Innovation in the security market begins with IP, but problems with interoperability hamper widespread adoption of networked-based technologies. The most prevalent issue is common communication and streaming protocols. Today, an integrator can easily hook up an analog camera and view video, but if they hook up an IP camera, there is a high potential for no video. The industry needs to fix this problem, and standards are the answer.
Over the past few years, the movement to develop IP standards has gained a significant traction. Two organizations lead the charge, the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance and the Open Video Network Interface Forum. The organizations' goals are the same: to promote interoperability of networked-based, physical security devices through the development of IP-based specifications. ONVIF's primary focus is on IP surveillance specifications, while PSIA develops a range of specifications that enable devices to communicate as a comprehensive IP solution.
Standards are critical to propelling the widespread adoption of IP-based technologies in the physical security industry. Until IP technologies are just as easy to design, sell and install as traditional analog CCTV systems are today, IP will not deliver on its promised value. Therefore, deploying standards that drive complete system interoperability is critical to unlocking the potential of IP for the industry as a whole.
The Benefits of Standards
PSIA is committed to developing IP specifications for all product segments including video surveillance, access control, recording and storage devices, and video analytics. This approach offers numerous benefits. For end-users, it protects existing investments and guarantees that an IP-based product deployed today will be supported in the future. IP standards also provide a common platform for future expansion, which decreases the total cost of ownership of an IP security system.
IP standards enable systems integrators to offer cost-effective and best-of-breed solutions to customers. Standards also lead to an ease of installation of IP-based security products regardless of brand, as integrators can deploy a solution with products from various vendors to deliver world-class security solutions to end-users.
For product manufacturers, standards increase market opportunities for IP-enabled solutions, as products can be easily integrated with others, without custom interfaces or integration. Standards also allow manufacturers to highlight a product's features and benefits regardless of cost. This increases the market size for IP-enabled products and enable providers to further invest in future product development.
There is substantial industry support for PSIA initiatives. To date, more than 1,800 industry professionals have accessed existing PSIA specifications including the IP Media Device for IP camera and VMS compatibility; the Recording and Content Management specification, which standardizes the way recording and content management products interface with other devices in the security ecosystem, specifically security management systems; the Video Analytics specification that enables video analytic platforms of all types and brands to automatically integrate with video management systems and physical security software; and the PSIA Common Metadata and Event Model. The PSIA Area Control Working Group is currently working on an access control specification that will be released in early 2011.
A Solutions Approach to Interoperability