Monday, October 20, 2008

It's a kind of magic

I came across Geoff Moore's blog posting "Is IP camera performance actually up to the job?" from a friend of mine. It is one of those commentaries from someone who understands what real people need, and expect from their video surveillance system. After slicing his way through people who over-sell by adding a dose of cold reality, he comments freely and objectively on the strengths and weaknesses of the FlexiDome analog cameras and then Dinion IP cameras. He remarks on low-light performance and I hope that Black Diamond IR illuminator additions from the Bosch Extreme portfolio will help these, and other cameras, perform better. Not only for image quality, but bit-rate reduction and much less error-prone video analytics.

Perhaps most interesting is his personal comments on the impact of low light on Megapixel cameras, which in turn affects usable framerates to avoid blurring. Since he covers so many aspects of technology and is very down to earth, I thoroughly recommend a quick read. http://ipvideo.ie/blog/?p=46

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Online videos

Sometimes watching someone explain stuff is just so much easier than reading the manual. We're all human. There's a whole load of videos here, ranging from product features to contrasting night and daytime videos, with and without IR illumination, to how to setup video analytics and what to watch out for. If you want, click on the thumbnail to open open the video window and then download it to your machine so you can watch it later.

http://video.boschsecurity.us/

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

53% global market share

According to the 2008 IMS report on Video Content Analysis, in 2007 Bosch had more than 53% of the global market for Intelligent Cameras and Encoders. And for Bosch Video over IP, 2008 is seeing tremendous growth, fuelled primarily by VCA, Direct-to-iSCSI and Recording at the Edge.

To understand how Bosch has achieved this global leadership position it's important to know that Bosch IP cameras and encoders support three levels of VCA depending on the application. The first two levels are targeted for mass-market use and are consequently included with every device.

At the most fundamental level all compatible IP cameras and encoders support Tamper Detection. This is the ability for the device to detect that the image has globally changed (cameras moved) or has become uniform (sprayed, masked, hooded etc.).

At the second level, all compatible IP devices support Motion+. This enhanced-motion-detector is the ability for the device to detect that an object is moving in the scene. It is more than just motion detection which is typically based on pixel changes, because Motion+ can, for example, alarm when an object is moving left to right, but not right to left.

At the licensable third level, all compatible IP devices support Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA), or 'High-End Analytics'. As Bosch's flagship VCA offering, it reliably detects the most popular behaviors, including loitering, idle object, object removed, trip-wire, trajectories and color detection. It is tolerant against weather conditions, and can disriminate between object size, speed and direction to reduce the number of false alarms. It also includes a calibration tool to take perspective into account.

IMS recognizes Bosch as the global leader in the first 2 levels of analysis with over a 50% global market share, as they provide a key differentiator to our customers who want an IP camera or encoder with more intelligence built-in. IMS also recognizes Bosch as a global player in the 3rd level, high end analytics.

Bosch is clearly targeting the mass market and is set to achieve this because it manufactures its own IP camera and encoder hardware and develops its own VCA functionality. An IVA license typically only adds another 25% to the cost of the hardware device itself, a cost that is not per analytic feature - the single license covers all features.

One other factor will drive the accelerated growth of IVA at Bosch - the recent release of our Extreme IP cameras, especially with IR illuminators. For an acceptable image you can get away with a certain level of lighting, but for 24-hour intelligence without continuous false alarms caused by AGC, you need good lighting. And while white light is great, IR does have several advantages not least of which are lower power consumption and therefore lower running costs, but also the minimal impact to the environment because of the absence of light pollution.

Bosch customers have chosen premium Bosch Video over IP devices because they want a system that can grow without replacement. With the release of the licensable IVA v3.5, Bosch has experienced a surge in customers simply calling in to activate IVA on their existing IP cameras and encoders. With the large population of Bosch devices already deployed globally, we expect this trend to accelerate as people discover the added value of activating Bosch IVA in the hardware they already have installed - moving Intelligence to the Edge.

Bosch is proud to be acknowledged by IMS as the global market leader for low-end video analytics, and is watching as the population of already deployed devices is being licensed to run the high-end analytics.