Brian Sims

ONVIF releases Profile M to standardise metadata for analytics

ONVIF, THE global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, has released Profile M which standardises metadata and events for analytics applications. This new Profile addresses the dynamic video analytics market as well as expanding the pathways for the use of metadata and event handling into other systems such as access control, cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.

Profile M provides a standard way of communicating metadata and events between analytics-capable services and devices like IP cameras and clients such as video management software (VMS) or server-based/cloud-based services. It allows systems integrators and end users to flexibly combine solutions from different providers of edge devices or services that produce metadata and events – with VMS or cloud services and IoT applications – into one system.

“ONVIF recognises that the need for interoperability has evolved beyond the traditional relationship between a hardware device and software client from different vendors,” stated Sriram Bhetanabottla, chair of the Profile M Working Group. “The flexibility to include cloud-based and server-based services as ‘conformant devices’ also makesProfile M interesting for independent developers of software-based analytics solutions. It will help to drive growth in the number and types of security, safety and operational efficiency applications available to practising end users.”

In the context of video, analytics metadata – which can be a variety of object classifications – has a number of uses. Such metadata can be used to highlight certain objects in a video stream, trigger automatic responses and effectively store and search for video content of interest.

Other uses include heat mapping in a retail store using human and geolocation metadata and vehicle mapping in a parking area by dint of using vehicle and geolocation metadata.

Event handling interfaces

Profile M also supports event handling interfaces for object counting and face and number plate recognition analytics, as well as JSON-formatted events over MQTT, a protocol for IoT applications. An example of an IoT use case can be for room temperature control, where a Profile M camera (with MQTT support) detects humans in a room and sends an ONVIF event over MQTT to an IoT platform or application that, in turn, triggers a smart thermostat to adjust the room temperature.

Profile M can be combined with other ONVIF video and access control Profiles for an integrated system based on ONVIF interfaces.

Founded in 2008, ONVIF also offers Profile S for streaming video, Profile G for video recording and storage, Profile C for physical access control, Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality, Profile A for broader access control configuration, Profile T for advanced video streaming and also the release candidate for Profile D for access control peripherals.

ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions ONVIF-conformant products can provide.

*Further information about ONVIF-conformant products, including member companies and their conformant models, is available on the ONVIF website at

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