Axis Taps University to Develop Security Software Apps

LAS VEGAS — Axis Communications announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Boston-based Wentworth Institute of Technology to provide students with a yearly hands-on IP video surveillance training and software application development program in the physical security industry. 

The camera manufacturer was prompted to begin this app development program after learning that out of 20 million cameras that are installed each year nationwide, only 1% of the recorded video is actually analyzed, according to Axis General Manager Fredrik Nilsson. 

“The question is: Are we doing something about it,” he asked the crowd at a press breakfast at ISC West. “We launched the Axis camera application, and by the beginning of last year, we had less than 10 apps. By the end of the year, we had almost 30 apps for the cameras. As many as 40,000 of our cameras last year shipped in an individualized way with those applications.” 

To expedite the development of the security software applications, Axis sought to collaborate with different companies and universities, including Boston-based Wentworth. As part of the partnership, Axis provides network video equipment supplemented by hands-on training for professors and students in Wentworth’s Department of Computer Science and Networking. Students will develop applications using the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), an open platform that enables software developers to create third party applications that can be downloaded to run inside Axis IP cameras and video encoders. 

“[This partnership] is about moving away from the traditional classroom lecture, having much more of learning going on as students tackle real-world problems,” Wentworth Associate Provost and Professor Chuck Hotchkiss said. “Those problems are guiding what the students are learning rather than them just opening the textbook and doing the homework problems in class. We’re trying to implement this across our curriculum and our collaboration with Axis really gives us a chance to do that.” 

Two Wentworth students, Nicholas Gelfman and Joshua Ramirez, also described the projects they have been working on using Axis’ embedded Linux environment. 

Gelfman, a computer science major, aimed to create an evolved motion detection application for Axis cameras that can improve a number of tasks, such as enabling the camera to detect when an object is moving toward it in order to protect itself from vandalism and damage. As the manager of the university’s Internet radio station, Ramirez, a computer information systems major, developed an app to track student DJs entering and exiting the studio. The program uses object and facial recognition. 

As the program continues to develop, Nilsson is looking forward to what’s coming next. 

“There are all kinds of obvious apps when it comes to people counting and license plate recognition,” he said. “But with so much information that is inherited with video, especially when it comes to the camera, we think … we can do a lot of things outside video surveillance. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of great applications.” 

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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