Jim Kauker

NAVCO, an Anaheim, Calif.-based systems integrator, has a history of differentiating itself by developing its own unique equipment. NAVCO executive vice president of sales and marketing Jim Kauker talked to SDM recently about the company’s hottest new device—a 360-degree ceiling-mounted camera called the TV360 that integrates with a traditional video surveillance system to enhance a client’s ability to investigate incidents after the fact.

SDM: You are primarily a systems integrator, but also a manufacturer. Tell me more about that strategy and how it benefits the company.

Kauker: We started out as North American Video Corporation in 1972, but changed our name to the acronym NAVCO in the mid-eighties because we had become much more than purely a video security company. We primarily install and service video, access control and alarm systems, and have also added a Network Services division in the last few years. In regards to being a manufacturer, we’ve found that to provide a better solution than the next guy, we’ve always had hardware and software engineers on staff to provide something extra.

SDM: Tell me about the TV360 and how it works.

Kauker: The product is aimed at the retail segments of security — banks, restaurants, convenience stores and major retailers with multiple locations who are concerned about loss prevention, security and fraud on a post-event basis.

What NAVCO has done is develop a camera solution that provides 360-degree recording, along with a software application that allows a loss prevention manager or fraud investigator to view a mixture of standard cameras and the TV360 in a simple GUI. Since the TV360 camera utilizes a three-megapixel imager, it needs its own specially designed and dedicated 400-gigabit hard drive recorder.

Our software actually talks to the two DVRs at the same time, allowing the user to seamlessly look at all the images as if they came from a single recording device. We call it the security manager’s “ultimate time machine.”

There are no more blank areas of view—you record it all, and by so doing, you can now replay it all, just as if you were back in time using a pan/tilt controller to investigate any given situation.

There are also some cool analytics that we have built into the 360-degree camera that work on a post-event basis. You can create motion-sensing alarms or track individuals or objects.

If employees are suspected of collaborating to commit a crime, the camera truly is able to help a skilled investigator put all the pieces together, and doing so is much easier than trying to figure out what happened in 16 separate camera views.

The software displays all the cameras that are in the system. To go to an analog camera, you click on the image icon for it. It’s all synchronized time-wise, so as you go forward and backward in time, you’re automatically making the same thing happen with the other DVR.

SDM: Does the TV360 work with any DVR?

Kauker: In its most basic use, it can be controlled via any of the many pan/tilt/zoom communication protocols, so almost any existing DVR with built-in telemetry can control it. NAVCO’s software that “binds” the TV360 and another DVR currently talks to NAVCO, GE, Dedicated Micros and March Networks DVRs. To add an additional manufacturer just requires customer interest and cooperation from the manufacturer so our engineers can write the software “plug-in” for control.

SDM: What enhancements to the product are you working on?

Kauker: We will have an outdoor version of the product in December, and we will of course be increasing hard drive sizes, as well as integrating IP solutions into the product line soon as well.

SDM: Do you have any plans to integrate this with access control or other systems?

Kauker: Integration is what we do, so yes. At this point, the basic hooks are already there. We are just waiting for one of our customers to come across something unique that they need this technology to do with their other systems. It’s NAVCO’s mission to figure out a way to make these new tools easy to use, and integration is exactly the way to deliver it.