Cisco And IBM Work Toward Smarter Video Surveillance

New advances in IP-based digital video surveillance cameras, recorders, and analysis software promise to not only help businesses put the kibosh on theft but also improve operations.
Pathmark's Ramos is glad to see Cisco's also interested in the market. "The fact that there's interest from another large player in the IT space proves that in the very near future video will play a much more significant role in retail," he says.

Continuing to build on top of last year's SyPixx acquisition, Cisco in March introduced an IP surveillance camera, a video recording and storage platform, and version 5.0 of Cisco Stream Manager video surveillance software. That lets security pros manage IP-based cameras and control who can access surveillance devices.

Global revenue from video surveillance cameras will grow to more than $9 billion by 2011, predicts a January report from market researcher iSuppli.


Established vendors of surveillance video are ready for greater interest in digital video use as well. Vidient Systems, spun out of NEC in 2004, in June will offer a video router that for the first time comes loaded with analytics software. It promises improved accuracy when counting people or objects passing through a video frame, among other features. It's partnering with Amag Technology, a maker of security management systems, to allow its equipment to recognize suspicious behavior and send alerts. Another new partnership will integrate Vidient's video analytics with 3VR's video management systems.

All this digital video will require storage. To that end, CoVi Technologies and Seagate Technology in March introduced a distributed media manager for CoVi's Crystal high-definition video surveillance system. Higher storage capacities let CoVi's video surveillance system record and play higher-quality video at higher frame rates.

Retailers such as Pathmark are ahead of most in experimenting with digital video's broader potential for security and operations. Now that business networks have become ubiquitous, and the technology to take advantage of digital video is coming to market in droves, there's little excuse for not taking a look.

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