GE buys CoVi assets, makes IP video play

Thursday, February 7, 2008

BRADENTON, Fla.--GE Security announced a new commitment to IP video solutions in early February with the acquisition of intellectual property and video systems technology from CoVi Technologies, a company known for its edge-oriented high-definition surveillance systems. CoVi's technical support, engineering and product management employees also joined GE Security.
CoVi, which was unavailable for comment at press time will remain in operation, and will be responsible for warranty fulfillment, said Tom Cashman, general manager, video product management at GE Security. Cashman will lead the former CoVi team, though it will remain based in Austin, Texas.
"They understand the nuances of networks," Cashman said of the former CoVi engineers, "including the limitations thereof, and that's important." He said the Achilles heel of many IP video systems is the network topology itself. "Rather than just peripheral devices," he said, "they've designed a solution that's a well-behaved citizen on the network. The engineering team itself is a key attribute to this deal."
Cashman said the underlying technology was a secondary consideration in purchasing CoVi's assets, with its existing product line being a "distant third" piece of interest.
Though GE Security has developed IP cameras, and has a significant installation base of DVRs and hybrid DVRs, Cashman said the CoVi buy tells the market, "we're committed to IP-based surveillance solutions; we're committed to software that's agnostic, and our hardware platform will be agnostic to the software that's out there ... That's really the way forward and the key differentiator."
Nor would GE make that commitment if it didn't think there was a market. "I've probably had more requests for high-def cameras in the last six months than I've had in the last six years prior," Cashman said. "Although it's small, I think the market's growing ... We want to be ready when the price-point and technology are ready."