Watch for These IP Video Trends in 2012

According to Fredrik Nilsson of Axis Communications Inc., image quality and intelligent functionality are just some of the advancements making IP video more attractive to campuses in the coming year.

Security Technology

Fredrik Nilsson: We’re moving to an all-IP, all-digital surveillance world, and technology development is happening very quickly. Specifically, improving light sensitivity of IP cameras has recently seen some great strides. We’re seeing more and more thermal network cameras – which can detect in complete darkness – being integrated into professional installations. This will certainly continue. IP cameras are also giving users the ability to see color and detail even in dark conditions. We’ve seen a shift from CCD sensors to CMOS sensors for better light sensitivity. Also, thanks to the continuation of Moore’s Law, the camera has much more capacity for processing power, which can be used to digitally sharpen and filter the image – producing a color image in extremely low light conditions instead of switching to black and white like traditional day/night cameras.

Related Article: Your IP Video Surveillance Cheat Sheet

In a second trend, innovations in storage will cause a technology shift for surveillance users. Today, network video is the de facto choice for systems with more than 32 cameras because of its scalability, image quality and total cost of ownership. But with the rise of hosted video combined with advancements in edge storage, we expect to see IP become a realistic and affordable solution for nearly every installation, large or small.

Security Markets

Nilsson: Despite all its benefits, IP video only makes up about 30% of new system installations. There’s still a huge market to converge. Education and health care were early adopters of IP, and government, transportation and commercial installations are moving toward an all-network video model. With solid migration strategies in place via video encoders combined with new cloud-based and edge storage opportunities, the retail market is making great strides in IP video, as well. Soon the banking and gaming industries will follow suit and IP will be for everyone.

The biggest challenge of 2012 will be similar to years past: setting proper expectations. As we move away from analog systems – as with any technology shift – there will be a learning curve. When should I use a high-resolution camera? When is a standard definition one more appropriate? What’s the difference between HDTV and megapixel? Will this analytic work at the success rate my campus needs? Is hosted video the right opportunity for this installation?

Security Business and Operations

Nilsson: As IP camera technology improves each day, better capabilities in the areas of image quality and intelligent functionality will make our surveillance systems more useful. IP video will be used for more than just security and surveillance. There are opportunities for sales and marketing functions as well as operational efficiencies that the end user may not know exists. Retailers are leading the way here and are using their systems to improve the bottom line. We’ll also see an uptick in mobile device usage thanks to better image compression and ever-increasing bandwidth. This will open up new opportunities for remote monitoring.

Security Industry

Nilsson: We will see continued education and certification requirements for systems integrators. The reality is we’re shifting to an IT-centric, IP-focused surveillance world. Technology innovation and product development is happening faster than this industry has seen before. This will only improve the IP video industry by making its systems more effective, but it’s up to the integrators and distributors to ensure their certifications are up to date and staff is properly trained in order to stay ahead.

Politics and Legislation

Nilsson: Standards usage and development will be both a change and opportunity in 2012. The Video Quality in Public Safety (VQIPS) group, for one, is a DHS-funded, forward-thinking association that combines professional experience with standards development. They are creating tools to help all American municipalities determine proper video quality for their surveillance decisions. Keep an eye on this movement.

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