Three phases of IP video evolution

September 2014 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Milestone Systems’ sustained growth has to be attributed to our introducing the open platform approach to the security industry. By allowing other companies and developers to add functionality to Milestone’s software and supporting the widest choices of servers and cameras, our open platform has had a radical effect on the security industry.

Lars Thinggaard
Lars Thinggaard

Milestone’s open platform has created the freedom for both partners and their customers to not only select their own video system components, but also to create, define and tweak solutions to suit their security needs. Not only was Milestone one of the visionary companies in the shift from analogue to digital; our introduction of the open platform has paved the way for new ways of thinking about using surveillance video.

For the surveillance industry, the decision to 'go open' has motivated a series of developments that mark three distinct phases in its growth.

The first phase: IP video technology

When Milestone started up in 1998, video surveillance was 100% analogue. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) was synonymous with video surveillance, and even though the concept has changed a lot since then, most people today still think of analogue video when they think of video surveillance. Video surveillance is a tool to view and record video images, and the public generally sees it as being used in security only.

The second phase: video integration

The Internet brought with it a new electronic infrastructure that made Internet Protocol (IP) applications like email, instant messaging, peer-to-peer file sharing and Voice over IP (VoIP) widely available. Digital video was soon added to this list, and saw application in video conferencing and, of course, video surveillance.

The main advantage of networked applications was that they were programmable, and this opened up a range of other benefits. These typically included better user experiences, network visibility and control, better access to data and development advantages, notably in the form of tailor-made video integrations.

The third phase: video enabling

It was clear that video integration with other IP-based systems was going to change the face of video surveillance. While new video integrations were a natural result of a growing and diversifying partner ecosystem, Milestone recognised the new definitions that networked video was beginning to offer to the world of video surveillance. Companies were beginning to adapt their existing video solutions for other uses, for purposes that optimised and improved their businesses processes.

Video enabling simply means that video surveillance has shifted into a new paradigm of usability and application. This is because of the unique combination of network programmability and the extensive partner ecosystem made possible by the open platform standard.

Video enabling – the optimisation of business processes through video – is the way forward. It is not a move away from security, but rather an addition of function to that of traditional asset-protection and loss prevention. The amount of revenue-generating potential inherent in video enabling is a ‘win-win-win’ for vendors, partners and the customers.

There are a number of possible ways in which companies can video-enable their businesses. Here are just a few:

* Compliance. Workers can be monitored to enforce protective clothing and safety equipment or procedures, preventing loss due to fire, chemicals, accidents and injury.

* Prevent queuing at point-of-sale locations by notifying when extra personnel are needed.

* Alert maintenance crews to impending structural failures in buildings and vehicles.

* Retailers use video to track traffic patterns, measure the effectiveness of displays and other merchandising strategies, and devise ways to increase sales or visits.

Milestone’s vision is “to drive the convergence of video surveillance and IP-based systems”. This is not only an open acknowledgement of the new direction that video surveillance is taking; it is an assumption of initiative and a rallying call to lead the security industry toward video enabling and optimised business processes.

For more information contact Milestone Systems, +1503 350 1100, [email protected],


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