EDESIX Q&A

The official body-worn camera supplier for UK prisons on industry trends, VideoManager and VideoTag series

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
July 26, 2017

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Edesix is a big player in the burgeoning body-worn camera market.

Indeed, it is the official body-worn camera provider for the UK prison service and has said that 2016 was its best-ever year for contract wins. On the product development front, Edesix has already launched a series of head and torso-mounted body-worn cameras as well as the small, discrete VideoTag series. in 2017.

IFSEC Global recently spoke to Richie McBride, the Edinburgh-based company’s CEO, about Edesix’s direction of travel, its latest products, the future of body-worn video and its recent presence at IFSEC 2017.

Richie McBride

IFSEC Global: Where is Edesix positioned in the body-worn video (BWV) market? What are your USPs?

Richie McBride: Whilst Edesix have a comprehensive range of BWV solutions to meet the needs of our customers across a range of different industries, Edesix prides itself on the back-end solution developed to meet the needs of our customers, and we believe this is what makes our solution unique.

Our VideoManager software is the most advanced BWC management software on the market – and, paired with our smart networking options, Edesix’s full BWC solution means that rolling out any number of body cameras, from 1 to tens of thousands, is efficient and futureproof.

VideoManager has all the security features expected of a video management software fit for police and criminal justice. It ensures access to video footage is limited to correct user profiles, utilises encryption keys so only authorised users can access footage from cameras, and provides a full audit trail of each piece of video captured.

In conjunction with this, by utilising our various hardware products such as EdgeControllers, DockControllers and RFID readers, efficient, fast and secure use of pooled cameras from multiple locations is simple, speeding up deployment times and minimising the amount of training required.

We work with all our customers to ensure that the roll-out of their BWCs is suited to their needs, operational workflow and staff routine. We pride ourselves on meeting roll-out deadlines, and have a fantastic track record of on-time roll-outs (eg PSNI and HMPS).

Most recently, Edesix has launched ONStream, a gateway product which allows users of our cameras to integrate footage directly to any ONVIF-compliant VMS – in short, you can watch live BWC footage alongside fixed CCTV, complementing the static video with video and audio from the perspective of a wearer on the ground – we believe this to be an industry first, and are proud to be working with market leaders such as Milestone and Genetec.

IG: What was the thinking behind the launch of the VideoTag Series?

RM: Our VB-300 series of BWC has been successful within the security market, but having worked closely with VMS integrators, we found that there was a need for a camera which acted in the same way as the VB-300 (with Wi-Fi capability, VMS integration, and high-quality audio/video) for non-security users who didn’t require full-shift recording and at a lower price-point, with a smaller footprint.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a shift in confidence as trial deployments become full deployments, and industries such as police, prison services and emergency services wholeheartedly adopt the technology

The VT series evolved from this requirement to provide non-security staff with the same protection and recording abilities, without the requirement to record regularly and continually. The VT-50 incident recorder has been designed to be worn for up to 3 months on stand-by, without charge, and requires minimal training and intervention from the wearer – if an incident occurs, simply press record and the footage will automatically stream or offload.

We believe that VideoTags work well both independently and as a complementary security product. On its own, it provides the wearer with the protection of any BWC, and captures evidential quality footage for reasons such as criminal prosecution, proof of actions taken etc.

However, the VT is also perfect as an incident response tool, and for gathering a ‘full picture’ of events. With multiple staff wearing VTs, in conjunction with CCTV and/or VideoBadges, if a major incident were to occur, multiple viewpoints could be collated in real-time to assess threat and provide adequate response.

IG: To what extent can you – and do you – help customers navigate the regulatory and political hurdles when it comes to deploying what remains a fairly new technology?

RM: We will always work with our customers to ensure that their questions around regulation are satisfied, and that their use of BWCs is suitable for their industry and requirements.

None of our cameras are covert or designed for hidden use. Our cameras are configurable to allow approved users to switch on/off LEDs or notification-tone alerts when the cameras are recording to suit regulations. We also offer the ability to turn off either the video or audio record function, as required by some industries.

As previously stated, our VideoManager software comes with a multitude of functions, which ensure that the identity of those on cameras is protected (we offer advanced redaction tools for this).

VideoManager allows for multiple user levels, ensuring that footage is only viewable by authorised users, and of course our iconic ID badge on most of our cameras ensures that those faced with a VideoBadge know that there is the potential of being recorded.

IG: How do you see the BWV market evolving over the next 5-10 years?

RM: As an industry, we’re only just scratching the surface of the BWC marketplace currently. Over the past few years we’ve seen a shift in confidence as trial deployments become full deployments, and industries such as police, prison services and emergency services wholeheartedly adopt the technology.

We believe that the popularity of BWCs will grow further within these markets, with all public-facing workers wearing recording devices as standard, and the sophistication by which they’re deployed and managed will improve.

However, as the introduction of the VideoTag and ONStream shows, we also believe in BWCs as wearable CCTV, and see a growing market here for incident recorders, especially within the retail, education and airport/airlines markets.

IG: You recently exhibited at IFSEC International 2017? How did it go?

RM: We had a very successful show at IFSEC 2017. This year we had presence on three booths; our own, Milestone and Dell.

We felt that this was the perfect balance for us, as we were able to promote our new VMS-integration solutions with our partners, whilst maintaining our own identity on the Edesix booth. While we’re still working through our leads from the show, I think we can safely say that it was a positive event for us.

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Steven Mitchell
Steven Mitchell
July 27, 2017 2:44 pm

Fabulous invention