i-PRO’s X-series Allows Customer to Excelerate AI Usage
29.11.2023 - In our interview with Gerard Figols, i-PRO SVP, Head of EMEA, he talks about changing the game in video security by using strong, powerful and reliable edge-AI hardware in an open platform environment.
GIT SECURITY: We can look back at more than two years of i-PRO EMEA now. What would you say makes your company different to other players in the EMEA market?
Gerard Figols: In EMEA it has been 2 years, globally 4, but all together, we have more than 60 years of experience in the security industry. So, despite we see ourselves as a start-up, we still put our stable and reliable company legacy paired with longstanding know-how, and we combine it with innovation and the mindset to bring the latest technology to our customers quickly, so they can benefit from it. It’s what we call the best of both worlds. As the only global Japanese manufacturer, we are proud to state we have achieved three times the growth of the market in the EMEA region.
Why should customers consider your company as their first choice to partner with?
Gerard Figols: We live and work by the philosophy that security should run in the background and notify you proactively when there are things to pay attention to. After our split from Panasonic, we focused on what we do best: building strong and powerful hardware based on more than 60 years of experience forming the core of our business. To prevent unintended external access and open backdoors, i-PRO offers the most cyber secure line-up in the market with the biggest proportion matching FIPS 140-2 level 3, the highest level of. Because we understand the importance of data integrity, we were the first manufacturers worldwide to implement this level, delivering on our promise to be your trusted partner.
On top of this robust hardware, we add AI running directly on the camera: more than 125 models of our line-up come with powerful onboard AI thanks to the Ambarella chipsets we are using. When it comes to managing AI applications, we are pursuing an open approach to give maximum flexibility to the way our customers want to use and customise our hardware to best fit their needs.
Everyone is talking about AI, sometimes in good, sometimes in more negative ways. What’s your take on it?
Gerard Figols: Basically, it’s like with every new technology: There are opportunities, and there are risks. Personally, I am sure that edge-AI devices will penetrate the market, way quicker than the technology shift to IP because of the immense benefits it brings – and i-PRO wants to lead this evolution. All the data we generate needs to be treated with responsibility, in a transparent, ethic and compliant way. On top of this, all of our products are also NDAA compliant, so our customers get full peace of mind when using i-PRO’s AI in their installations.
Given this framework we believe that AI will be a true game changer. We understand ourselves as the pioneers in turning security hardware into devices for providing business insights ultimately. Through AI, we can gather so much more meta data nowadays that goes way beyond the pure video footage, and AI can make it even more precise, and by improving the algorithms increasing the overall system performance. AI data-driven insights will revolutionise the industry.
Let’s look at one specific example now, your latest innovation, the new X-series. What makes this product so prestigious?
Gerard Figols: The new X-series is our new flagship model, and will allow customers to exponentially grow their usage of AI because of its forward and backward compatibility of this innovative technology. Let me explain more in detail: understanding that there are many existing legacy installations out there that cannot instantly be renovated, but still want to tap into the latest AI technology and its benefits, we came up with a way to enhance traditional legacy cameras with AI capabilities. With our integrated AI Smart Box functionality, we are making traditional non-AI cameras smart, and more efficient. This way, you can keep your current installations and still see and test the AI technology and its impact to your surveillance operations for yourself.
On the other hand, the new series is also enabling on-site learning, let’s say to make the camera even smarter. You can teach the camera to detect any kind of object, which means the possibilities of the hardware when you purchase it off the shelf can be tailored according to your needs and based on the data you feed it. This means you can train the device for any kind of application you need, and even share this knowledge that you generate on one of the new X-series cameras to other models of the same kind, so you are continuously enhancing your whole security installation.
So would you say that you are already thinking ahead on behalf of your customers?
Gerard Figols: AI is bringing limitless possibilities for making security smarter and operations more efficient, and the future will bring so much more AI-based innovation potential that we cannot foresee yet, but we want to be the market player that provides the right platform for future growth. The power of data analysis will take video beyond security, but for this you also need a mode to integrate all this AI-data generated into your security and business operations to access and unlock its full potential.
As part of our overall AI ecosystem, we offer an easy, intuitive and quick way to segment and handle all the meta data generated, called i-PRO Active Guard. The plug-in enables situational awareness and proactive notifications based on attributes; so you can receive a real-time alarm when a predefined match is identified. Within seconds, you can also run backwards data mining to identify critical situations after they happened. Seamlessly integrating into industry-leading VMS providers like Milestone and Genetec, users can access the full power of AI in their existing or new installations.
And to make sure this ecosystem is growing with our partners and their applications, Active Guard is also able to display the new items that were added through on-site learning through the new X-series. This way, you can purchase hardware today that is capable of detecting and categorising situations in the future that you are not even aware of now.