Profile M, one of the most recent profiles to be released from ONVIF, is the first to tackle standardization in the exploding video analytics segment. Providing a common format for the communication of metadata and events, Profile M enables the interoperability of cameras and other edge devices or services that produce metadata, with clients such as video management software, regardless of the manufacturer and any proprietary interface.
This standardized approach provides the basic framework for much of the development work for analytics that would normally be incumbent on video management system providers and camera and other device manufacturers. This foundation enables companies, such as ONVIF member Milestone Systems, to ensure compatibility with thousands of ONVIF conformant devices on the market and allows Milestone and other VMS vendors to focus on developing innovative product features rather than writing thousands of proprietary drivers for compatibility between their software and different cameras or other devices.
Reem Rady, Team Lead, Product Management for Milestone Systems, talks with ONVIF about the importance and advantages of the Milestone XProtect Video Management Software being the first VMS to become conformant to Profile M.
Why is it important to be Profile M conformant?
We want to ensure compatibility with devices and be on the same page as our partners. Profile M gives us that standardization into the metadata and analytics areas and allows us to use more device functions to get more data on top of video and audio streams. It allows for easier integration of any future analytics solutions between our software and third-party hardware. We don’t have to create dedicated drivers for each brand and model of camera. It’s a huge advantage for us to be able to follow one standard. XProtect supports more than 11,000 devices with ONVIF conformance, so we make sure our customers can fully utilize the value of those devices.
With our XProtect VMS platform, we have maintained conformance for many years to several ONVIF profiles, including G, S, and T, and now to Profile M. We see ONVIF as a very important technology standard in the industry, and it is a large part of our open platform approach at Milestone.
Describe your current implementation and support for Profile M.
Milestone XProtect is currently using the mandatory feature framework of Profile M for metadata communication and for handling events. In fact, the metadata search specification within XProtect is primarily based on the one developed by ONVIF. What is implemented now is the framework and we plan to continue to improve support for further functionalities. In terms of specific metadata, ONVIF has already classified the most common objects – people, vehicles, colors and shapes, and we are working with those classifications to tag various objects to the correct type.
What do you see as longer-term advantages / future business enablers with using this standardized approach?
Profile M is enabling our customers to bring more analytics into their VMS, which helps them get more insights into their data. This will only become more important in the future. How we use analytics and metadata will only continue to be more complex. These types of standardized approaches can also help to increase user confidence with analytics as it reduces the need for technical expertise and setup time on the VMS side. Hopefully, this will encourage more development in analytics applications as well.