Form Follows Phone

The mobile phone can be characterised as the product that has eaten everything. When the phone eats things the things do not die they just change shape. They become phone shaped.
My photo album, TV, email client, compass, map holder, calendar, address book, web browser and alarm clock are now all phone shaped portrait orientated rectangles.

My record collection has become a list on Spotify. I now share playlists! My diary with its flip over paper pages is now a scrolling list whose days appear as I swipe.

Will phone shapes continue to dominate?

There is an interesting trend where phone functions are distributed to a smart watch. This promotes a pause to think of a world that is post phone shaped – a wearable world.
There is also the rise of SIRI and OK Google to consider. Maybe the phone shape will not be so important if we talk to our computers or more fancifully if our phones guess our needs and talk to us. These ideas are for the future, yes, perhaps the near future but for now it is hard to see beyond a dominant phone shape – everywhere.

It is certain that much of the physical environment will morph into a mobile phone app. Early candidates for becoming phone shaped are home heating systems, access control, personal fitness and wellness. A clear trajectory is in place where the phone consumes many of our well know physical objects and activities. In this there is a sense of loss that so many things and activities of days past are now phone shaped apps. Time, perhaps for a short lament and then we need to face the challenge.
If things become phone shaped then they should do so wholeheartedly – without pretending to be something else or harking back. Of course we should recognize the limitations of phone shapes and also recognize the opportunities for wonderful new assisted social activities.

There will be a period of growing up in this augmented environment we now share with personal machines. In the early days (we are in that period) there will some poorly judged interactions. For example, just because you can share your toothbrush status does not mean that it is a good idea.

IoT: Three types of Things

Could IoT things be classified according to their instruction source rather than their function?

Local Thing – instructions derived on board
Global Thing – instruction derived from a global source
Swarm Thing – instructions gained from other things in the swarm

Things can be combinations of the above and/or switch according to context.

Viewer for AXIS Camera Companion – Grid View and Guard Tour feature

In the lead iOS app “Viewer for AXIS Camera Companion” one of the lesser known but very useful features is Guard Tour.

Guard Tour displays each camera in the “site” for a five seconds then flicks on to the next camera.
When using Guard Tour we recommend that you leave your iPad on never sleep (auto lock) mode.
(Settings/Auto-Lock/Never)

Once in never sleep mode then place the app into Guard Tour you can use the iPad as a simple display for shop monitoring. (Note: When the iPad is in never sleep mode it uses a lot of batteries so its best if you leave it plugged into a mains supply)

Should you want to project to a big screen then Apple TV is a great way of doing that. (We wrote about how to set up an EyeSpyFX app to work with Apple TV projection here)

To get to the Guard Tour feature first go to Grid View then hit the Guard Tour button.

Guard Tour displays each camera in the "SITE" for 5 seconds

Guard Tour displays each camera in the “SITE” for 5 seconds

The Guard Tour option in “Viewer for AXIS Camera Companion” is a basic Guard Tour feature. It is not adjustable, it is fixed to display cameras at 5 second intervals. If you require more advanced Guard Tour options for setting up a Public View Monitor then the app “PVM for AXIS” is a great choice.

Horizontal Timelines versus Vertical Timelines

In most Security Cam applications the timeline feature is horizontal with older events to the left and more recent to the right. This suits PC based applications.

a horizontal timeline

a horizontal timeline

In the mobile world timelines are vertical, think of Facebook and Twitter. New events are at the top older events are toward the bottom.
As the demand for mobile access to security cam systems increases we predict that the orientation of timelines will do a 90 degree flip and go vertical.
In our latest app “Timeline” we feature a vertical timeline. Timeline is the world’s first mobileVMS. No server or PC is required; everything runs on the mobile. Because there is no server or PC there was never any reason to build a traditional horizontal timeline, so we went vertical. Come and see this innovative app at IFSEC stand B110. We have a live demo running throughout the show.

timeline screenshot

timeline screenshot

Press release: IFSEC: EyeSpyFX: Stand B110

Enterprise strength Mobile Apps for Security Camera Systems
EyeSpyFX will be exhibiting many of our lead titles such as:

EyeSpyFX App icons

EyeSpyFX App icons

We will be profiling advanced App features such as ACAP Injection, In App Notifications for Motion Detection events and our Timelapse ACAP.

Timeline – changing the idea of a VMS
We will also be showcasing our latest software innovation at IFSEC14. “Timeline” is an Alpha Prototype Mobile app that enables users to view live and recorded video and reporting details from the A1001 Access Control Device. The app maximises the potential of Edge technology.

timeline icon

timeline icon

Cameras and doors are discovered by the app and appropriate User Interfaces are presented to suit the capabilities of each device. By recognising the capabilities of each device and utilising edge storage the app removes the need for a centralised server and VMS.

In a general sense a VMS architecture resembles an “axle and spokes” where the VMS is the axle and the cameras and peripheral devices are the spokes. To a certain extent the VMS sets up the ‘centre’ as the place where all computing takes place and casts the cameras as relatively dumb entities. This may have been so in the past but in many cases now the cameras at the edge have a great deal of computing power built in. Far from being ‘dumb’ many Network Cameras now have onboard the computing power of a small laptop computer of ten years ago. It is entirely feasible to set up a compelling security camera system where there is no centralised VMS.
The components of the Timeline Edge based solution are:
• EyeSpyFX Timeline app
• AXIS ACAP capable cameras
• A1001 Access Control
• A NAS box or other Edge storage
• A VPN software located on the router
• Router and Switch

Timeline follows a new emerging architectural model in line with the development of the Internet of Things where computing functions are placed at the Edge; like NEST. This new model of distributed computing is much more scalable than the axle and spoke method typical of a VMS. If the power is all centralised then adding more cameras requires ever more computing resource to be built. Eventually this will grow huge, fall over, overheat or run out of power. If however, computing resource is distributed to each camera around the edge then in theory an endless amount of cameras can be added to a system that is not burdened by a “centre”.

Timeline is ideal for a small factory or shop where two doors are controlled and up to ten cameras are present. There is no need for a NVR or Server, everything is managed from the Mobile App.

timeline screenshot

timeline screenshot

Edge storage – more options

We were setting up our demo unit for IFSEC when we noticed our NETGEAR router has a USB port. We bought a 64GB USB pen drive and set it up as Edge storage for Video Motion Detection on our Viewer for AXIS Cams app. We thought that was pretty cool, it is clear that edge storage is getting easier and more powerful every day. Find out more about the latest update for Viewer for AXIS Cams here or call in for a chat at IFSEC stand B110.

Edge storage USB pen drive

Edge storage USB pen drive

Viewer for AXIS Cams – update: v3.6.0

An update for our leading App Viewer for AXIS Cams went live on the App Store on Saturday 8th June.

The new version features App Injection for AXIS Video Motion Detection ACAP. AXIS VMD can be installed on AXIS Cameras that support ACAP. VMD makes it possible to detect motion and automatically make a recording. The mobile app injects VMD into the camera in a seamless way saving time-consuming installation via the web and installing Active X on Internet Explorer. The motion detection area can be set up on the app by positioning a polygon over the area where movement is to be detected.

app injection store

App injection store on Viewer for AXIS Cams mobile app

The app also features Timelapse ACAP also set up via App Injection.

Edge storage is also available as an in app purchase. Edge storage can take the form of an SD card mounted in the camera or a NAS box or a USB memory stick mounted on the router.

Set up for VMD via Viewer for AXIS Cams mobile app

Set up for VMD via Viewer for AXIS Cams mobile app

These new features make Viewer for AXIS Cams is the most sophisticated app for AXIS cams available on the market today.

IP Utility for AXIS Cameras – easy discovery of AXIS IP Cameras

IPUtility

The easiest way to discover the IP address and MAC address of AXIS Cameras is by using this simple app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ip-utility-for-axis-cameras/id875861065?mt=8

IP Utility for AXIS Cameras is designed for camera installation engineers. It searches a network and discovers AXIS IP Cameras. The app enables you to set a root password if one has not already been set. This feature will be displayed if the camera has not already been set up.

Discovered AXIS IP Cameras are displayed in a list showing the serial number of the camera and the IP address.

By highlighting a specific camera you can view the camera in a web browser if you know the user name and password.

  • - Discover
  • - Set root password
  • - View cam

If you need to discover AXIS Cameras on a network then this app makes it easy and enables you to do so without needing to carry a laptop.

IPUtilityforAXIS

 

Make Time-lapse movies using an AXIS Camera and an iPhone App

We are pleased to launch our Time- Lapse AXIS Camera application.

Use case: You have an AXIS Camera and would like to use it to make Time-lapse movies.

timelapse560

We made a feature on our iOS app “Viewer for AXIS Cams” to make Time- lapse movies. This feature uses a process called App Injection to load an AXIS Camera application (ACAP) onto an AXIS Cam. Once the Time-lapse ACAP is loaded you can start making time-lapse movies using “Viewer for AXIS Cams”.

A choice of two in app purchases are available: Two cam licence @ $2.99 and Unlimited Cams licence@ $49.99

The status of the icon (a film clapperboard) changes colour according to the status availability of the Time-Lapse App.

A White icon will appear if the option to buy the ACAP is available. (i.e. if we have detected that the camera we are connecting to is capable of supporting ACAP). Red will appear if the time-lapse ACAP app has been purchased and successfully installed but is not currently running. A Green Icon will appear if the time-lapse icon is currently running

The time-lapse interval is adjustable: the range goes: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 35 mins, 1 hr, 24 hr.

Time-Lapse works with all AXIS models that can support AXIS Camera Application Platform  (AXIS maintain a list of ACAP capable cams: http://www.axis.com/techsup/firmware.php)

This Time lapse app is envisaged as a tool for making a summary of the day or week. Time-lapse  summaries can certainly be useful but also on occasion can be very beautiful….it all depends on the camera view.

The finished time-lapse videos are saved into the camera roll of your iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPOD). Once you have them saved there you can share them via Dropbox.

As the images are uploaded from the camera they are stored in the cloud. Each time-lapse account stores 370 images. Once the 370th image is saved the first is deleted…and so it scrolls on. When a user requests a Time-lapse video from the app the images are sent to the iPhone and compiled by the app as a movie. The user then has the movie for that moment saved on their phone.