Is it the height of technological innovation or marketing hype — or is it perhaps a little of both? For those attending the first day of ISC West in Las Vegas, one of the more compelling stories is that of Innovative Security Designs, an IP video surveillance solutions start up out of Irvine, Ca.
ISD is featuring the industry’s first IP camera built on the Microsoft Windows platform at the show. For Ian Johnston, ISD’s president and CEO, the camera represents the culmination of at least two years of development that he says brings edge-based surveillance solutions for storage, the cloud, and security to the market.
“Most of the of Fortune 500 companies in the world today are running Windows. The problem we encounter is when non-standard devices are attached to the network,” Johnston says. “Then the IT department goes a little crazy — they can’t manage it like any other Windows device. The IT department wants new devices to join the Windows domain, that way they can push security and other group management policies to those devices.”
Johnston contends that traditional physical security cameras that run on Linux are standalone embedded devices, and are typically not designed with security in mind; instead they are built to be cost-effective and fast to market. “That creates a hesitant and skeptical IT manager when it comes to hanging these cameras on their networks,” Johnston says. “With the Microsoft DNA now inside the device, it can respect and join the domain. The camera is now treated like any other network device.”
When Microsoft began asking video surveillance vendors to deliver a Windows-based compatible IP camera to the market back in 2010, Johnston and his team accepted the challenge. Several manufacturers made overtures to Microsoft to deliver one, but ISD was the first, building and delivering one in four months from the time of inception. “We went in with the mindset to get this done,” Johnston says. “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. The introduction of the ISD’s Window OS camera reflects Microsoft’s business evolution. While software is its dominant solution, Microsoft has spent millions developing its device and services options, such as the MS Windows phone, the RT Tablet, Microsoft Connect, X-Box, and now the ISD Windows security camera. Microsoft hasn’t officially entered the security market; however, ISD has tapped into Microsoft’s growing device and services model to provide a new user option. “Microsoft has spent billions in cultivating this Microsoft stack that consists of all the technologies they have built,” Johnston says. “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. Providing video along with other services offered on the stack is purely a value add.”
It is that focus on delivering new value to the end-user that is driving ISD’s future growth. “Imagine a camera natively joining the active directory domain that can help unify identities across the enterprise,” Johnston says. “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. Or imagine video management and access software on the edge. It really is going to change the market’s current scorecard for a camera.”