PSIA releases first analytics output specification

Comments period on initial spec ends Aug. 13
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance has released its first go at a video analytics output specification this week, and is accepting comments on improving it through Aug. 13. The specification defines a standard way to receive, store and use analytics output, from alarm events to bounding box data, velocities and color.

Should the spec eventually be adopted by analytics manufacturers and VMS vendors, it would allow for analytics data to much more quickly be integrated and employed by video management software.

"It doesn't have to take into account the specifics of any one analytics platform," said Bob Cutting, VP of product management at ObjectVideo and chairman of the PSIA's Analytics Working Group. "It's not really that difficult to get on the same page with what is an event ... It really comes down to a finite set of information and most analytics manufacturers already provide it."

Most, he noted, use some form of xml-based output, and "architecturally [the specification] is not a huge hurdle," Cutting said.

The specification was developed not only by analytics vendors, he noted, but also chip makers, VMS makers, PSIM makers, and integrators as well. "More often than not," he said, "it was the consumers of the information driving what kind of information they want to receive."

Barring unforeseen comments coming in on the specification, Cutting said the 1.0 version should be written by late August, and he predicted compliant products could be ready by the end of the year. The PSIA is readying a compliance reception for Oct. 13, the second day of the ASIS show, and Cutting predicted the PSIA would demonstrate the specification there.

"If this was in place five years ago," Cutting said, "we probably would have seen a much faster pick-up and adoption of analytics. I would say there probably would have been a benefit to ObjectVideo in terms of the number of licenses we saw pushed out to the market. We would have seen much more adoption."

Even now, he predicted there would be a large benefit even for those with analytics already installed. "There can be three or four analytics vendors deployed in one environment," he said, "and interoperability is highly important." After those analytics vendors all complied with the spec and did a firmware update, those vendors could all be read by one video management system in the same manner and incorporated into one interface much more easily.