Avigilon, a Canada-based provider of high-definition video surveillance solutions, announced on Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire video analytics firm VideoIQ for $32 million. VideoIQ’s portfolio of video analytics property includes 23 patents either already granted or pending.
Avigilon President and CEO Alexander Fernandes said that the company’s video analytics offerings have, up until this acquisition, been very minimal.
“All we really had was basic motion detection, pixel search and license plate recognition. So we had a standalone sort of license plate recognition module, but nothing in what we call advanced analytics in terms of being able to detect humans, vehicles and rules engines around analytics,” explained Fernandes. “We had a choice: we could either start to develop in-house, which could take several years to do or we could look outside of the company on the competitive landscape and out of roughly a dozen analytics companies, VideoIQ emerged as head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their offering.”
Fernandes said that VideoIQ has both hardware and software products that Avigilon will be able to leverage as part of their efforts to beef up their suite of video analytics solutions. In addition to having its own line of HD cameras with embedded analytics and onboard storage, VideoIQ also offers a video analytics appliance called Rialto that is compatible with either analog cameras or third-party IP cameras.
“Video analytics is really a growing segment of the market of the video surveillance market,” said Fernandes. “We’re seeing more and more RFQs going out requiring analytics as part of the spec.”
When video analytics first arrived on the scene in the surveillance industry, Fernandes said that they faced a couple of barriers that prevented their widespread adoption. Chief among these were price and the fact that, for the most part, they were a standalone offering.
“There was a lot of investment money that went in and there were a lot of promises and a lot of hopes built up, but I think what kind of happened is two things: a lot of the analytics offerings were too expensive. One thing that people have to remember is the security market, as a whole, is very price sensitive and so it’s very difficult to sell premium price or expensive products and so I think that was one of the failure points of analytics and, to a large extent, remains a barrier today,” Fernandes added. “The other thing is a lot of the analytics companies were trying to sell their technology as a standalone. That creates awkwardness in the actual deployment and use (of analytics). For integrators, it’s just another piece of a puzzle, so it just adds another layer of complication.”
Fernandes said that the combination of VideoIQ’s analytics with Avigilon’s surveillance products will lower costs, ease the installation process for integrators and create a single, user-friendly platform for the end user.
Based in Billerica, Mass., VideoIQ has approximately 30 employees and customers across a broad range of vertical markets. In the near term, Fernandes said that they won’t be making any significant changes to the business.
“In the first phase of integration, we will basically leave the business as it is and focus on tightening the integration that we have and making it a little bit deeper integration. Step two would be to, at some point, introduce the VideoIQ product line to our global sales network… and we expect to be able to increase sales substantially by introducing the existing product line, more or less, as is to our existing channel.”
Fernandes said that this acquisition will fill one of the “last big holes” that Avigilon had in its product line.
“Out of the gate, we made a name for ourselves in HD and sort of bringing forward what we feel is the ultimate HD solution and we really focused on that from inception almost to the exclusion of developing analytics or other things,” he said. “But this acquisition definitely does fill that void for being able to provide an analytics solution.”