Axis, Visual Defence team for ruggedized mobile surveillance

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

BIRMINGHAM, U.K.--Here at IFSEC, IP camera manufacturer Axis is showing a new ruggedized NDVR developed by command and control software maker Visual Defence to provide a mobile video surveillance solution. Twelve thousand of them are being deployed in Stockholm, Sweden, on city buses by the LokalTrafik authority. The collaboration forced both manufacturers to alter their products for a mobile environment with exposure to the elements and constant motion.
"We try to stay out of hardware," said Michael Godfrey, Visual Defence's chief technology officer, "but we have a small hardware unit for development when it makes sense."
The NDVR Visual Defence created is completely sealed from the elements, with special ruggedized plugs and two suspension systems to keep the hard drive stabilized. When the buses return to the station, a WiFi connection allows the video collected by the Axis camera to be downloaded and integrated into the transportation department's video management system like any other fixed camera. A radio system allows operators to remotely control the units otherwise.
Godfrey said he appreciated Axis's consistent API for the majority of its cameras, as it allowed Visual Defence to easily integrate Axis's new 209FD-R network camera even as it was being developed specifically for the bus and train market. "On the development side," said Godfrey, "they had a very good engineer," who worked with Visual Defence on everything down to the specific cable used to connect the camera to the NDVR.
"They're a cautious company," said Godfrey by way of compliment. "They did a number of beta runs to work out the kinks."