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Canon acquires Briefcam

Canon has acquired BriefCam, the video review and search software company.

Trevor Matz, BriefCam President and CEO, said: “The acquisition will allow BriefCam to continue to deliver industry leading video content analytics solutions, while remaining a standalone company within the Canon Group. The opportunity is a testament to the innovative technology we have built, the outstanding team we have assembled, and the rapidly growing business we have created.”

Many video surveillance equipment vendors expect that solution differentiation will be based on software. This is why there has been a relatively high number of security software vendor acquisitions in recent years, writes Oliver Philippou, senior analyst, video surveillance at the market research company IHS Markit.

Milestone, Aimetis, Cognimatics, ObjectVideo, Intellivision, SeeTec, Exacq Technologies and Smartvue are just a few examples. Canon’s acquisition of BriefCam is the latest instance.

Canon also acquired Milestone and Axis in recent years. Similar to those acquisitions, Canon is planning to operate BriefCam as a standalone company within the group. However, Canon does have the option of merging the companies at some point if it wishes. The video surveillance supply base remains highly fragmented, with the largest 15 vendors accounting for around 58 percent of revenues and hundreds of other vendors accounting for the remainder. If the supply base consolidates, Canon might choose to merge its acquisitions to create a large full-system vendor.

For BriefCam, its purchase by Canon gives it access to the resources of a much larger company. It could also help BriefCam grow its business in Canon’s large home market of Japan and in Axis’s and Milestones’ European markets.

BriefCam will bring a host of analytics capabilities that will sit alongside Canon’s current offering—and compliment algorithms offered by Citilog and Cognimatics, under the Axis brand—including city surveillance, traffic analysis, crowd monitoring and business intelligence analytics. In addition, BriefCam’s Video Synopsis analytics offering provides video search and summary capabilities that have been in development for a number years. However, and perhaps more important, the acquisition of BriefCam will give Canon a foothold within the much talked about “deep learning” market. Deep learning is a technology in which the Canon group appeared to be lagging when compared to other equipment vendors such as Hikvision, Dahua and Avigilon.

There has been much debate regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) within the video surveillance market and the expected impact this technology will have in the future. But BriefCam, in partnership with Nvidia, has developed several iterations of its Video Synopsis offering and is expected to continue to develop this technology.


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