Video Supplement: IP Standardization Proving its Value

A look at the meteoric four-year rise of the ONVIF interoperability specification and where it’s headed in 2013 and beyond

Although standardization is typically a more gradual, evolutionary process, ONVIF has grown in size and strength quite rapidly over these first four years. Not surprisingly, this has resulted in some growing pains between the market’s expectations for the specification and the technical limitations for standards based on the current maturity level of IP technology. Both ONVIF and IP have experienced rapid deployment. With that in mind, the next few years will be focused not only on moving forward into new technical areas, but we will also concentrate on refining the overall process of standardization. A strong focus on the conformance process will ensure the quality of the specification and its continuing acceptance in the market.

From the beginning, ONVIF’s focus was video because we knew we could get the proper feedback from the marketplace and because the need for standards and interoperability on the network video side was so acute. But we have also recognized from the start the need for specifications in other industry segments.

After the expected release of the fundamental access control specification and test tools this year, ONVIF will decide on its next area of concentration. This could include new advances in physical access control or intruder alarms — both of which seem to be the next natural step — but it is up to our members to decide the course.


Per Björkdahl is Chairman of the Steering Committee of ONVIF. For more information, please visit