Oncam Helps Develop Specifications at ONVIF Face-to-Face Meetings in Italy

Last month, I had the privilege of representing Oncam for the first time at the ONVIF Face-to-Face meetings hosted by Videotec in Verona, Italy. Founded in 2008 by Axis, Bosch and Sony, ONVIF is an open industry forum to promote and develop global standards for interfaces of IP-based physical security products. Face-to-Face meetings are held for all technical committees and working groups four times a year, rotating between the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining Oncam this past March, I have represented two other ONVIF member companies dating back to March 2012. I originally served as the chairman for the Profile G working group representing Bosch and then VidSys. Since the release of the Profile G Specification in June 2014, I was an active participant of the Client Test Tool working group representing VidSys. Since joining Oncam, I have actively participated on both the Enhancements working group and the Device Test Tool Maintenance working group.

Developing highly interoperable products has become a major focus for Oncam resulting in two priorities: 1) Developing products that fully implement the ONVIF service specification applicable to the device features, including Oncam-specific extensions where necessary; 2) Contributing to the development and publication of new specifications by ONVIF to cover the features available in Oncam devices.

The effort to fully implement the ONVIF service specifications has already begun with the development of the API Specification for the Evolution-12 camera, which includes the references to all ONVIF Specifications that will be implemented in version 2.0 of the firmware. This will ensure all features can be accessed through either ONVIF services, including extension of schema structures to fill in gaps that are not specified by ONVIF. The API Specification also defines Oncam-specific Web services that are not covered by current ONVIF Specifications including SD Card functions, Motion Detection configuration rules and Privacy Zone configurations. Other operations have already been implemented in the Evolution-12 version 1.0 firmware where they were more robust than the existing CGI implementations, such as multiple video source modes for enabling 30 frames per second.

At the meetings in Verona, proposals were submitted to the Enhancements working group in support of Oncam’s second priority. One includes a minor change to the configuration schema to include a Mount Type property, a common setting among 360-degree and other panoramic cameras to orient either onboard or client distortion of the source image. Feedback among the working group members included expansion of the proposal to support device manufacturers that can automatically detect the orientation of the camera. The Technical Committee approved a second proposal made by Oncam to the Enhancements working group Charter for 2015 to define a new analytics service rule description for configuring motion sensors. This is a major gap in the current ONVIF specifications, even though most major manufacturers support configuring motion zones at a sensor level, which is independent of an analytics engine. Oncam will develop this proposal, which involves developing the updates for the specifications, defining the use cases for the usage of the specifications and providing a prototype to another ONVIF member for testing and validation. Oncam is also closely following the Technical Committee’s decision for moving forward a Privacy Masking proposal in the near future.

The next ONVIF Face-to-Face meetings will be hosted by Genetec in Montreal, Canada this September.

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