Veteran systems integrators and consultants constantly lament that a lot of what they see hyped as innovative technology advancement in the security industry just isn’t. They say that bells and whistles that do little more than window dress a product may turn heads at the tradeshows, but have limited value for the user.
For Ian Johnston, president and CEO of Innovative Security Designs, an IP video surveillance solutions start up out of Irvine, Caif., this was a sentiment he shared. He contends that the physical security industry has lacked innovation, adding features to cameras that customers don’t really need. ISD was established in January 2012 out of this frustration.
"ISD wanted to bring edge-based surveillance solutions for storage, the cloud, along with a solid camera platform to the market. You have all this great technology being developed in the consumer arena and it should be applied to the security world, which would allow us to offer benefits to the customers that were previously impossible," said Johnston.
In 2011, when Microsoft began asking video surveillance vendors to deliver a Windows-based compatible IP camera to the market, Johnston and his team accepted the challenge. Several manufacturers made overtures to Microsoft to deliver a Windows compatible device, but ISD built and delivered one in four months from the time of inception.
"We went in with the mindset to get this done and did it," Johnston said. "We are the first physical security camera that has adopted Microsoft as their base operating system."
Johnston successfully launched ISD’s first product in June of 2012, followed by a smaller footprint camera in November. And since January it has been working with Microsoft to launch a Windows version.
When ISD began developing this solution most of the chips on the market for compiling and driving H.264 technology weren’t Windows compatible, hampering development of MS stack options for video. Building a physical security device required dedicated support from various chip manufacturers to provide the Windows board-support package. The fact was the industry simply hadn’t required that support in previous years.
"Microsoft has spent billions in cultivating this Microsoft stack that consists of all the technologies they have built. They recognize if people are already using their storage and cloud solutions, then this would be a very efficient way for them to provide services for their customers that are already using and being charged for those services. It was a seamless move. Providing video along with other services offered on the stack is purely a value add," Johnston continued.
The Microsoft Global Security team has been employing the entire array of its corporate parent’s technology for several years, consuming the software technology stack that includes SharePoint, InfoPath, Lync and SQL. The MS stack technology powers their entire global security operations centers in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.
"We want to help them tie the next generation of cameras into that stack, redefining how devices interoperate. And it could not happen at a better time, since Microsoft is now focused on being a device and services company as well as software company," said Johnston.
Johnston is also focused on delivering new value to the end user. "Imagine a camera natively joining the active directory domain helping to unify identities across the enterprise. Or imagine a new suite of applications for video surveillance such as the Prism SkyLabs application we will be showing at ISC West: business analytics that can be deployed in retail, restaurants and even night clubs. Or imagine video management and access software on the edge. It really is going to change the market’s current scorecard for a camera."