Avigilon buys BRS patents, others for $13m

One month after spending $80 on ObjectVideo’s patents, Avigilon ‘tries to lock in IP in a whole range of analytical algorithms’
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Updated Jan. 27 with an interview with BRS Labs president John Frazzini.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Avigilon today announced it spent $13.3 million acquiring video analytics patents that extend into behavioral recognition, video segmentation and meta-data and more. This deal comes one month after the video surveillance provider spent $80 million to acquire patents from ObjectVideo

“Avigilon is clearly trying to lock in IP in a whole range of analytical algorithms,” Jeff Kessler, Imperial Capital’s managing director of institutional research, told Security Systems News.

It’s a smart move, Kessler said, because “ObjectVideo’s patents do not go [heavily into] behavioral analytics arena.”

The patents come from four separate companies: Behavioral Recognition Systems (BRS Labs), Face Double, ITS7 and VideoMining.

Avigilon did not disclose the amount it paid to the individual vendors. 

Unlike ObjectVideo, which sold all of its intellectual property to Avigilon, BRS Labs sold Avigilon some select patents “that are associated with video analytics,” BRS Labs president John Frazzini told SSN.

BRS Labs still owns “more than 60 patents and counting,” he said, including many patents related to video data analysis. BRS Labs will “will continue to sell and support its AISight 4 legacy product and it will continue to expand its new AISight 5 platform.” BRS Labs “brings artificial intelligence to the analysis of data as it applies to the security industry,” Frazzini explained. And while that will continue to include data from video surveillance, BRS Labs also “goes beyond video to include multi-sensor analysis … into other areas more closely aligned with the big data side.”

Frazzini said Aisight is being used for SCADA data analysis now, and that the company will be doing more “multi-sensor data applications” specifically with information-security data applications.

Last summer, BRS announced that it was searching for a new CEO, looking for a spot to build its own cloud facility, and prepping for an IPO.

Among the capabilities included in the newly acquired analytics are: “emotional and attentional response measurement, in-store object tracking and behavioral analysis, object tracking and anomaly detection, video segmentation and metadata generation, user interfaces, and image classification and retrieval over wireless networks,” according to Avigilon.

The patents also include “network camera system-on-a-chip and remote security camera programming,” the statement said.

Avigilon CEO Alexander Fernandes was not available for an interview today. In an interview earlier this month, Fernandes called video analytics “the future of video surveillance." He told SSN that video analytics and video surveillance—cannot successfully be sold separately.

“I don’t believe there’s any market for video analytics alone,” Fernandes said. “It’s not a separate market from video surveillance, it’s the evolution of video surveillance.”

He also said that video analytics need to be embedded in the entire video surveillance system, camera and VMS, to work properly.

TechSec 2014 featured an educational session called “The IP camera of the future” and the topic of analytics featured prominently in that discussion. Ray Coulombe, an entrepreneur and founder of SecuritySpecifiers.com, moderated the discussion at TechSec. Contacted today about the Avigilon deal, he said: “I support the approach of strong integration of analytics into the end device. Having a strong analytics suite is a sound strategy for a video manufacturer, as it ultimately allows providing more timely and useful information, and thus more value, to the end user.”