Previously, Steve Montgomery discussed the trends that are making surveillance a tempting area for AV integrators to move into. Here he looks at some specific initiatives designed to enable a single platform for different kinds of devices.
As an ever-increasing range of sensing devices are IP-enabled, there is far greater opportunity and scope for control systems to be created that use their data outputs to provide better and wider service management, security and safety within buildings. The ability to interface IP-based security devices into a single system is helped by the ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) specification. Created by the ONVIF organisation, an open industry forum, its aims are to “ensure compatibility of individual security devices and make it possible for end users, integrators, consultants and manufacturers to take advantage of the possibilities offered by IP-based physical security solutions. An open standard for the interface of IP-based physical security products enables them to easily integrate products from different vendors into a single solution.”
The ONVIF initiative makes it easier to control various types of device from a single platform; including cameras and sensors, door and access control mechanisms and recording devices. Milestone’s XProtect platform is an ONVIF-compliant management interface that is based around the core elements of video surveillance, observation and recording. It can be extended to incorporate whatever level of reporting, alarm response and security and access control is needed for all sizes of business and sites, ranging from individual offices through large organisations to complete towns and cities.
As a core platform, it enables integrators and solution providers to build comprehensive multi-function facility management systems. “XProtect features dozens of new ways for users to control security across their site and to do so using automated procedures so it operates in the background, ensuring complete reliability and coverage,” says Henrik Pedersen, Milestone’s business development manager. “With an enhanced web user interface and connectivity to smart devices, alarms can be generated to notify managers whenever an event occurs that requires attention, allowing them to access video and data remotely from their mobile device.”
The XProtect platform provides extensive programming and interface capability, so that a vast, and expanding, range of industry partners provides compatible devices and services. “The latest 4K cameras can be incorporated to deliver high-resolution images and integration of card-holder access management already allows systems to be developed that track people through a building. With the addition of face-recognition software and biometric sensors, even greater levels of security and control are possible through one interface.”
The AV industry is evolving rapidly and converging with others. Five years ago just a handful of devices in any audiovisual installation, or security installation resided on the network. As Vaddio’s Mike Brandes points out: “Typically there was a separate network for security and IP data, and audiovisual equipment existed on purpose-built infrastructures; initially five-wire BNC, then CatX cabling, and latterly fibre. Then control evolved from RS-232/RS-422 to IP-based control. As the needs of the customers continue to evolve, manufacturers will rise to the occasion and deliver products to meet those needs.”
AV installers are in an excellent position to consider additional uses for camera and sensor-based security equipment and take advantage of security technologies. By anticipating future needs and possibilities they are able to offer new and lucrative value-added services to customers beyond their initial requirements.