Atul Rajput of Axis Communications discusses security trends at IFSEC 2015

At IFSEC 2015, Atul Rajput, Regional Director for Northern Europe, Axis Communications, discusses latest video surveillance trends. He talks about the adoption of 4K technology and the impact of H.265 broadcasting standard on the security industry. Atul also discusses some of the biggest trends in the North European security market as well as about missed opportunities in the video surveillance market.

On the mass adoption of 4K technology

Larry Anderson: I'm Larry Anderson, editor of and I'm here today with Atul Rajput who is the Regional Director for Northern Europe for Axis Communications. You're area region includes U.K., Ireland, and the Nordic countries. And we're going to talk about trends in video surveillance. We hear a lot about 4K technology in this industry obviously, I'm wondering what time line you see in terms of mass adoption of 4K.

Atul Rajput: It's an interesting question Larry. So, if we look at the evolution of high-definition cameras we have the first 720p camera, HDTV in I think around 2008, but it's only within the last couple of years it's become probably the de facto standard for IP surveillance cameras. So I think that actually the next stage of evolution is to go to 1080p as a the de facto standard. So on that basis I would probably envisage maybe three to five years before it become a mass consumption product. An interesting observation is how many people have 4K TVs at home, probably not that many and often it's driven by the consumer video industry whereas today they have many 1080p and 720p cameras.

Challenges facing 4K implementation

Larry Anderson: What obstacles are there in terms of 4K adoption?

Atul Rajput: I think they're several. First of all, 4K is four times the resolution of 1080p. It's going to have significant impact on bandwidth and storage. I think the other interesting thing is many cameras are in fixed locations like looking at a a loading bay and actually a 720p or 1080p is more than enough. For wide area coverage I think 4K certainly has a great deal to offer but I think it's finding the right application but most importantly we're in the security industry and it's about optimising the image quality. It's not all about more and more megapixels because if you have low light challenges or bright sunshine you don't need wide dynamic range or different environmental challenges you need to balance both the megapixels and 4K with making sure that it still has optimised image quality.

"4K is four times the resolution of 1080p. It's going to have significant impact on bandwidth and storage"

Deploying H.265 across different market sectors

Larry Anderson: We also hear a lot about H.265 and which presumably will have a huge effect on the market. What challenges do you see in terms of adoption of H.265?

Atul Rajput: Another interesting question because obviously it's very pertinent right now. I think one observation is H.265 and H.264 they're actually broadcasting standard and that's were its come from but H.264 have certainly benefited the industry and H.265 will as well. But it actually won't be easy to implement H.264 but actually it's more important to do it correctly and optimally. We saw that we saw that with H.264, we had many different products that supported it but wildly different in performance. So I think it's is not just adopting it its how you implement it. So that's certainly one of the big obstacles but I think because H.265 is a broadcast standard. I think broadcast cameras are always on the move whereas in most surveillance cameras are in fixed locations so I think you need to balance H.265 with optimising, actually, today with H.264. So you can for example produce probably by 30 to 50% balance and storage by using its new dynamic form of compression on H.264. Where if you take a scene you really don't need to look at the top of buildings or in the sky and you can compress them quite heavily but where you have a movement like people on the street is where you get your video for use of evidential quality. There you want the highest quality. So dynamically the camera is able to adjust the compression where there's movement you can actually save probably up to 50% on the current standard which seamlessly integrates with all video management systems. But at the same time H.265 will certainly come into fruition. But the big challenge as we saw with H.264 you have to wait for video management systems to integrate H.265 it requires more processing power on the servers and those things take time. So I would envision it could be two to three years before it becomes more of a de facto standard.

"If you take it from the industry segment perspective where we've seen the biggest uptake, quite tremendous increase actually, is in retail, transportation, critical infrastructure"

Larry Anderson: Do we need H.265 in order to have 4K?

Atul Rajput: That definitely anything that we can do to help reduce bandwidth and storage when you have something like 4K would be extremely beneficial.

Prevailing video trends in the North European market

Larry Anderson: What are the biggest video trends that you're seeing in your Northern European market?

Atul Rajput: I would say if you take it from the industry segment perspective where we've seen the biggest uptake, quite tremendous increase actually, is in retail, transportation, critical infrastructure and actually just to support that there is a recent survey...a global survey from the International Public Transportation Authority. It's about 3,400 members of public transport operators and they said that basically 50% of video systems they want to use analytics and actually a large proportion of them want to use video for cross functional purposes. Both for security but also to increase operational efficiencies so we've seen that interesting transport and so Crossrail, which is one of the largest European rail infrastructure programs is one area where there's obviously opportunity. Also the Jubilee Line Extension here in the London underground so access have a installation at Canary Wharf underground station it's quite topical because it's quite near here at the XL Center. And similar to retail we commission an independent survey every year in the same feedback times from all the retailers. That the main reason adopting IP video is integration with business intelligence applications so they've been big drivers.

"And there are some really smart analytics which can sit on the camera that mimic the human ear that can for example detect not what someone's saying but that they're talking aggressively"

Missed opportunities for video surveillance market

Larry Anderson: If you're looking at the video surveillance market what would you say is a missed opportunity?

Atul Rajput: That's an interesting question. There could probably be more than one missed opportunity.

Larry Anderson: Okay, the biggest missed opportunity.

Atul Rajput: The biggest I think, and I take this back to really the consumer market and also us as individuals who are evolving our expectations have raised. So the days of the smart phones we have applications which sit on the edge in our phone. Everything is at the edge. So the same principle applies to security cameras having more intelligence and it's starting to happen but I would think that from the use of analytics on the edge inside the camera and not just for security but also business optimisation there's certainly a market which is untapped. And one particular area I have to say which is untapped is the use of audio analytics because that's a good compliment for video for security. And there are some really smart analytics which can sit on the camera that mimic the human ear that can for example detect not what someone's saying but that they're talking aggressively. And that's usually the precursor to actually a violent act. And it can then be used as a deterrent by automatically having a pre-recorded message saying, "You're being monitored," to perhaps stop that person going one step further.

Considering video surveillance as a service

Larry Anderson: Interesting. What would you say has surprised you the most in the video surveillance market in the last year?

Atul Rajput: Probably the thing that surprised me the most again taking it back to being a consumer myself is music in the cloud with Spotify, video in the cloud with Netflix, back up in the cloud broadband at home and all your data. Everything is moving toward the cloud and I think there is a certain proportion of the surveillance market, particularly in what I call the small systems, the 1 to 16 cameras segment, where there's perhaps an opportunity for the deployment of video surveillance as the service. Which has started, perhaps, I think, if you look what's happening in IT and consumer market, which is accelerating quite a lot in terms of cloud adoption, I think it's perhaps that we haven't moved as quickly in terms of deploying smaller systems in terms of the video surveillance as a service.

Larry Anderson: Definitely a lot to think about and thanks a lot for joining us. Nice talking to you.

Atul Rajput: Thank you very much Larry.

Larry Anderson: Thank you.