ONVIF standards group gains steam

At the beginning of April, during the ISC West 2009 tradeshow, the industry was abuzz about video surveillance standards.

IQinVision rolled out a camera with the PSIA standard API, and the PSIA hosted a developer's meeting at the Las Vegas tradeshow. At the same time, the industry was seeing strong growth in ONVIF, the Open Network Video Interface Forum, a group also working on standards for network-connected video security products. ONVIF was finding more and more members (including some of the founding PSIA members) and the organization was forming some groups to push forward its efforts.

SecurityInfoWatch.com checked in with Paul Ritchie, the executive director of ONVIF and found a rapidly growing organization. Between the beginning of February 2009 and the beginning of April 2009, the group added 14 new member companies. The list ranges from VMS companies like On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI) to camera companies like Canon, Samsung and Sanyo, and network technology providers like Cisco Systems. The mix of names includes integrators (Siemens)

According to Ritchie, ONVIF has also seen the formation of a number of working groups, including a test tool working group, a test specification working, a specifications enhancement working group, and a technical support working group. Ritchie says there's even another working group on the way.

The ONVIF group released its core specification and test specification in 2008 (specs are available at onvif.org), but the group has also initiated the second version of the specification. According to Ritchie the group is active pursuing "additional features and refinements" for the specification before launching this upcomign second version.

According to ONVIF President Jonas Andersson (and director of business development at Axis Communications), it's difficult to say when products will hit the market that use the ONVIF specifications.

"ONVIF is cooperating regarding the interface and not products," said Jonas. "However, I have heard official statements from Axis, Bosch and Sony that they will provide products with ONVIF interfaces this year."