In a morning-show style set-up — fitting for a presentation for the press — Axis Communications discussed new technology, case studies and post-pandemic plans during its 14th annual press breakfast.
The hour-long virtual presentation featured Fredrik Nilsson, vice president of the Americas, and Martin Gren, advisor for new business, as hosts of “Good Morning Security,” featuring other members of the Axis team to discuss what’s happening in the company.
After an introduction by Nilsson, Gren overviewed 25 years of innovation within Axis, beginning in 1996 with this AXIS 200, the industry’s first network camera.
Today, these innovations include the fourth version of the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), which will debut later this year, and the new Axis Camera Station Secure Entry, which combines unified video management with access control.
Axis worked with developers to create ACAP version 4, which will include support for running container-based applications on the device; adoption of known open, de-facto software frameworks and industry-standard APIs; Support for high-level programing languages; and a deep learning toolchain and API.
According to Axis, ACAP 4 will bridge the gap between edge and server or cloud by allowing developers to use the edge for building faster, more scalable and more efficient solutions that utilize Axis devices.
The new Axis Camera Station Secure Entry provides video-verified access control, combining live video monitoring with access control management. Designed to work with the AXIS A1601 Network Door Controller and Axis card readers, this scalable solution can manage up to 128 doors per server and up to 10,000 cardholders with support for multiple credentials.
According to Nilsson, this foray into access control was created after lots of feedback requesting access control capabilities. However, Nilsson asserted that Axis Communications is still a video-first company.
“We took that feedback to heart, but we don’t have any ambition to be a pure access control player,” he said.
Post-COVID-19 was also a focus of the presentation, with examples of how Axis is helping with the re-opening, and the company’s own plans to return to tradeshows.
According to Nilsson, the company is committed to coming back to tradeshows once it’s safe to do so, since collaboration can be difficult in the virtual space.
“We have to be out there, live with existing customers and partners,” he said.
Scott Dunn, senior director of business development, discussed how Axis technology can be used in outdoor settings to combine safety, security and privacy. Some of these solutions include smart audio that can perform life announcements and connect to video surveillance, along with the Axis Live Privacy Shield, which records video but blurs the individual.
It’s a development that Gren notes could help the industry catch up to Europe, which has stricter privacy guidelines than the United States.
“This is actually one point where the U.S. lacks a little bit,” Gren said.
Body cameras were introduced at last year’s press breakfast, and this year they remained a talking point. The presentation focused on their application in the retail and education spaces as a cost-effective body wearable solution.
For policing, Axis’ body cameras include fall detection and unholstering detection and reviewing video through the Body Worn Assistant mobile app.
Additionally, Axis’ line of body cameras can be easily integrated into video surveillance systems, opening up its application uses.
“When you bring them together, you can become very creative,” Nilsson said.
At the end of the presentation, during the question and answer portion, Nilsson and Gren noted the resilience of the industry.
“I think in general, we’re seeing how resilient the security industry is,” Nilsson said, commenting that the security industry has fared better financially compared to other industries.
According to Gren, Axis Communications had a slight growth in revenue.
“So far, we’ve had a pretty good start, and I hope that continues throughout the year,” Gren said.
Nilsson and Gren also mentioned Axis Communications’s focus on diversity, equity and sustainability. In fact, Nilsson says he was attracted to the company because of its focus on sustainability. Gren pointed to specific initiatives, like signing the United Nations Global Compact to align its strategies with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
“We want to be a good citizen of the world, considering how large we are,” Gren said. “That means we have a lot of things to think about.”