ASIS, day 3

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09/27/2008
Much of today's discussion was dominated by standards, especially video standards and the seemingly competing PSIA and Sony-Axis-Bosch video standards groups. I say seemingly because there's a lot that can be misconstrued in the "standards" discussion. First and foremost, it's not even standards we're talking about. As has been noted often today, anything either group releases will really just be a specification. Without the verification of a standards body like SIA or ANSI, they don't quite reach the level of "standards," even if people talk about the specifications they hope to release in that way. Second, there's the perception on the show floor that the two groups are competing, and that both groups are competing with SIA in some way, but most conversations I've had with the interested players have seemed to indicate that everyone would ideally like to play together. As evidence, SIA treasurer Rob Hile was named PSIA chairman today, and as for creating a good relationship with SIA, he said today, "I'm personally going to take that on my shoulders." Are standards a big deal anyway? The are and they aren't. On one hand, just about every major camera company works with every major video management software company, so what's the big deal? Well, both David Bunzel, an originator of the PSIA, and Fredrik Nilsson, general manager at Axis, made the point that software makers like Milestone, Genetec, OnSSI, etc., spend way too much time and energy integrating cameras. What if they never had to spend that money again? Wouldn't that allow those companies to spend much more time and energy on improving functionality and adding features? Seems like a no brainer. So, no, the industry isn't being dragged down by a lack of standards, but, yes, the industry could be made much more efficient with a solid group of interoperability standards. I'll have more on this in the next paper.