Axis Communications, the global provider of intelligent surveillance technology, yesterday held the official launch of the new Axis Experience Centre in Luton. The event was a chance for Axis’ partners to meet with the senior management team and explore how the new centre operates, all the while celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary over a glass of champagne.

The centre was officially opened by Axis Communications co-founder Martin Gren, along with Bodil Sonesson, the company’s VP of Global Sales. The toast was led by Atul Rajput, Regional Director, Northern Europe. As one of Axis’ first ever employees, Rajput was particularly well placed to thank partners for their collaboration over the last twenty years.

As celebrations continued, was lucky enough to join Axis’ partners in a tour of the new facility.

Exploring the Axis Experience Centre

What immediately became apparent was that this was no ordinary showroom. In contrast to open-space demonstration rooms traditionally favoured by the security industry, the Experience Centre takes end users on a flowing tour where they can experience Axis solutions in a variety of environments simulating real-world problems. The tour typically takes two hours, and is designed for small groups of people to allow in-depth discussion of the difficulties end users are facing.

Axis open platform solutions

One highlight of the experience is the AXIS Camera Application Platform (ACAP), which allows partners to solve specific customer problems by downloading third-party applications to Axis IP cameras and encoders. Typical end user problems highlighted by the tour include queue management, people counting and intrusion detection. The solutions are all fully interactive – on passing through a gateway, an audio alert notifies participants that they are trespassing, while three participants standing in a given space can trigger air conditioning and ambient audio.

The most immersive part of the experience is the ‘dark room’, which simulates all kinds of challenging lighting conditions including the intense backlight that may be experienced at a building entrance or window. On leaving the room, participants are shown how Axis’ WDR cameras capture extremely detailed images despite the challenging illumination.

Other highlights include the networking centre, which demonstrates Axis hardware and third-party switches, and the VMS control room, which features a new user interface and can be integrated with intercoms, speakers, and access control systems.

Smart solutions for businesses and cities

The overriding theme of all areas of the tour is the emphasis on applications, not products. Rather than being directed to a particular product to suit a given vertical market, end users and installers are encouraged to discuss the real-world challenges they face, and explore how Axis solutions could work for them. In this way, enterprises, small-to-medium businesses and Smart City providers can all be catered for. The concept is already proving successful – over the last month, the facility has been in use every day!