Video Surveillance Solutions: 5 Minutes with Ryan Hulse from JCI

Video Surveillance Solutions: 5 Minutes with Ryan Hulse from JCI (SSC): How does Exacq fit in the surveillance market in the year 2021?

Exacq/JCI: I think the 1.0 version of Exacq was released in 2006, so we have been around a little bit now, but a lot's changed in the industry. I think this year -  especially a lot of events with the pandemic and with civil unrest and different things going on, physical security has kind of been involved in a lot of that. But really throughout all those years a couple of things stick out to me as kind of guiding principles that we've continued to stick by.

One thing is that we've always made it a goal to be easy to deploy and easy for integrators to train end-users, to help our partners execute their business efficiently and profitably, and then I think secondly we have always made it a priority to be an open platform solution with a wide variety of partners that we work, with so integrators have maximum choices to pair up Exacq vision and present the best solution possible to the customer.

SSC: You mentioned the importance of easy deployment and easy use; how does Exacq work to achieve those capabilities?

Exacq/JCI: We have a couple of ways that we try to keep that focus; one thing we do is we have user personas that we try to look at our product through, and one of those personas that's especially applicable to ease of use is thinking about the type of user that doesn't have video surveillance or security as their primary job function, so they've got some other primary role in the company - but you know they're also looking at the video system, so in that case that really helps us zero in on the type of user that doesn't use the product every day and helps us recognise that the user interface has to be kind of naturally intuitive, even if you're not using it all the time.

SSC: So let's talk a little about vertical markets; which industries and types of organisations do Exacq solutions address?

Exacq/JCI: We've had a lot of broad application throughout a lot of different verticals, but I think if you talk to our integrators you might find kind of an emerging pattern of organisations that are kind of geographically distributed and I think that's because Exacq scales well from a single box that's easy to manage you know, up to thousands of different sites with cameras that have layers of management, that lets you easily keep track of everything - and you know those can happen in things like retail where you have lots of locations around the country, municipalities where you have cameras spread out over lots of areas, the education sector, colleges, all those areas have a lot of that type of challenges to solve.

SSC: Exacq is now part of JCI and formerly Tyco; how does Exacq still prioritise the need for an open platform solution?

Exacq/JCI: We have I think now in 2020, we crossed over five million camera licenses out there in the marketplace; those are you know five million cameras, security cameras that are connected to Exacq vision and the vast majority of those are you know other camera brands and third-party partners of ours, so that's really an enormous install base that we continue to service you know. We just have a lot of inertia and momentum and strong partnerships that really kind of both make this easy to continue going forward and a priority for us as well as you know definitely wanting to meet the needs of our current customer base in the market.

SSC: How has Exacq adjusted to changes in commercial business due to the worldwide pandemic?

Exacq/JCI: Well a lot of different ways I think, if just in my personal experience; if we look internally first at the company, a lot of people were adjusting, looking at our product outlook and what we could do to help kind of respond to the situation out there. We introduced and we prioritised our AI roadmap to shift from what you know, more traditional say security features, to things that might help in the situation going on right now. We built a face-mask detection solution in Exacq vision, based on AI-based face recognition or face-matching that lets you know if somebody's wearing a mask, that can be real-time information or that can be through trend reporting to just kind of see how your site is doing if that's a policy you're trying to enforce.

We're also working on occupancy management that uses an AI-based person, not recognition, a detection, both of these are detection algorithms, not recognition specifically, but you're detecting that this is a person and they're in this space and building on that information and summing up that information to give real-time feedback about how many people are in the area, if you're trying to manage your business to a certain occupancy rate, these kinds of things can help you comply and help keep people safe, so we've tried to shift our priorities to things that the market needs to help keep people safe, you kno