents Signo on Apr 23, 2020
HID Global presented their new Signo readers they claim read farther and...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative....
Hikvision Fever Screening Thermal Solutions Examined on Apr 13, 2020
Hikvision is marketing "safer, faster, smarter" with their Fever Screening...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Screening Marketing In Africa on Sep 15, 2020
A multi-national African Hikvision distributor is marketing dangerously...
Beware Rigged China Fever Cameras on Sep 08, 2020
Many China fever camera manufacturers have rigged algorithms dynamically...

Recent Reports

Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
X.Labs Sues FLIR on Sep 16, 2020
X.Labs, the maker of Feevr, has sued FLIR, the publicly traded thermal...
Video Surveillance 101 September Course - Last Chance on Sep 16, 2020
Today is the last chance to sign up for the Fall Video Surveillance 101...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
Startup Cawamo Presents Live Alerts With Edge AI and Cloud VMS on Sep 15, 2020
Cawamo, an Israeli edge-to-cloud analytics and VMS startup, presented its...
Favorite Access Control Credentials 2020 on Sep 15, 2020
Credential choice is more debated than ever, with hacking risk for 125kHz and...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Screening Marketing In Africa on Sep 15, 2020
A multi-national African Hikvision distributor is marketing dangerously...
New Products Show Fall 2020 Announced - Register Now on Sep 14, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature New Products from over 25...
Hanwha 8K / 33MP Camera Tested on Sep 14, 2020
Hanwha Techwin has released an 8K / 33MP resolution camera, the TNB-9000 with...