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Analog to network shift

F.Y. TENG | Feb. 22, 2010
A look at a sea change due in the world of surveillance cameras.

Specifically which verticals or sectors in Asia is Axis Communications devoted to building its business in?
It's the same approach for us worldwide. As we have envisioned, to continue to hold our number 1 position through the transition, we have to address all the possible verticals.

Some verticals are easier to address for network videos. Those who adopt quicker are typically the ones that have no history of using CCTV. Education for instance only a low percentage of all the schools in Europe or in the US or other countries have or have had video surveillance. So where we've had an offering, unfortunately they've also had a need for surveillance. For them it is very easy or straightforward to move to network video. So education is one of the success areas.

Two years ago, retail used to be a big area for us because there were so many opportunities within. It's such a big sector. I think the retail sector was among the first hit in the economic slowdown. We saw that already two years prior.

Nowadays, the big driving area for us is transportation and public surveillance, those two together.  Often, it is hard to tell the difference because if you have surveillance in a railway station for instance, where does the railway station stop and when is it a public area? They're almost combined, those two installations.

There has been a lot of stimulus spending in Asia. Has your business gone up as a result of that?
In general, it should be good for us, the stimulus money.  But what we've seen in many countries is that it's actually stopping business as well because the people who are handling installations, when they get stimulus money from the Government, they also get requirements. For instance in the US, they have something called the Buy American Act. If you use stimulus money you need to buy a certain amount of American products. If you're a buyer, all of a sudden even if the product delivery was ongoing, you have to rethink the purchase. You have to align your purchase decisions with the rules of the stimulus money. Sometimes it's good, but many times it actually delays decisions. Of course, if Governments invest in video surveillance it's good for us in general.

What do you think our readers should expect coming from your segment of the information communication technology industry?
First of all, one should expect the technology transition to continue at a quite high pace, so we will eventually get rid of the analog cameras. I think we should in the short term, expect better and better image quality from the product. If you have an HDTV at home, you should have the same quality if you have a video surveillance system. So HDTV image quality should be expected as the standard, and if you look a little bit further ahead technology wise, you should expect to have intelligent cameras cameras that can recognise different things, helping the operator to manage a bigger system in an efficient way. Being better at being proactive, detecting something that is suspicious or that shouldn't normally happen…Those are the main things.


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