Frontier is designed for multi-location enterprises that can't deploy expensive GPU hardware across all their sites (for on-prem AI) and don't have enough upload bandwidth (for cloud-based AI).
Third-party VMSes have been around for a while. Large companies like Milestone and Genetec have met customer requirements across verticals. But for the most part, customers who use products from them are large companies with a few sites to monitor. Realizing this gap, Dragonfruit AI, known for its video analytics solutions, recently launched its cloud-based VMS, Frontier
Speaking to asmag.com recently, Amol Kulkarni, Co-founder and VP of Dragonfruit AI, explained that the current VMS market is very skewed towards customers with a large, single location deployment. They typically have many cameras and a server room that manages the footage from these devices.
"That leaves out a huge number of customers who don't have such massive infrastructure," Kulkarni said. "They may have a smaller size, or they have multiple sites spread out in different locations, where it's either too expensive to set up a traditional VMS or require specific infrastructure that supports their deployment. This is where Dragonfruit's Frontier becomes useful."
Frontier is designed for multi-location enterprises that can't deploy expensive GPU hardware across all their sites (for on-prem AI) and don't have enough upload bandwidth (for cloud-based AI). Dragonfruit's patented Split AI feature can help scale features, like liquid spill detection, to hundreds of such locations while keeping bandwidth requirements low – even at 4G speeds.
Kulkarni added that Frontier is simple to deploy without significant hardware investment. That the VMS is also frugal with bandwidth consumption helps it suitable for locations where network connectivity may be an issue.
"So compared to a traditional VMS, Frontier allows customers to save on the hardware while compared to other cloud-based VMS, it offers bandwidth savings, besides providing a whole bunch of additional features," Kulkarni said.
Customers already interested
Although recently launched, Frontier has already caught several customers' attention. They range from companies in logistics to retail and various other verticals. A major early adopter of the product was the Indian large-cap Hindalco. Kulkarni said that customers consider Dragonfruit to solve specific problems they faced.
"One of our potential customers is a large logistics chain with warehouses in more than 600 locations spread out across the country," Kulkarni said. “Their problem was frequent thefts that weren't detected until it was too late. They wanted a solution that could prevent these thefts from happening. They checked out traditional VMS solutions, but these turned out to be too expensive and impractical to deploy it at the required scale."
Another key customer was a retail chain. Retail chains are often under scrutiny for compliance with regulations. Many countries have regulatory requirements regarding occupational health and safety. Companies must constantly monitor several factors, like the placement of fire extinguishers, spillage, emergency exit clearance, etc. And many of them don't have a system that allows centralized monitoring. Frontier allows these customers to keep an eye on all these with ease.
A VMS built around analytics
Dragonfruit's actively working in a revenue-sharing partnership with systems integrators worldwide to get Frontier to more customers. Kulkarni said that many customers are curious about the new VMS, even if they have been using traditional solutions. Dragonfruit also believes that its market position is about coexisting with other players.
A key strength of Frontier is that it's a solution built around analytics because that's Dragonfruit's forte. In a press release from the company, Convergint’s Technology VP Eric Yunag highlighted this particular aspect.
"We're excited to partner with Dragonfruit – with Frontier, customers benefit from the streamlined integration of a cloud VMS with AI analytics,” Yang said. “Integrating flexible computer vision capabilities like slip/fall detection and safety compliance with a video management system fulfills our customers' need to deploy effective new technology that is easy to use."
The more, the merrier
Dragonfruit's entry into the VMS segment would bring much-needed momentum to the market. The security industry is notorious for being slow to innovate, and several solutions in the market are not quite cutting-edge technology. The sector requires innovation to move forward, and players like Dragonfruit, with a solid AI foundation, would help.