FOR those who don’t know, IMS Research considers AxxonSoft to be the leading video management product in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It’s a pretty big claim but the capability of the AxxonSoft system suggests this is no ordinary VMS. 
The company says it is a specialised software developer in the area of IP-based physical security management, intelligent video surveillance, offering an enterprise-wide platform into fully integrated vertical and horizontal solutions. This mouthful of self description could be diluted to the words integration specialist. 
This is a system that starts off small and grows. There are 2 key products – Intellect, which has no limit on camera numbers and then Axxon Smart Pro, which is the lower end version and expands to 256 cameras. There’s also a free version that supports 16 cameras. 
Not surprisingly, Intellect Enterprise is a multifunctional enterprise solution that’ll pretty much handle your entire system and anything you want to integrate with it at a global level. Such is the Intellect Enterprise’s power that it’s a favourite for major public surveillance solutions with 60 Safecity solutions installed worldwide, including a 180,000-camera public surveillance system covering the whole of Oslo. Yeah, that’s a heck of a big system. 
Without getting too bogged down in the overall solution, it’s worth pointing out that Intellect Enterprise lets users connect multiple systems and devices and drive them using a single environment. This allows aggregation, analysis of data and automation of processes with full customisation. 
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Axxon Intellect Enterprise combines intelligent video analytics, universal IP connectivity and event-driven automation capabilities in a single environment. What this should mean is that the system has the smarts to recognize events and respond. It also has the capability to distill and present information to support smart, timely decision-making. The system achieves this by aggregating data from a wide range of devices and systems, analyzing information more intelligently, and automating processes that could never be automated before. 
With this general overview out of the way, I get a look at a sweet new functionality I’ve never seen before. Spring loaded with Dr Who-like nomenclature, AxxonSoft’s Time Compressor is a piece of software that has no choice but to be very cool and that’s exactly what it is. Time Compressor gives operators and security managers investigative power that’s unparalleled. 
What Time Compressor does is play back the video captured in a target area over an entire day and you see everything that happened simultaneously – that means it’s all overlain on the same screen – it’s nicely done and makes investigations easy as pie. 
What happens is that you can see you real time picture on one side of the frame and everything from the whole day then plays all at once on the other. If you are interested in what happened in a particular scene or area of the scene you just click on playback and you get it in real time. 
This is metadata and that means you get hold of every single movement, colour, direction, size – all are stored separately so when you do the searches it all happens quick as a wink. You are not sitting there waiting around.
Now, it’s bloody hard to explain this little bit of magic without sitting down in front of it. But as I discovered, once you see it in action you realise just how powerful the solution is – the fact you can look at all the events from one day on one screen and all at the same time in a minute or so. 
The way it works visually is that events overlay one another if their paths cross but do it in such a way – with different layers of colour shade – that you can still see earlier events taking place underneath the later events. 
Of course, if you decide you want more information about a particular event while viewing this rapidly moving simultaneous event screen, then you just click on the moving box that surrounds a particular person, vehicle or object and the system will whip off to the real time recordings of that particular event. Once you’ve checked that out you can reverse back to the Time Compressor with another click. 
What gives Time Compressor its power are AxxonSoft video and audio detectors which include video motion detector that captures any movement in the scene; background change detector – which is triggered when an attempt is made to turn the camera and detector for loss of video quality. This is triggered when the image quality deteriorates due to blurring or soiling or blinding of the lens or darkening of the image.
As if this is not enough there’s also abandoned objects detector – which is triggered when some object – a briefcase, box, bag, etc. appears in the scene and remains motionless for some time. There’s also detector of crossing a line in a given direction which is triggered when a moving object crosses the virtual line in the user-specified direction. Next, there’s motion in the zone detector – which records movement in a user-specified area.
You also get stopping in the zone detector – which is triggered when any object stops and remains motionless for some time within a user specified area and there’s loitering detector – this is triggered when an object remains in a user-specified area for some time. There’s a zone entry detector which is triggered when any object appears within a user-specified area and there’s zone exit detector – which is triggered when the object leaves the user-specified area or when the object located in the area disappears from the camera’s field of view. All these integrated software sensors combine to make AxxonSoft capable of a subtle response to events. 
Next, we look at the face recognition, which is capturing the faces of people walking by the stand at ten images per second, while at the same time it’s recording real time footage. You can put a person in the database, if they are a wanted person, it will alert the operator in a crowd situation. It works the same in a crowd situation. And when I say crowds, that means crowds of anything – it might be container recognition, face recognition, vehicle detection, numberplate recognition, recognition of carriages on freight trains. 
A clever thing Axxon has done is in its selection of the search engines its employs in these systems. The team have deliberately selected the vest possible components rather than reinventing the wheel. This means the face recognition engine is from German outfit Cognitive, which is rated as number one in the world. The numberplate recognition motor is from Hungary – it’s Carmen – and it’s considered best in the world for LPR. Carmen also makes the container recognition engine. This is good thinking from AxxonSoft.
Sigma CCTV is onto a winner with this product and I expect to see more of it in the market. What this software does best is what operators need most. It identifies events and it does forensic searches of great power with the greatest of ease. Have a look yourself – you’ll be as impressed as I was.