As of January 15, 2010, iPhone users downloaded more than 3 billion total applications, so many people are familiar with the concept of an “app.” It is a concept that Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass., is bringing to the security industry. With the launch of the AXIS Camera Application Platform, it is possible for any company to develop downloadable applications for Axis’ range of network cameras and video encoders. More importantly, it will allow integrators and dealers to place custom analytics inside Axis’ cameras, harnessing the processing power that is available there.

Axis is the first company to completely open its network video products for third-party applications. “A parallel can be drawn to the telecom market, where end users benefit from a wide range of downloadable applications for their mobile phones,” said Ray Mauritsson, chief executive officer (CEO) of Axis Communications. “In the security market, the focus of the applications will be different. We see great interest for intelligent video applications that provide the products with capabilities based on, for instance, recognition, tracking, detection and counting.”

Axis’ vision is to make a wide range of Axis-compatible applications easily available for integrators and end users. “There are many skilled application developers with unique competences and ideas. Our open application platform enables them to develop applications that bring extra value to various target groups,” said Mauritsson. “As a result, it will be possible for integrators and end users to select the best combination of camera and application, or encoder and application, to meet specific needs within transportation, education, city surveillance and other industry segments.”

Convergint Technologies, Schaumburg, Ill., already works to provide customized solutions to its customers, some of which include some form of analytics. Up until this point, Convergint has been limited to taking what is available off the shelf or paying for per-camera licenses on analytics it pays to have developed. Axis’s solution opens up a new world in a growing market. The camera application platform will allow companies like Convergint to offer even more customized solutions and retain the investment they make in those custom solutions.

“We see the whole video content market and analytics as a market that is going to explode in the next few years just because customers are starting to trust the analytics — that they work properly and that they can get good data from them,” said Mike Kuhn, vice president of Convergint Technologies. “Up until this point we’ve taken what is available off the shelf and tried to apply it to a specific need that a client has. Even when working with a software-based analytics company to develop a custom solution, we would be paying a per-camera or a per-server license, which gets expensive. With this new camera application, we can develop a solution once and turn it into a very inexpensive bolt-on to what we offer our customers instead of having to go out and buy it again in the future, and we can put it inside the camera.”

Kuhn is excited to place custom analytics in a camera with Axis’s quality, as camera quality is often an issue.

“A problem with many of the newcomers on the analytics side who approach us with built-in analytics is that the camera is poor,” Kuhn pointed out. “They may have the best analytics, but the quality of the camera and how it performs doesn’t come close to what Axis has across its entire product line.”

It is a merger of “best of breed” — placing the best analytics to fit customer’s specific needs in the best cameras that Axis is very intentional about.

“We are not the expert analytics company,” explained Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis, “but we are experts in partnering and will open up the cameras’ processing power and access to uncompressed video to our video analytics partners in order to provide the best possible best of breed solution for the integrator and end users.”

To learn more about AXIS Camera Application Platform, specific applications that partners are creating, and other ways that Axis is expanding IP surveillance into new markets, please visit booth #18051 at ISC West or visit