Martin Gren, Co-founder of Axis, Member of the Board, Axis Communications AB.

Show report: Axis raises the bar with super-high resolution camera

UAE – Axis Communications focused on high-resolution surveillance cameras, showcasing a new 20-megapixel product which combines Canon imaging with Axis network technologies at this year’s Intersec Dubai.

Co-founder Martin Gren explained that the AXIS Q1659 features an SLR lens and Canon image sensors to provide the highest resolution full frame camera in the industry.

Ultra accurate camera tech

Another new device, a pan-tilt zoom camera, also highlighted at the show, offers a laser focus. “That gives you a lot more accurate focusing in challenging conditions,” he said.

Enabling zoom cameras to produce high-res, fast and highly accurate images is a step forward, he explained.

“If you use a very high factor zoom in the dark, which is typically when you want to use the camera, the camera will not be able to set the focus right and you will see nothing,” he said.

“We put a laser measuring device into the camera which means we have a lot more accurate focus. In the past, the camera would take a few seconds to focus, but with a laser focus, that does not happen.”

The two products work in partnership, he said: “Typically you have an entrance camera where you get a nice picture, then you use a pan-tilt zoom camera to follow people.”

Cyber security focus

Gren said that in 2017, the company would be acting on cyber security. “As you know we had the Mirai botnet [a weapon used in a cyber-attack which disrupted much of the USA and Europe’s internet service] in October last year. That put a lot of attention for people on to the importance of cyber security. That’s something we have been working on for a very long time.

“We have all the security features integrated into our products, but this has been an issue which has been very much neglected by the security industry.”

The company’s second focus will be a video compression technology called the Zip Stream. “It is technology that, within existing standards, will make your video more efficient,” he said. “What it does is that it really looks on the video, detects moving objects. The moving objects, they should not be compressed, but static background, swaying trees, they will be more compressed.

“The picture does not look as beautiful as if you take a still image, but from a surveillance perspective, it is a much more useful picture.”

Storage issue

The Zip Stream technology is particularly important in the Middle East, where legal video surveillance retention periods are much longer – between 90 and 180 days, versus around 10 days in Europe or 30 days in the USA.

“If you have a 180 days of retention, your cost is not the camera, your cost is the storage. With the Zip Stream, you can typically reduce by at least 50 per cent, meaning you can save on storage.”

The Middle East, along with Scandinavia, remains one of the most importance markets for Axis, said Gren, because it was one of the first markets to leave behind analogue equipment.

“The UAE is a safe hub in an uncertain region. What you really offer is safety, so cameras are very important. You are not a big country, but you have a lot of cameras.”

Other Axis priorities for the region include explosion-protected cameras for the Oil & Gas industry, as well as critical infrastructure products for high security environments including airports.