Magnetically-driven PTZ cameras and bespoke camera housing: How Redvision is rejecting the homogeneity of the modern CCTV market

Redvision recently unveiled two innovations that it believes distinguish themselves in a market characterised by homogeneity and a misguided emphasis on driving down the price of hardware. Unveiled to a selected audience of customers and contacts the UK-based manufacturer of high-end security cameras unveiled the Volant, a PTZ camera that Redvision says moves faster, more accurately and more quietly than anything else on the market. Vega, meanwhile, means integrators can offer clients the chance to customise camera housing to meet their aesthetic needs.

Both ranges will be launched officially at IFSEC International 2017 between 20-22 June (get your free badge now). IFSEC Global caught up with the company s founder and director, Paul Hucker, and MD, Dermot Grace, to find out how the company was positioning itself in the surveillance market and its plans for IFSEC. The Volant and Vega ranges will be launched and on display at IFSEC International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find Redvision on stand D1150. Get your free badge now. IFSEC Global: Where do you sit in the crowded CCTV market? And what are your USPs? Dermot Grace: Redvision is one of the pioneers of the rugged PTZ Pan, Tilt, Zoom marketplace. There are probably three or four major manufacturers worldwide and we would probably command a substantial market, certainly within the UK market.

Our routes to market have historically largely been through our distribution partners, which we re looking to develop further within Continental Europe. Paul Hucker: We re at IFSEC to launch two new product ranges: Vega and Volant. Volant is the fastest, most accurate, quietest PTZ on the planet. A PTZ used to move at 60 degrees per second but with the Volant it s now almost instantaneous: about 400 degrees per second. Volant will move to the exact position it needs to go to. If cameras respond quicker you stand a much better chance of getting evidential or dynamic information. It also has infinity motors which can remember exactly where they were before. PTZs have motors and gears and the gears add a degree of inaccuracy and a degree of wear. But the infinity motors are magnetically driven so the motor s resolution is huge compared to a geared system.

It will register within 0.01 of a degree every time That means cameras can cover a larger area or a smaller area at distance more effectively. So it s very much for areas where they want the best in what technology can offer right now. With this camera range we have standard cameras and cameras with adaptive IR and adaptive white light. Adaptive means the actual beam angle of the illumination varies with the angle of the zoom lens. We have a number of high net worth customers who like the white light because it s a visual deterrent. Another feature of the Volant is it is completely silent. That s because it s moving by magnetic force. We re the only company using infinity drive motors in a big PTZ. We ve taken something generally used in military and using it in a commercial application.

While it s more expensive than the commodity products, the overall cost of ownership is low. Because the cost of installing a camera in a town centre is huge and people don t spend enough money on the cost of the equipment itself. The equipment is running continuously, and continuously moving, so it has a very high duty cycle. We ve had high demand already for a lot of public buildings to be monitored using a thermal version of the Volant. One reason is it s so much more accurate and better at analytics than other PTZs. You can apply analytics to it with certainty that you ll get the same picture every time. It s the equivalent of a static camera with up to 200 positions. DG: the thermal market in general is growing quite substantially. So we re challenging this product to sit across a wide spectrum of marketplaces.

As well as traditional CCTV we re looking at military applications and other verticals we can move into. PH: The Volant is a side-mount PTZ rather than a normal PTZ, which gives us flexibility to do custom options on the camera mechanism. For clients we can offer different lens options for thermals. DG: One USP Redvision has as a business is its complete flexibility. We can come up with different paint finishes and it s surprising how many customers do need these specialisations. It could be colours, Bournemouth College had a particular colour. This was done within a week or so, so it s a very fast turnaround. PH: Town centre application is our biggest single market. High net worth individuals and any CNI areas are important too.

DG: We ve signed an agreement with industry professionals representing five brands to represent Redvision throughout Scandinavia, central Europe and Southern Europe. They will use IFSEC as the launch platform. IG: You mentioned price. To what extent do you think there s too much focus on price in CCTV? PH: I think it s a huge issue. We are potentially devaluing the overall marketplace by focusing on price rather than functionality. If you look at other sectors hi-fi systems or cars people go for premium brands for a reason. I m not saying there isn t room for budget brands, but at the moment we re in danger of devaluing the options. DG: So much so that installers are saying to us great, this is a different solution that I can take to my customers.

They can differentiate themselves with their customers. It s pretty much solution selling. PH: All we re trying to say is one size doesn t fit all. The Vega is a range of camera houses we ve launched because driven by price, most CCTV players have come up with the same solution. The cameras are getting smaller and smaller and less obtrusive, which is a good thing in some respects, but we feel cameras should have a bit of physical presence and be a bit tougher. We want to do several variants of the Vega housing to look more like street furniture. For example it can be colour coded on a public building. It s got things like a built-in windscreen wiper as it rains in the UK a lot. DG: And when it s in the parked position, you can t see it, it s out of the field of view.

Also, within the camera housing we ve got the opportunity for PoE. PH: This is being launched at IFSEC as a concept with empty housing but we will add to it. We re creating an explosion-proof version. Explosion-proof cameras generally have a stainless steel tube with stainless steel ends and one with a little window and it s not developed much over the past 20-30 years. DG: In fact, the number of ancillary equipment manufacturers has declined so there s little choice. The demand is out there. Paul always says let s say you want a camera in a BMW showroom they may want the camera housing in the BMW colours. PH: Because it has very easy access into the camera housing you can do all your PoE or fibre convertor work in there. Anything that normally goes in the junction box, you can put in the housing.

You don t need an ugly junction box on the wall, it s one less thing to install, and it s all integrated. It s been designed so it can work both ways. Normally a camera housing has a top and a bottom. The Vega is symmetrical in look, so on a garage forecourt, for example, it could go under a canopy, you switch the bracket and it looks OK. It looks more aesthetically pleasing. IG: With your products being higher quality, are there certain sectors that you do better in, e.g. transport, utilities? DG: If we take our existing X-Series domes, they re big in the utilities sector and in the remote deployable sector. PH: Also it s more led by the quality integrators that actually want to keep some value in the project.

They re selling the benefits of Redvision through their channels. You have to bear in mind we re a product manufacturer who doesn t sell products directly to the end user although we do show the end user. It s not always easy to work out the exact routes. We ve lost more of the smaller installers to lower cost kit. But the larger integrator, the likes of ADT, Quadrant can see the benefits of Redvision. IG: What about the launch event at 240? DG: We re getting our major distributor, integrators and our distributor s customers together. The objective is to give them a demonstration of the new products. It will also be the opportunity to get a preview of the products before the show.

During the evening we have a professional entertainer, Nick Einhorn. He ll be on the IFSEC stand as well. The evening is also for networking and saying thank you to our customers. IG: What are your thoughts on the future of CCTV? PH: We think use of thermal imaging will become four times as common over the next five years and we think the price will halve. So there will be price pressure but not to the same degree as other markets. We certainly see within five years that a third of our business or more will be on that product. We also see ourselves getting involved in other niche verticals and promoting the cosmetic side of CCTV. DG: Whenever we ve shown this product to a customer in a pre-launch meeting they ve said wow, that looks really nice.

The same will apply to the camera housing. Even the ATEX housing is designed differently. Ease of use will be far better than what exists out there and it will be competitively priced because of the way it s been engineered. PH: In short, we ll be exploring more verticals because our ambition is to get to a 10m company in the next three years. Now we re a 3m company so we have to find niches for that. We re not going after the mass market. IG: Is there a benefit in being British? PH: We re more in touch with the needs of the UK market. There are several unique features resulting from our contact with the UK market.

DG: Most manufacturers are only set up for mass production. But we ve got applications where we ve adapted our standard product for critical applications like the nuclear industry. So that s how we d differentiate ourselves from a high volume manufacturer: total flexibility. IG: Do customers want the ability to customise? DG: Certainly. I think the fundamental thing is it s the voice of the customer that we re listening to. We reposition our products based on that. We also focus on customer service. Our turnaround time on any return is a maximum of 72 hours on receipt, 48 hours of those are on test.

PH: We ve had reports that some of our competitors take three months. These investments are long term and customers want to know they have good back-up for 5-10 years. DG: Our lead time to most distributors is seven working days. PH: The other thing is, three of our guys are on tech support. Unlike many large companies, you can phone us and talk to someone. If you have an issue onsite and normally it s install related rather than product related we are there 9-5, Monday to Friday. DG: We also have people who can attend site. Sometimes a problem has nothing to do with the product; it might be the VMS software controlling it. We have people in the north and south.

In our offices we have hot desks, so if someone phones in about an Avigilon platform, we can put that into the desktop and bring it up. So we can quickly replicate what they re talking about and talk them through what they need to do. PH: We can either do key by key or take over the set up if we need to. DG: We can accommodate most commonly used platforms, from 20 or so manufacturers. We recently had an event at our factory and people were taken aback with our flexibility and support. PH: It s an expensive resource for us to run but it s a big security net for the customer. DG: We re the industry s safe pair of hands. DG: At IFSEC we would like the opportunity to talk to distributors and integrators across the world because there s no limit to what we can t do. PH: And now we have a network of people across Europe who can support those contracts.

We work with BSC Europe. One of our biggest problems previously with IFSEC is we ve not been well equipped to follow up leads outside the UK. But now we have the network to follow those up. DG: We re always open to talk to people about any new products they want. Should there be a custom requirement for another partner, we d look into that. The Volant and Vega ranges will be launched and on display at IFSEC International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find Redvision on stand D1150. Get your free badge now. Visit Europe s only large-scale security event in 2017 Taking place in London, 20 22 June 2017, IFSEC International gives you exclusive hands-on access to over 10,000 security solutions, live product demonstrations, and networking with over 27,000 security professionals.

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