Axis Communications has introduced a body-worn camera solution, which the company says represents a natural extension of their corporate vision, business strategy and core competence. The new body-worn cameras and other elements of the system will provide Axis new opportunities to grow by tapping into existing and new customers.
The fast-growing body-worn camera market is an attractive one, and Axis sees opportunities to extend the use of body-worn cameras beyond the current core market of police and corrections officers. Private security applications for the technology include healthcare, education, banking, public venues, retail, logistics, transportation and places of worship.
The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind, says Martin Gren, Founder and Director of New Projects at Axis. “We try to make it fit with existing customers.”
Deploying and using the system
The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind
Gren says the system is easy to deploy and use. The Axis W100 camera provides 1080p images, wide dynamic range (WDR) and has dual microphones, operating 12 hours on a single charge. GPS/GNSS global satellite navigation provides location, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer offer additional data beyond the video image. For example, sensors might be triggered in some situations to initiate recording.
One-bay (Axis W700) or eight-bay (Axis W701) docking stations enable high-speed supervised data offloading and battery charging, and a system controller (Axis W800) provides a central point for integration and management. Use of Zipstream compression technology saves on bandwidth and storage.
Video cannot be accessed in the field, but only when a camera has been docked. There are many layers of security, and encryption protects all data used in the system from being accessed by outside agents. The USB interface cannot be connected to an ordinary computer but only to the docking station.
Open standards ensure easy integration with video management systems and/or evidence management systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. At the time of release, the Axis body-worn camera system is already integrated with Milestone XProtect, Genetec Security Center, and Axis Camera Station VMSs. It is also integrated with the Genetec Clearance cloud-based evidence management system. An application programming interface (API) will facilitate additional integrations over time.
The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels
The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels of distributors, systems integrators and resellers. The camera is part of the Axis “ecosystem,” which includes the company’s familiar network cameras as well as recent additions such as access control, network audio systems (including loud speakers), intercom door stations, a radar detector and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The more things you integrate, the more value you add to customers,” said Gren.
The new body-worn camera systems are core products for Axis; they are not made by another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and merely sold under the Axis label. “When we decided to do body-worn cameras, OEMing was not an option,” said Gren. “Instead we took some experienced Axis engineers and a bunch of new ones to develop this product line to ensure the same Axis quality and compatibility.”
Introducing the new product
The body-worn camera system was unveiled remotely in a press conference webinar; the original plan was to introduce the new product at ISC West, which was cancelled to minimise spread of the novel coronavirus.
In addition to announcing the new product, the Axis executives provided commentary and insight into the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “The security industry is a close-knit community that is connected in more ways than one,” said Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Vice President of the Americas. “We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision to address such challenges.”
We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision"
“There is some disruption in the Axis supply chain, but we have a broad partner-based supply chain when it comes to our sub-suppliers, our seven global CLCs (Configuration and Logistics Centers) and the distributors who keep inventory for integrators,” said Nilsson in the March 18th press call. “There is some stress on some components, but things are working relatively well under the circumstances. We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis, but so far we have been able to hold things up very well.”
Gren offered a comment on the possible use of thermal cameras (which Axis makes) to measure body temperature during the COVID-19 crisis: “When we designed our thermal cameras, that was a common question,” he said. “But in general, it is difficult to use a thermal camera to get an accurate reading. We have one model – the Q2901 – that is a temperature-accurate thermal camera, and if you look straight into the camera, it is accurate to around 1° F. However, there are more efficient ways to [measure temperature]. In general, it’s not a business application I would recommend.”