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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Milestone Integrated Platform Symposium - Part 2

04 September, 2007
Is IP Convergance the key to growth of intelligent surveillance?
"A fragmented industry with high levels of conservatism amongst users" â€" this was the verdict on the current situation in the surveillance industry by the Lusax Research team of Lund University who are examining the changes in the security industry and who presented their findings on the second day of this year's Milestone Integrated Platform Symposium in Copenhagen.

The team's leader, Professor Thomas Kalling, went on to make the prediction that the industry will see a greater level of convergence with inevitable industrial casualties due to increasing price pressure and industry partnerships and mergers. IP networking is likely to drive convergence due to ease of interoperability and reduce some of the fragmentation.

This view was backed up by IMS research who predict a move away from vertical integration and proprietary networks in favour of the BoB approach, adding that high levels of industrial conservatism will prolong this process and predicting that IP cameras will only start outselling analogue devices after another 4 years. However, increasing demand for intelligent video applications may drive this demand forward, citing $41bn retail shrinkage losses as being a significant incentive to move away from traditional approaches towards more integrated, intelligent applications.

Such applications were in no short supply in the adjoining exhibition hall where Milestone partner companies were keen to display such applications as Iris recognition, radio control over IP and various video analytics capabilities.

With such a clear and optimistic message, there has to be a down side and this mainly revolves around the question of bandwidth and storage. With so many applications hanging off the network and megapixel streams threatening to slow everything down, is the existing state of infrastructure ready to cope? Once again, the mood was optimistic with talk of improved storage networks and the need for fewer cameras with higher resolution offsetting the increased bandwidth demands. The latest move to reduce bandwidth demands is "edge intelligence" meaning an application that is embedded in the camera so instead of transmitting streams of uninteresting images, the camera can be programmed with a set of rules based on certain conditions under which video will be streamed.

Overall, the future of integrated IP surveillance is assured. There are problems of confidence that need to be overcome to break through the existing conservatism but the mood of the symposium was highly charged with optimism.
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