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Chapter 13. UPnP > UPNP PRODUCTS

UPNP PRODUCTS

At the 1999 Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), eight companies provided prototype hardware and software to demonstrate some of the many applications that can be brought together on home networks through Universal Plug and Play. Let us take a closer look at one of these UPnP implementations—a Web-enabled camera from Axis Communications.

Based on its thin server technology, Axis has a line of smart objects featuring print servers, scanner servers, storage servers, and camera servers. Implementation of a smart object in the form of a Web-enabled camera available from Axis Communications is described here. The device incorporates an embedded minimized Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) design that provides all the functions required for the camera to function as a stand-alone network device directly attached to a network. Unlike other networked camera solutions, the Axis camera is a self-contained smart object that connects directly to an Ethernet network. It has its own IP address and built-in Web server for application integration and management. Compressed images can be streamed from the camera to an application (e.g., browser, application server), or be retrieved from the application. It also has built-in scripting capabilities to enable connection and handling sensor-triggered events, such as taking pictures at a certain event, storing images on a file server, and sending an e-mail to an operator with a link to the images. Main application areas for this camera are remote surveillance, where traditional CCTV-based systems can be replaced with more efficient and intelligent networked solutions. This camera uses UPnP protocols, XML descriptors, and XSL style sheets to demonstrate some of the many applications that can be brought together on home networks through Universal Plug and Play. The first UPNP-enabled products are not expected to hit stores until 2001.


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