Archive for July, 2009

 
Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
by David McGuinness

A very interesting thing about being the industry leader is reading or hearing how everyone else is just like us, only better.  I guess it’s true that negative attention is better than no attention at all.  And it’s true in business that industry leaders are the yardstick by which competitors measure themselves.

I think our foundational roots in computer vision R&D are what gave us an early leg-up when we launched our first commercial-off-the-shelf software product in 2003, and those roots remain a core differentiator.  We learned and adapted based on real customer deployments and recognized that the best way to meet growing demand was to become an ingredient in other solutions.  Being an ingredient and not a system isn’t the only way to go to market, but it’s the strategy that has worked for us.

I think there’s room for all video analytics business models — OV just elected not to be constrained by hardware, meaning our embedded software library can run in an edge device or on a PC anywhere in the video ecosystem.  The fact that more than 40 manufacturers have signed up to embed our ObjectVideo OnBoard software in their own products proves that our business model has legs.  More importantly, these partners are selling those intelligent products all over the world.

Supported by an incredible distribution network, we remain focused on new science and improvements, new applications, interoperability, development toolkits and training.  While these advances aren’t as eye-popping as what Hollywood portrays, they do represent a significant commitment to innovation that overcomes adoption hurdles.  That’s good for us and the industry.

ObjectVideo has succeeded and grown because we’ve advanced our science, our software and the way we go to market.  If we’re being dinged for making analytics more flexible and practical, then I’ll take that kind of negative attention any day of the week.

 
Monday, July 20th, 2009
by Bob Cutting

OK enough is enough.

The next time I attend a conference where that same company gives the same presentation showing how video analytics with color detection could have been used to search for vehicles and prevent events such as the Washington DC sniper killings, I’ll call them out. Using video analytics for color detection is viable in certain applications. But the way this “solution” is presented is just plain careless.

With any video analytic solution, it’s never just about the analytics. It’s about camera coverage…AND the manner in which cameras adjust to light changes…AND the lack of lighting for nighttime applications…AND the blue cast that seems to overlay many objects under certain lighting conditions…AND the sheer fact that customers underestimate the challenge of separating the white/grey/silver/light blue cars that make up 75% of cars on the road! Who has actually sold this and made it work?

This type of non-consultative, haphazard positioning of a solution does a great disservice to our market. Why do vendors continue to compromise our huge collective investment in R&D by making claims based on concept? Would you set up your company for such a customer support nightmare just to win a deal?

Anyone can output good color data as metadata, but environmental influences and consistency of analysis are never fully addressed. Time to educate the market more responsibly and shine the white light of truth on the issue of color detection.

 
Friday, July 10th, 2009
by Steve Vermillion
I was walking the halls on Capitol Hill last week and ran into Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA). Rep. Moran represents the 8th Virginia congressional district which includes Reston, where ObjectVideo does all our research and development.  Rep. Moran sits on the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is a long-time supporter of the Northern Virginia technology community, and in particular, champions the value of innovative technology developed by small entrepreneurial companies.

Rep. Moran closely follows forward-thinking technologies and how they impact US warfighters on the ground. I told him about a current UAV project of ours that leverages ObjectVideo software to retrieve, manage, analyze and archive the overwhelming amounts of video data collected daily across the world from the hundreds, perhaps more, UAVs deployed in the Iraq-Afghanistan theatres alone.  This government-funded project specifically provides a modern, flexible archival capability to manage multiple terabytes of data and allow complex, rapid queries focusing on patterns of interest for intelligence professionals – all on-demand.

OV has a number of research projects ongoing with various government agencies which provide the scientific basis for much of the functionality that ultimately appears in our commercial products. By supporting ObjectVideo’s R&D efforts, Rep. Moran is not only making life easier and safer for America’s military, he’s contributing to making OV software more robust, flexible and intelligent.