A little over a year ago, Cisco Meraki launched a brand new product category and expanded its portfolio to include security cameras. The introduction of MV brought a revolutionary architecture to the physical security world, placing video storage and processing onboard each camera. Today we are announcing MV12, representing the next leap forward in security cameras and advanced video analytics.
Unlike many other video analytics solutions that require bulky servers, expensive software, and oftentimes dedicated camera hardware to operate, MV12 stays true to Meraki’s core values by offering an all-in-one solution. By taking advantage of the same hardware that powers many of the world’s smartphones, and placing one on every single camera, the heavy lifting of analyzing video happens at the edge–not in the cloud or on a server.
What does this mean in terms of functionality? At launch, MV12 will already be implementing machine-learning-based computer vision, which are just fancy words describing the cameras’ ability to detect people (not to be confused with “facial recognition,” which ties images to unique identities) and get more accurate over time. MV12 uses this functionality as the foundation for tools like people counting. But best of all, this is just the starting point for a multitude of functionalities that can be implemented on the MV12 platform.
Plus, the same standard license introduced with MV21 and MV71 gives users access to every part of the dashboard, providing not just the analytics piece but also the ability to configure, manage, and monitor a global deployment of cameras from anywhere in the world. This makes MV12 extraordinarily scalable, efficient, and cost effective for a multitude of deployments.
The new product family also brings an exciting laundry list of additional hardware features and enhancements:
Nestled in the gently rolling hills of rural Virginia, Sweet Briar College is a women’s liberal arts college spanning over 3,200 acres. The campus includes a distant equestrian riding site and other remote facilities connected in some places by winding dirt roads. With such a large campus, keeping an eye on everything becomes as challenging as it does critical.
Over the years, Sweet Briar’s small IT team, led by Chief Technology Officer Aaron Mahler, has been tasked with adding more and more elements to their network, including security cameras. Their ten-year-old legacy system was cumbersome and created extra work for Mahler’s staff. As long-time Meraki customers, the team already understood the value in a cloud-managed system, so they were eager to implement the new cameras.
A large campus with several remote facilities made monitoring during off-hours challenging.
Staff from various parts of the school, including the library and bookstore, were unable to easily and autonomously view video footage in their areas due to the complexity of the video management software.
The historic nature of the campus and its architecture provides extra limitations on networking infrastructure and makes it difficult to house extra hardware without disrupting the beauty of the site.
While the school enjoys great network connectivity, the IT team wanted to ensure that bandwidth was used for mission-critical IT and educational tasks, not just security camera footage.
Sweet Briar’s previous camera system was generally challenging to manage, with a complicated and cumbersome interface.
The team had no way of knowing when cameras went offline or stopped recording, which caused major issues when it came time to recall footage after critical events.
In reference to their old camera system:
“We wish we didn’t have any cameras. They are so unreliable that when someone comes to us for footage and we don’t have it because the camera was offline we get blamed.”
The team installed almost 70 MV cameras across the campus.
MVs in remote parts of the campus are connected via wireless mesh with Meraki APs.
A mix of MV21 and MV71 cameras allows for full coverage both indoors and out.
Mahler’s team assigned granular access controls to staff from various teams, allowing them to monitor only their pertinent areas.
With Meraki MV:
“The ease of use is tremendous. The amount of time savings for your staff, the installation and managing the cameras, and the ease of use for your campus police or security office…are all tremendous selling points for us.”
A relatively small team of campus safety officers can provide a safer environment for students and faculty without having to be everywhere at once. The simple web-based interface and mobile app allow them to easily stay keyed- in to remote areas.
Centralized management and the ability to configure and view video through the Meraki dashboard have saved the Sweet Briar staff—from the IT team to the librarians—a considerable amount of time and effort versus their old system.
With user-based permissions, campus staff in charge of specific facilities can better manage their areas since they no longer require a set of eyes onsite at all times.
Installation posed no major technical or aesthetic issues, even in buildings over 100 years old.
The Motion Search tool allows for staff to quickly identify specific events on campus without manually sifting through hours or days of footage.
The team receives alerts when cameras go offline, allowing them to proactively address the issue before they miss a critical event.