A Really Candid Camera

By SmallBusinessComputing.com Staff | Posted October 01, 2003

Founded in 1984, AXIS Communications is an innovative market leader in network video solutions, as well as print servers and document management.

The company's core offerings are built around its proprietary IP-based technology that allows AXIS to develop new applications for its networking gear. With 20 years in the networking business, the company has a few innovations under its belt, the latest of which is the AXIS 205 Network Camera for small businesses.

The AXIS 205 is fairly revolutionary because of the size of the camera, the performance of the product, and the price. About the size of a deck of cards, the AXIS 205 can be placed nearly anywhere you can tap into an IP network, be it wired or wireless. Priced at $199 and capable of delivering 30 frames a second, the AXIS 205 could be just what you need to setup indoor surveillance and improve security at a small office, store front, or docking bay.

Fredrik Nilsson, AXIS Communications general manager, said the camera is the first network video product that is specialized for small and home use.

"The AXIS 205 provides a direct connection with a home or business network," Nilsson said. "It also provides flexible placement options, high-quality resolution, and is IP-addressable. It is our first network video product that is specialized for small businesses and home users. "

The network camera can provide a wide range of security tasks, such as entrance and exit monitoring, car park protection, or viewing a shipping and receiving area. As long as you can tap into an IP network at a small office, workshop or bodega, you can be ready to monitor the area in minutes.

"You simply mount it where you want it and you're one-click away from completing the installation," Nilsson said. "Once you connect the camera to an IP network, the camera introduces itself to the system and you will be picking up live images."

From there, all you need is a PC, preferably high-speed Internet access, and a Web browser to see what's going on back at the office. Up to 20 simultaneous users can view live images from a secure Web location — as long as they know the IP address or serial number of the camera. After entering a user name and password, as a second layer of protection, users can keep track of who's doing what, when and where anytime over the Web.

Nilsson said the security and monitoring market has been a hotbed of activity for the past couple of years.

"The technology that has been put to work protecting students and faculty at educational institutions, as well as government agencies and the transportation industry, can now be implemented in a cost-effective manner by small businesses," Nilsson said.

The AXIS 205 is optimized for indoor use. In addition to providing 30 frames per second, the camera provides high-image resolution — 640 by 480 pixels. For an additional fee, users also have the option of recording and storing images to a hard disk using AXIS Recorder software. Unlike analog video systems, tapes cannot be removed from the system without inside knowledge. Unlike Web cameras, the AXIS 205 operates independently of a PC so images can be viewed anywhere in the world.

The AXIS 205 is available immediately through AXIS's channel partners, such as CDW and Ingram Micro. Whether you need to keep track of the pooches during playtime at a dog kennel, keep an eye on a vacation home, or just stream video for remote monitoring purposes, the AXIS 205 is a cost-effective security tool.

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