Axis Communications has unveiled its Axis Camera Companion, an IP video surveillance solution designed specifically for small installations.Consisting of a free software client for 1-16 Axis network cameras or video encoders with SD card support, the company says the new platform requires only Ethernet cabling and a standard switch/router to stream and record surveillance video.
According to Axis, unlike analog surveillance systems that are prevalent in the small camera count market, the Camera Companion platform does not require a central recording device -- a digital video recorder (DVR), network video recorder (NVR) or PC -- to operate. While a laptop or PC is required for initial setup, the Axis Camera Companion runs entirely inside the camera or encoder, and then only needs the free software client to monitor and record video.
IP cameras are powered over the network, eliminating the need for separate power cables, and existing analog cameras can be integrated using video encoders. All images are recorded onto a standard SD memory card at the edge and the cameras and encoders keep recording even in the event of a network failure. This reduces cost, simplifies installation and ensures that there is no single point of failure, contends Axis. With this efficient hardware setup, the company says the Axis Camera Companion is especially intended for retail stores, offices, hotels or other small businesses that need easy-to-use and future-proof video surveillance.
The company says the new platform also enables small business owners to integrate HDTV network cameras to clearly identify intruders, shoplifters and other safety and security incidents. Video can be viewed live or played back from any Internet-connected device, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) can be added for higher storage capacity or to work with Axis cameras/encoders that do not offer edge storage. The Axis Camera Companion software supports motion detection and pan/tilt/zoom control, and video clips and snapshots can be easily exported to colleagues and authorities at the touch of a button. Third-party apps are also available for leading mobile devices, such as iPhone, iPad and Android-powered products.
The Axis Camera Companion solution consists of three parts: standard Axis network cameras or video encoders with edge storage support; a free software client and third-party mobile apps used for viewing live and recorded video; and standard third-party network equipment such as routers, switches, SD cards and NAS devices. Several Axis network cameras and encoders already support Axis Camera Companion and the majority of Axis products with integrated edge storage and 5.40 firmware or higher will support the system in the future.
Axis products that currently support the Axis Camera Companion include the: M50 PTZ dome, P5532/34/-E PTZ dome, Q6032/34/-E PTZ dome, P334x fixed dome and P13 network cameras, as well as the Axis M70 and AXIS P72 video encoders. The platform's software will be available as a free download from the Axis Communications website starting on March 21, 2012. The Axis Camera Companion will be showcased live at the ISC West 2012 Security Conference & Exhibition, from March 28-30 in Las Vegas, in the company's booth #18051.