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IBM Targets Digital Video Surveillance Market

Tech giant Tuesday rolled out a new digital video surveillance and security service, and vending consulting and deployment services for IP-based systems that will replace aging analog videotapes.

Big Blue's move into the space comes as enterprise customers have been beefing up videotape-based surveillance systems to take advantage of the capabilities on newer, digital technologies.

Tape-based systems require video recorders for each camera and searching through recordings is "time consuming and labor intensive," IBM said, noting that digital systems can be integrated with a company's other security measures like badge-readers, intrusion detection systems and alarm monitoring.

IBM's new service will be targeted to corporate clients in the government, travel and transportation, and retail sectors and will offer consulting, integration and deployment services for digital video surveillance systems running on Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

In addition to consulting, IBM will be offering system design, hardware and software installation, ongoing maintenance, and integration of digital video systems into an enterprise's overall IT system architecture.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based firm said the digital video surveillance security units should be a hit among corporate users because of the many advantages over older systems. For instance, digital video images of a crime in progress can be instantly transmitted over a wireless local area network to the local police headquarters.

The company said the systems can be programmed to automatically notice irregularities and, without human intervention, it can zoom in on individual faces to improve the chances of identification. "A searchable index of digital images may be created, enabling authorized users to query the system to, for example, display every person who stopped in front of a certain door on a specific day," the company said.

More importantly, from an enterprise standpoint, business applications can be integrated with a digital surveillance system to expand its functionality.