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Axis, Bosch and Sony Cooperate to Standardize Interface of Network Video Products

May 14, 2008
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This new standard will offer increased flexibility to integrators and users of network video equipment.

- First cooperation in the security industry to establish a global open standard for the interface of network video products

- Interoperability between different vendors’ products will simplify installation of network video products regardless of brand

- Greater freedom for end-users when choosing equipment, resulting in

more cost-effective and flexible solutions

- Creation of an open forum for further development of the new standard

Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems and Sony Corporation announce that they will be cooperating to create an open forum aimed at developing a standard for the interface of network video products. Currently, there is no global standard defining how network video products such as cameras, video encoders and video management systems should communicate with each other. The new standard is expected to comprise interfaces for specifications such as video streaming, device discovery, intelligence metadata, etc. The framework of the standard, incorporating the key elements of network video product interoperability, will be released in October 2008 at the Security show in Essen, Germany.

The main goal of this new standard is to facilitate the integration of various brands of network video equipment and to help manufacturers, software developers and independent software vendors ensure product interoperability. A unified open standard will also offer end-users greater flexibility of choice, enabling them to select products from different vendors in order to develop systems that fully meet their needs. This standardization initiative demonstrates the strong commitment of Axis, Bosch and Sony to supporting the ongoing shift from analog to digital surveillance in the security market.

A forum set up by the said three companies will be open for all companies and interest groups who would like to participate in the standardization work. The forum will be established in the fourth quarter of 2008, and will work on further development of the standard and on reaching agreement on how the new technology should be implemented.

“We are very pleased to announce this cooperation between our companies,” says Ray Mauritsson, President of Axis Communications. “An open standard will make it even easier for integrators and end-users to benefit from the many possibilities offered by IP-based video surveillance technology.”

“This cooperation represents a great leap forward in establishing an international open forum focusing on network video surveillance,” says Gert van Iperen, Executive Vice President at Bosch. “For manufacturers of network video hardware and software, the forum and its standard will be an efficient way to ensure product interoperability.”

“We entered this discussion based on our common belief that an open standard will provide great benefits for users and everyone involved in the security industry,” says Yoshinori Onoue, SVP, Corporate Executive, Sony Corporation. “Representatives from Axis, Bosch and Sony are now working intensively to develop a framework for the standard and to establish the guidelines for the standardization forum.”

About Axis Communications

Axis is an IT company offering network video solutions for professional installations. The company is the global market leader in network video, driving the ongoing shift from analog to digital video surveillance. Axis products and solutions focus on security surveillance and remote monitoring, and are based on innovative, open technology platforms.

Axis is a Swedish-based company, operating worldwide with offices in 18 countries and cooperating with partners in more than 70 countries. Founded in 1984, Axis is listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange, Large Cap and Information Technology. For more information about Axis, please visit our website at www.axis.com.

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 271,000 associates generated sales of 46.3 billion euros in fiscal 2007. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in roughly 50 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3 billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.”

The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $70 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

Top Five Questions & Answers about the Axis, Bosch and Sony cooperation

What is the purpose of setting-up this forum and what exactly will be standardized by this forum Currently, there is no global standard defining how network video products, i.e. cameras, video encoders and video management systems, should communicate with each other. Therefore, the purpose of this forum is to standardize the interfaces on the network layer level of the products in terms of video streaming, intelligent metadata, device discovery etc. Thus, a seamless integration of different network video surveillance products operating on this standard will be enabled regardless of brand (plug&play).

Why there is a need for standardization in IP video surveillance and what is the benefit for customers and other manufacturers?

The overall goal is to make it even easier for end-users, integrators, consultants and manufacturers to take advantage of the possibilities offered by network video solutions. An open standard for the interface of network video products enables them to easily use products from various vendors in the same installation. The standard will also help software vendors to secure that their products support various brands of network video products. For device manufacturers, an open standard ensures interoperability with other brands.

Why are Axis, Bosch and Sony working on this standard?

Axis, Bosch and Sony are all among the top 5 vendors of network video products globally. The three companies want to support the technology shift in the market by creating increased flexibility for end-users, integrators and consultants. The combined experience of the three companies - Axis as a pioneer within network video, Bosch's broad scope of security systems and Sony with extensive history of camera and device manufacturing - provide a comprehensive foundation for the initial development of the standard.

What do you mean by an "open standard"?

The specification is approved by a formalized committee that is open to participation by all interested parties. Also it will support other industry standards, e.g. Video compression standards, network streaming, device discovery, etc.

Why are you announcing this cooperation now and what is the overall time schedule of the cooperation?

Axis, Bosch and Sony see increasing demand in network video equipment. By creating a standardized interface we believe that we are able to further support this trend and offer significant value to the market. Axis, Bosch and Sony will work on a framework of the standardized interface. After establishment of the forum in Q4 2008, the forum will be open to interested parties who would like to contribute to the further development of the standard.

When and how can other companies or interest groups contribute to the standardization work and why can’t they contribute already now?

We are still working on the set up of the forum, so that it will be easy for others to join. Once the forum is opened, we gladly invite other companies and interest groups to be part of the standardization work.

Why haven’t Axis, Bosch and Sony joined another standardization group (e.g. SIA, IEC) who is working with these questions?

With our expertise and experience we see great advantages in taking this first initiative to get a framework in place. We look forward to working together with all interest groups after completion of the framework of the standard.

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