Expanding the potential of metadata with Profile M

April 27, 2023 by ONVIF

Profile M is one of the latest feature set specifications available from ONVIF and it’s designed to expand the potential use of metadata and analytics, both within the physical security ecosystem and beyond.

The metadata stream is the key feature covered in Profile M. Profile M standardizes the handling of analytics and metadata between cameras, VMS and software platform, reducing the complexity of pairing products from different manufacturers.  

In the context of video, analytics metadata can be a variety of object classifications used to tag certain objects in a video stream. The metadata can then be used to trigger automatic responses or to search for video content of interest. Profile M supports event handling interfaces for object counting, as well as face and license plate recognition analytics. 

With Profile M conformant products, system integrators can more easily configure for and consume metadata in a standardized fashion. Profile M can be combined with other video and access control profiles for an integrated system based on ONVIF interfaces.

This profile also includes an interface that aligns the physical security industry closer to the Internet of Things (loT), using the MQTT standard commonly used in IoT environments.  A Profile M device, such as a camera, can generate an MQTT event, which is published onto an IoT system or IoT broker, then pushed out to another device. A use case example would be queue detection in a retail setting, where a Profile M camera with MQTT support monitors the queue length. Once the queue reaches a certain number of people, the camera sends an ONVIF event over MQTT to an application that alerts management to send additional staff to the checkout area. 

New approach

Profile M conformant devices may also now include cloud- and server-based services. This is a departure of the traditional conformance scenario, where devices are commonly hardware. Profile M is not reserved for video-based analytics and applies to any type of sensor or edge device that can produce metadata and send that information over an IP network. 

Profile M broadens the ecosystem of connectivity. System integrators can find devices that meet their specific requirements, mixing and matching conformant products from different vendors. 

For more information on Profile M and other profiles, visit onvif.org.


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