Steve Gorski is the general manager for the Americas at Mobotix.
Photo credit: (File photo)
Convergence is a driving force in the security market from multiple angles. Primarily, the market is still in the process of shifting from analog systems to IP-based technologies. But just as important, if not more, we are seeing a shift in the way users look at technologies. Security practitioners no longer look to one particular product to solve a problem; rather, they seek complete solutions that combine multiple systems and capabilities into an integrated platform. The days of managing separate systems are quickly coming to an end.
Market demand is on the up
The interest for combined systems at the end-user level drive changes for many industry stakeholders and product manufacturers are responding by offering an influx of integrated systems. To date, we’ve seen the most demand for integrated systems from larger, enterprise-class end users, but as IP-based devices, especially surveillance cameras, become more prevalent, the demand has spilled over to the residential and small and medium-sized business (SMB) markets. Today, there is a need, and a benefit, for all customers to take advantage of networked, integrated systems.
Market statistics demonstrate that customers want to combine access control information with video to enable users to have a visual validation of an access request. In the enterprise market, end users rely on integrators to manually integrate these systems together but users in the residential and SMB space are often faced with tight budgets and cannot afford a complex integration process. Therefore, they need solutions that combine video and access control into a single IP-based solution that enables access and video components to work in conjunction to provide a complete view of access events.
Door stations with integrated cameras have been around for years but these systems have been based on analog technology. This restricts the value such a system can bring: Video images are not clear and limited two-way communication is available. Since the proliferation of networked video has driven costs to new lows, developers can deliver the power of IP and megapixel video to these systems to enable end customers in smaller installations to grasp hold of the benefits of a modern, integrated IP video door station.
Open access moves to the network
When a traditional door station is combined with the power of VoIP/SIP, users can truly tap into an effective access control and video system that meets the unique needs of the residential and SMB markets. This transforms the solution into an IP video door station. When the doorbell rings, a connection is established with the IP video phone or standard computer through the network to enable users to conduct video conversations with visitors at the door or open the door remotely. Because it includes a high-resolution, hemispheric door camera, the IP video door station captures the entrance area to allow users to verify the identity of the person at the door before allowing access. The hemispheric technology in the camera provides a 180-degree view of the front of the door, with no blind spots to provide a complete view of a situation or visitor. Clearer, crisper video and a wider view of the door provides more data to the user so they can make informed decisions on who can gain access to their home or facilities.
If the person is trusted, the door can be controlled, simply and securely, via a PIN code or an RFID transponder using the individually configurable access module. Users can access the system through a video phone, a standard computer, smartphone or tablet to enable use and monitoring from any networked-enabled location. Additionally, through VoIP capabilities, visitors can leave digital voice messages directly on the device, which can be retrieved by the home or business owner on site or remotely. This is possible because the camera records automatically, and can be programmed to do so continuously or event-controlled when, for example, the doorbell is initiated or the camera detects movement.
The primary goal of an IP video door station is to enable end users to know who accessed a facility and when. This was not possible with traditional, analog-based systems but with the advent of new technologies, users are realizing the benefits of true, built-in integration. It provides immense efficiency and a huge reduction in costs. Both residential and SMB markets are primed for an IP-based solution that integrates access control and video surveillance. Today’s innovative manufacturers are delivering the solutions necessary for customers to realize the benefits of integrated IP systems in a user-friendly and budget conscious format.
Steve Gorski is the general manager, Americas, for MOBOTIX, New York City. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.