Is Sony bullish about the surveillance market in the Middle East? Do you see a technology shift from analogue to IP?
Yes, we are quite optimistic in our outlook towards this market. Clearly, with security being on top of both public and private organizations there will be a greater focus on this technology for years to come. Further, video surveillance has various emerging applications for example for the retail and sports industry both of which are high growth areas in this region. With regards to transition from analogue to IP we’ve seen a big growth in demand for IP cameras since ’06 and it will continue to rise. The market has adapted by making available hybrid products which support both analogue as well as IP cameras, such as Sony’s new Hybrid NSR-1000 series of Network Surveillance Recorders.
What impact will have the new generation of megapixel technology have on the market and enterprise networks?
High Definition is the name of the game in all current and future visual communication technologies. We’ve seen HD wave influencing all Consumer and Professional electronic technologies across the globe. Video Security has seen the beginnings of HD transition with the introduction of ‘mega pixel’ IP cameras, specifically designed to meet the needs of the video security market. The technology enables a new set of applications which could be delivered owing to greater visual clarity for surveillance. However, the end-user applications are still in the early stages and it would take at least another year to check and confirm if the intended benefits come through with acceptable trade-off on IP network bandwidth and processing power of the server.
Will mega pixel cameras be more expensive and what kind of applications do you see for this technology?
Yes, mega pixel will cost more as the technology required to build a mega pixel camera is expensive, over time ’economies of scale’ should bring down the end-user price. Sony’s range of mini-dome and box cameras are equipped with ‘Light Funnel Function’ and ExWavePRO for high sensitivity and are also capable of ‘Intelligent Motion Detection’. These features allow effective implementation on projects that may have very bright or dark environments, face identification, number plate recognition and other such applications.
One of the issues with the IP surveillance market is lack of market education and lack of open standards. How do you tackle this issue?
We invest a large portion of our resources towards market education and training on the IP video security technology . With regards to the issue of ‘lack of open standards’ a key event occurred during IFSEC ’08.Three leading vendors of network video products – Sony, Axis and Bosch – began working collaboratively to establish a global open interface standard. Open Network Video Interface Forum – ONVIF will be the governing body to formulate and communicate the industry standards. A standard interface will achieve interoperability between all different vendors’ products – allowing customers to “pick & mix” equipment from various companies and then simply “plug & play”. This new standard will offer increased flexibility to integrators and users of network video equipment.
What is Sony doing to boost partner expertise in network video solutions?
We ensure that our channel partners are have access to free technical training on a regular basis as well as acquire professional guidance in key projects. Further, we are putting in place a process of accreditation for our channel. This requires the prospective dealer or system integrator to comply with the specialist skill set and knowledge base required in order offering video security solutions to end-users.