Unique camera technology on display at ASIS 2012

Some companies offering innovations above and beyond just higher image quality


"The critical difference (between ISD and the rest of the market) and really the focus as to why I started ISD was the world does not need another camera company," said ISD CEO Ian Johnston. "The goal of ISD was not to create just another camera company, the goal was to create a great platform on which to showcase new ideas, as well as just have really good image quality, edge storage and platform for everything."

According to Johnston, ISD is trying to take a different approach to the market that what has been done in the past, which he believes has resulted in largely "clumsy" and "expensive" surveillance technology.

"The camera just being a standalone device that captures video is becoming pretty archaic," he said. "Now that edge storage is becoming pretty viable in the fact that you can buy 128-gigabyte card from Amazon, throw it in a camera and actually have edge storage and have the storage be more distributed across your entire network – people are now starting to realize how everything is architected."

As with the transition from motion JPEG to H.264 compression, Johnston said that there is a lot of backlash now in the industry against edge storage because they’re incapable or unwilling to produce a product with that capability.

"The first thing was the backlash against IP with the analog companies saying IP is bad. Then it was the backlash against H.264 that it was bad. Now, you’ll see a backlash against the edge whereas everybody else is claiming that they can do it, so it is an interesting transition," he added.

While there has been a debate in the industry over the benefits of megapixel and HD resolution, Johnston said that the "sweet spot" for security is 720P and 1080P with 1080P making up the bulk of the marketplace.

"Any resolution above that… the reality is the optics behind everything, it just doesn’t support anything greater than 1080P," he explained. "So, if you go with off-the-shelf security optics with what’s commonly available through most vendors, anything above 1080P is just basically wasting bandwidth and wasting money."

Johnston believes that in the future, security camera will be ubiquitous as they are today in China and the UK to a certain extent and that the challenge will be how these cameras are integrated and how footage is retained.

"You have all of these devices, how you tie them together, how you manage them and how you access them all is becoming pretty unwieldy and that’s where edge, cloud and VSaaS – it’s finally starting to take root I think in a meaningful way," Johnston said. "The interesting thing is the hardware now is to the point to where it’s actually starting to be viable. The Jaguar camera that we’ve come up with, it’s actually faster and has more memory than the PC I had in college. Now that the technology is catching up to the expectation of the customer and what they would like to be able to do and all of the cloud infrastructure… you can tie all of these things together and actually go for a viable solution, but it does require a certain amount of imagination and the ability to cross-pollinate different industries, which traditionally in the security industry has been pretty lacking."