A New Channel for Selling Surveillance Cameras

With all the focus on security in today's world, and with sizable price drops on IP cameras in the last year, you never know where a camera is going to come from next.

Linksys, known for its home and small business networking products, surprised the industry with its full-fledge IP camera, and now Prodigy's Latin American ISP TELMEX is selling cameras, too.

A news release on Business Wire announced that TELMEX would be reselling network surveillance cameras from Axis Communications to its home and small business customers. The models, says Axis, will be the 206 and the 207W (wireless), two of Axis' entry level cameras.

TELMEX is selling the cameras with its Prodigy Cam, a broadband service that allows the company's customers to access the video streams from their cameras at any PC on the web. Though many would call the systems web cams, Axis argues that they are not, noting that the cameras feature internal Web servers, so they are standalone IP devices, not just a camera plugged into the USB port of a computer.

According to a statement from Axis, since TELMEX has started the program in Mexico, the company has sold $440,000 worth of the Axis cameras. That represents a significant shift from the standard security industry model of dealer-to-consumer sales. And while the offer of network cameras direct to the consumer may seem a bit unsettling to dealers at first, it's important to realize that the cameras being pushed here aren't the full-featured cameras that security installing dealers are likely to sell. If anything, such a move to make cameras and web-based video monitoring available to a broad swath of consumers may actually be able to encourage "upgrade" type purchase of full-featured security equipment and full-featured, professional monitoring

"As network cameras evolve, they are moving beyond purely professional applications and opening up new opportunities for home and small business users," explained Fredrik Nilsson of Axis Communications (and a regular contributor to SecurityInfoWatch.com) in a statement announcing the deal with TELMEX.