From the Product Manager's POV
The big leaguers do it, but who knew
that businesses also scouted talent?
American Dynamics found the talent it
needed and wanted to deliver skilled IT
products. By acquiring Trident Tek,
American Dynamics merges its already
strong brand recognition with a scalable
Linux-based NVR recording platform.
We wanted to know more about the
merger and the product, so we talked
with Irene Lam, director of product management
for American Dynamics.
Q.Why did American Dynamics
acquire the assets of Trident Tek?
A.American Dynamics acquired
Trident Tek for two main reasons:
A talented IT skills set with many years
of experience in delivering products into
the IT market and a scalable Linux-based
NVR recording platform. This acquisition
positions us to be a security company
with IT expertise and leverages our
core competencies as an integrated access
control and video manufacturer.
American Dynamics has had and continues
to have strong brand recognition
with our products such as Intellex and
SpeedDome with an established global
sales channel. With the integration of
Trident Tek, we have infused innovation
and technology leadership into the
American Dynamics portfolio, especially
in a changing market where IT has
become one of the major choices, if not
the top one.
Q.What is unique about the NVR
A.The NVR has an embedded Linux
kernel from a bootable CD—both
the operating system and application are
installed within minutes. The benefits are
ease of install, data recovery and, most
importantly, performance. This is measured
by stripping out the operating system
heavy processes and, thus, most of the
CPU is in idle to record more cameras
and/or serve video to multiple clients.
The NVR also has unique capabilities
such as built-in redundancy and a storage
management platform that allows for
Levels 1 and 2 backup without a thirdparty
application. It lends into minimal
patch management but lower total cost of
ownership with just the elimination of the
software licensing cost.
The NVR also can be configured and
administered via an agnostic Web client
such as Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox.
American Dynamics also has a software
development kit that is 100 percent standards-
based to allow for third-party integration,
such as in access control.
Q.What did American Dynamics
launch during ISC West this year?
A.American Dynamics has shown in
four months that it has completely
integrated the former Trident Tek team and
platform into the American Dynamics
VideoEdge IP solution line. The
VideoEdge NVR now supports multiple
codex—the efficient proprietary Active
Content Compression, as well as two open
standard compressions: M-JPEG and
MPEG-4. ACC is our own proprietary
compression developed more than 10 years
ago for video surveillance to offset the
noise and limited motion that plague many
cameras. Another benefit of ACC is lower
bandwidth compression, which is translated
into lower storage requirements since
the noise is filtered out and frames are only
sent when motion is detected.
A white paper on the American
Dynamics Web site with supporting
qualitative data shows the benefits of
ACC. It is important to note that supporting
ACC is the first step toward developing
a unified client, allowing for the
migration of Intellex customers into the
VideoEdge IP solution.
While we will continue to support
ACC, American Dynamics also recognizes
that to remain an open platform, we
have to support other industry-accepted
compressions—as we have demonstrated
at ISC West, but also have on our road
map to support H.264.
The splash screens are completely
rebranded, and this is the first step toward
allowing our existing American
Dynamics customers to mix and match
multiple platforms and technologies.
Q.How do you plan to migrate the
existing Intellex DVR customers?
A.The plan is to launch a VideoEdge
or unified client at or around the
ASIS International 2008 tradeshow time
frame, using the development work to
support ACC. There is a single management
platform to configure, manage and
administer VideoEdge NVR and Intellex.
It is about investment protection—
migrating to the new platform at customers’
own pace. We want to ensure that
our customers can feel confident in
choosing Intellex today, but that they do
not have to rip out everything when they
are ready to move to an IP solution later.
Q.What is the American Dynamics
road map on the NVR?
A.To complement our NVR line, we
are working on peripheral edge
devices supporting ACC, such as an
encoder and hybrid SpeedDome, but our
most exciting product is the VideoEdge
client. We also are looking into adding
more features to promote our open standard
architecture, such as supporting
H.264, and to add to our growing list of
third-party IP devices.