ISC West 2012

65 days since my last post. Well. We have been busy (we still are), but I need to spend a little time updating my blog every once in a while. ISC West is over, and I think now is a good a time as any.

We released Ocularis-X at the show. We think it is pretty cool, although I was more than a little worried that people would just look at it and go “yeah, it’s a web client – big deal”. Behind the covers we are doing some fancy footwork to offer the client high framerate, high resolution video over limited bandwidth. But to the end user it looks a lot like what everyone else is showing – except we demoed it over a tethered cellphone, and not on a LAN (at the booth we had to use wire because the wireless signals are just too unreliable).

What you can’t see is the flexibility that we’ve built into the server. Changing the protocol to suit Android devices took less than 5 minutes of coding, and I should also mention that the transcoder is a big bowl of dogfood too. Dogfood in the sense that the transcoder is using the Ocularis SDK components, so the web team were pretty much like a 3rd party developer, except they were in striking distance of yours truly, and could kick my behind when things were missing in the SDK.

Enough with the self-praise.

I spent a fair amount of time wandering aimlessly around the many booths at the show. Some booths were painfully vacant, and sometimes the presentations had nothing to do with the products at all. One company had a magician pull in the crowds. I wonder how many relevant leads that will yield. Everybody and their dog got scanned when they were watching the spectacle. Axis’s presentation was right across from ours (Brad is a freakin’ genius on stage), so there were pretty much non-stop presentations going on.

I love the Axis lightpath stuff. I think the lightpath idea is much, much more interesting than just high megapixel cameras. One company had a banner saying 1 camera replaces 96 VGA cameras. I’d take 96 VGA’s over one high megapixel camera any day. People keep educating me on this, but I probably will never learn. If that camera goes down, by the same logic, you are losing 96 (VGA) cameras. I am not against megapixel at all, I just don’t think it is a meaningful statement. Megapixel is part of a natural evolution – higher fidelity (although not all pixels are created equal), but one high quality vantage point can never replace multiple vantage points of lower quality. It’s apples and oranges. The 1 billion pixel camera reminded me of an old TED presentation of something called “Seadragon”, today it is called “deep zoom” I believe – pretty cool stuff.

The best thing about going to the show was to get to meet a lot of folks that use the software we wrote. Their feedback is a great source of inspiration to me – after a couple of beers, I usually get plenty of ideas, but talking for real users and dealers put things a little more in perspective.

It was good to finally meet you all in person. Hopefully we will meet again.