Nearly half of ONVIF plugfest attendees were first-time visitors.

ONVIF, a standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, is making expansion plans for the future, and those include the addition of physical access control to its specification and building on momentum that has gotten the three-year-old organization to more than 700 conformant products.

ONVIF held its fourth ISC West Plugfest event last month and showed off ONVIF-conformant network video products from 23 vendors. The interoperability demonstration of how ONVIF simplifies the process of building a network surveillance system using products from different vendors drew nearly 250 manufacturers, systems integrators, end users and others in the industry. Companies that took part in the demonstration included network video firms such as CNB Technology, Hikvision, Bosch Security Systems, GVI Security, LG Electronics, Siemens, Axis Communications, Sony and several others.

During a presentation and company update provided by ONVIF steering committee chairman, Jonas Andersson, of Axis Communications, attendees learned that ONVIF doesn’t just stand for network video anymore. The company is branching out into access control, and that release is expected to come later this year.

This tied into a statement of the group’s philosophy in the interoperability space. In discussing the latest release of its specification, version 2.0 (out in late 2010), Andersson explained that subsequent versions of ONVIF’s specification are designed to add to previous versions, never change them. Andersson highlighted the importance of solid foundations that allow ONVIF to grow with the market and expand its scope with each new version.

According to ONVIF, this year’s Plugfest attracted a large number of “first-time visitors” and people without any current association with the group, demonstrating the growing interest in standards. ONVIF celebrated nearly 300 members and more than 700 conformant products — at the time of writing the group is getting close to celebrating 800 conformant products. “We have reached a critical mass,” Andersson said, adding that means the group has reached a point where its efforts have proven significantly useful for integrators and end users, who require a breadth of products choices in order to best suit individual projects.

That ONVIF has grown at a feverish pace in its short three years in existence is undeniable. This is an important reflection of its efforts, but also of the market’s receptiveness to a global standardization effort and the fact that standards are indeed here to stay.

For information and a full list of ONVIF conformant products, visit