AXIS Body worn packshot

Axis body worn solution

Body worn solutions from Axis capture valuable evidence. And they’re an effective way to deter bad behavior and positively influence the actions of camera wearers and the public alike. They record incidents as they appeared to the camera wearer, and as they sounded to all involved. They deliver recordings with high quality audio and video that you can use in internal investigations and in court.

Introduction

Get to know Axis body worn solution.

Plan your integration

Use cases and important considerations when integrating Axis body worn solution.

Develop your integration

Step-by-step guide and implementation recommendations.

Post integration considerations

Before you go and make those successful sales, we have some tips and considerations for you.

Introduction

Axis body worn system is currently available in the following areas:

  • North America
  • Europe, except from Turkey and Russia
  • Australia and New Zealand


Availability in more countries/regions is planned for next year. Stay tuned for updated information on this page or contact your local Axis office if you have any urgent requests.

For training and documentation

Footage from Axis body worn cameras is a useful tool for teaching personnel how to respond to situations they’re likely to encounter. For example, you can analyze footage of an incident. Or use portions of an encounter as the basis for testing how students would respond to a similar set of circumstances before revealing the real outcome.

About Axis body worn solution

Axis body worn solution - including the robust camera, docking stations and system controller - has been designed as an open system architecture, which allows for integration with video management systems (VMS) and evidence management systems (EMS), making the solution incredibly flexible.

You can plug Axis body worn solutions right into an Axis video management system or use your own preferred system. You can store video in the cloud or onsite. Either way you’ll do a better-than-ever job of deterring and protecting, and of gathering documentation and forensic evidence. And of course, Axis body worn solutions give you superior image quality and video that holds up in court.

The Axis body worn solution brings several concrete advantages, e.g.:

  • Store as much footage as you need without compromising image quality

  • View and label material from any cell phone (mobile app will be released during Q3 2020)

  • Find and retrieve evidence quickly and easily

  • Easy integration with VMS & EMS systems

  • Cost effective and scalable solution

  • Designed from the ground up with cybersecurity in mind

Integrating Axis body worn solution

To help you build a strong integration with Axis body worn solution, we have developed trainings, API’s, code examples and important information about things you should consider when designing your integration. Follow the step-by-step guidelines below to learn more about suggested architecture, development examples and recommended considerations.

Get to know Axis body worn solution

The fastest way to get to know and get a good understanding of the Axis body worn solution is to read the introduction presentation and run the online training. You will learn about the components involved, the capabilities offered and various security aspects.

Plan your integration

Remember that Axis body worn solution is a closed system in terms of streaming and accessibility. The only part you will integrate with is the system controller, AXIS W800, that pushes the recording files to you in MP4 or MKV format.

illustration showing how to plan your integration

 

Use cases

Camera user (police officer or security guard)

Carries and uses the body worn camera on patrol.

User scenarios:

  • Pickup camera at start of shift
  • Check position and image
  • Start and stop recordings
  • Take snapshots or bookmark the recordings (not available at launch)
  • View recordings from mobile or Windows application (VMS client)
  • Categorizes and describes recordings from mobile or Win10 app
  • Returns the camera at end of shift


Investigator

Processes recordings and metadata that the camera user produces. For smaller departments, one person can have both the camera user and investigator roles.

User scenarios:

  • Works with recordings and meta data in the VMS/EMS


Prosecutor

User scenarios:

  • Uses burnt in overlay with local date and time to claim non-tampered chain of events related to date and time
  • Uses the system audit trail to present chain of custody

Important considerations

  • Keep in mind that the cameras are not always available to the system and there is no live view
  • The traditional driver implementation consists of sending requests to a camera. Here, your driver will act as a server that handles push requests
  • The system flow starts from the system controller by creating body worn users and associating each user with a camera
  • You can easily change the associated user for a camera to another user. In other words, cameras can be shared between users
  • The flow has one direction only. From the camera to the system controller and from the system controller to the VMS. After a successful transfer in each step, recordings are removed from the previous device. There is no turning back. Then it is up to the retention time, for how long you would like to keep the recordings
Illustration of the flow, from the body worn camera to the content destinator
  • The user may need access to the VMS system to view his/her specific recordings. The user is not allowed to see other recordings or delete his/her recordings. But keep in mind that the camera could be shared.
  • This may also affect your licenses per camera. Please consider a licensing model related to body worn usage. Axis encourages the device-based licensing model, where body worn users may have to be presented as virtual cameras in the system
  • The administrator of the VMS system can access all the recordings for inspection
  • After investigation, recordings can be exported

Develop your integration

In order to integrate Axis body worn solution, you will need physical access to a system which consists of a system controller, a body worn camera and a docking station.

Once you are familiar with Axis body worn data flow, such as adding a user, assigning a camera and transfer of recordings, it is a good idea to try out the body worn integration example. We have used the same APIs covered in this section for integration of the body worn solution in AXIS Camera Station.

Hands on 1

  • Sample code of golang implementation: AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample_R1.1.2.zip
  • Download the sample code, have a look at the source code and check how the containers are structured
  • Capture a network trace to see the flow in detail
  • Read the Body worn API documentation
  • Compare the network trace calls with the Body worn API documentation
  • The Golang code works both for Windows and Linux, but in the example below we focus on how it runs on Windows

Axis body worn Swift service example

  • Download the AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample_R1.1.2.zip
  • Use the sample code above. You can either compile the source code once again or simply run the "AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe" file
  • Install Windows Axis body worn Swift service example
  • Find the "Command Prompt" from Windows start menu, right click and choose "Run as administrator"
  • Install Axis body worn Swift service example by changing the directory where "AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe" is located in the command line window and enter the following command: AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe install
     

Follow the install instructions to configure Axis body worn Swift service example. For example:

  • Create a username and password (You will not be able to see what you type as password)
  • Enter storage location: Choose where you want to keep the recordings from the body worn system
  • Choose the port to use or leave it empty to use 8080
  • Choose IP address: 169.254.220.88 (Local Area Connection 1)
  • Do you want to use HTTPS: y. (optional, for testing use HTTP instead of HTTPS)
install instructions

You may need to open the port specified during the installation (default 8080).

After installation it is possible to run the server without running as a service if you want to be able to see the logs directly in a terminal window. To do this, make sure you stop the service first and simply double click the AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe file.

Server listening on the port specified during installation.

The server will now be listening on the port specified during installation.

You can also run it as a service with the start command.

The screenshots are representative and may not match the latest version of the sample code. We will add new features in this sample code, please check the readme file inside AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample_R1.1.2.zip for more detailed information.
 

  • To start the service run: AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe start

    Note that the installation simply creates a file called settings.cfg in the same directory as the AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe, which holds the information provided (storage location, port and IP address). When the program starts it expects settings.cfg to be located in the same folder, otherwise it will warn you that you have not completed the installation.
     
  • To stop the service run: AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe stop
     
  • To uninstall the service run: AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe uninstall


When run as a service, you should configure it to start automatically every time the computer boots.

The logs from the service are logged in Windows event viewer. You can type “event” in the windows search bar and run it. In the event viewer, choose Windows logs and then Applications. The logs will be listed under the application name AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.

event viewer

Hands on 2

If you have a NAS device with Swift server or an application that works as a Swift Server, you can try setting it up as a content destination for the body worn system as well. Learn more about the Swift API if you need a deeper understanding of the API.

In order to test, upload the config file in the Body Worn Manager. You can do this either during the setup wizard or afterwards in the content destination tab.

If you get any errors, please make sure that the Windows firewall is not blocking. You can disable it temporary or configure the correct ports that enable the communication.

Get a connection file

The containers storing the files will be created in the directory specified during installation. The uploader needs a json connection file which will have been auto generated. It is located in the storage location specified during installation, named as config.json.

The Body Worn Manager handles all camera configuration. The data is pushed form the body worn system to the content destination. This is different from how you normally integrate with other Axis cameras. The VMS or EMS is acting like a server and listening for data that is pushed from the system controller. At the end of the transfer you will get a video and metadata, while all the configuration takes place outside the content destination in the Body Worn Manager.

The Body Worn Manager

Server is configured, what should I do now?

After configuration, by running the “AxisBodyWornSwiftServiceExample.exe” or of the general Swift server, please try filming a few clips and offloading them to your server. You can use Wireshark to sniff the network and get API calls during the transfer.

To understand the file structures that the swift server creates, consult the body worn API documentation.

Understand the BWS file structure

  • Root directory is the directory which is chosen during installation. It will store all containers.
  • Users is a container that will store all user metadata. It contains users.metadata.json object which is the metadata for the container Users. For every user, it will create an empty object with the name <userid>. It will also create user metadata for this object which will be named Users.<userid>.metadata.json.
  • Devices has the same structure as Users container but contains all the metadata for devices.


For every recording, a new container will be created. It is named as <userid>_<deviceid>_date_time where Username is the nice name and userid is the UUID of the user who was assigned to the camera when it was recording and deviceid is the id of the camera that did the recording.

Note that if the user who did the recording for some reason doesn't exist in the Users folder, the naming of the container will instead be <userid>_<deviceid>_date_time.

In every recording container there will be one or multiple clips with the naming <date>_<time>_<id>.<mkv|mp4>. And its corresponding metadata, <containername>.<moviename>.metadata.json. There will also be a metadata file for the container which is called <containername>.metadata.json

To make integration easier, the 'status: Complete' metadata attribute value of a container is also available as a zero size file named 'complete', inside the container directory, when it is set. Thereby an integrating application can notify/watch for that file to appear instead of polling and parsing the json metadata file.

root director

Capabilities API

Axis body worn solution is constantly evolving with new features and functions. Our recent development is the Capability API. It allows you to integrate our extended and updated features in your own timeline. It is backwards compatible, which makes sure that if the capabilities API is not supported in your integration, it will work as it is used to, without any effect.

For instance, StoreBookmarks capability allow the user to tag each clip with a category and notes out in the field using the body worn assistant application, available in Android's Google Play and on the iOS App Store. If you have not implemented StoreBookmarks yet to parse the new notes and categories from the end user, it will simply turn off that functionality in our app. You can find more information on the Body worn API.

Start implementing

You are now prepared to start your implementation. It is up to you to decide which programming language to use, but feel free to look at parts of the sample code and convert them to your choice of programming language.

Tips for implementation

  • Axis body worn is designed to be used with HTTPS, however, during the first development phase it is better to use HTTP since encryption will make things complicated to debug.
  • You can get video files in MP4 or MKV format, including Audio codec AAC (48kHz only). If you get your file in MKV format you can later on use the AXIS Media Control SDK to parse the data.
  • You should pay attention on how you would like to store the metadata information, i.e. in XML or txt format. You probably want to have a strategy for storing the metadata and videos together. Do not forget to show interesting metadata to the user if needed.
  • You should send “200 OK” to the system controller to complete the file transfer. The system controller will then delete the recording and you will own the data. So, before sending “200 OK”, make sure that the file transfer is completed, and that the file is not corrupt.
  • Save and handle the data in your content destination. Once you have received the data, you need to handle it in a good and secure way.
  • If your system is offline, the system controller will try to push data regularly and will keep the recordings until they are transferred.

Post integration considerations

If you have come this far, we would like to congratulate you on finishing your integration. Before you go and make those successful sales, we have some tips and considerations for you.

Upload speed

It is important to be aware of how quickly your server can handle uploads from system controllers. We recommend that you do some testing on relevant hardware to see which upload speeds you get. The maximum transfer speed of an AXIS W800 (System Controller) is 1Gbit/s.

For instance, let's say that your normal hardware setup measures 500Mbit/s for body worn offload. That would be fine for your customer that has 300 cameras that are used each day in three shifts. But If you have 100 cameras per shift, roughly 2 hours of recordings per camera in 1080 high bitrate is 100 x 2 x 5. (We are using 5 GByte per hour high bitrate in 1080p. It is just a good assumption ). That means you will get 1TByte of data per shift, and with 500Mbit/s that is a five hour offload time. You have to do it in less than 16 hours or eight hours before your next shift starts with the same hardware. If you have only 100Mbit/s and still 1TByte data per shift, then it will not be fine.

This consideration is important to test for and to take into account.

Importance of connection file

Except for the certificate, the same content destination requires the same connection file in order to continue to work as it should. Consider educating your end users that they cannot simply move a system controller to another instance of content destination without a proper system reset. This is a key feature of the system, and if you have implemented the StoreReadSystemID capability the body worn system will automatically block users from trying to change the connection file to a different system than what it was initially was set up with.

You need to reset the body worn manager in order to change the content destination.

Tips for going forward

  • Always test with the newest AXIS OS version (firmware). We are careful to keep the backwards combability, but like all other Axis products, we would like you to support our latest version.

  • Per the above explanation about upload speed, it is good if you can give your customers some system performance recommendations. 

 

We have prepared a list for you to verify your integration capabilities that consist of "Mandatory" and "Good to have" features:

Use case description Explanation Importance
HTTPS support    
Is HTTPS communication supported when communicating with Axis body worn system?   Mandatory
Could HTTPS certificate be renewed when it needs to be updated, e.g. when the IP address of the server (where your application is running) is changed?   Mandatory
Download connection file    
Could the same connection file be used for multiple body worn systems connected to the same server (where your application is running)?  The connection file should not be uniquely created for a system controller by connecting to its serial number, for example. This makes system maintenance easier for large installations. Good to have
Import data from body worn system    
Is the default minimum retention period long enough, e.g. 90 days, to handle situations when people forget to dock camera for a long time? This is to avoid the situation when recordings are removed right after they are uploaded.  Mandatory
Could the retention time of a recording be adjusted automatically based on its category? Requires support for "Category" capability Good to have
Would the users of your application be notified if there are problems with offloading recordings from the body worn system?   Good to have
Would the users of your application be notified about newly arrived recordings of a certain category? Requires support for "Category" capability Good to have
Would the users of your application be able to import and decrypt a file? In the bodyworn system it is possible to offload a stuck recording from the W800 to a USB stick. If your application supports encryption you should also be able to import this file and decrypt it. Good to have
Present body worn system data    
Are recordings organized by camera user and not by physical cameras in your application?  So it's easy to find a camera user's recording if a physical camera is assigned to different camera users now and then, e.g. when BWS is set to self-assign mode.  Mandatory
Is the camera user name combined with the unique user ID (if configured in Body Worn Manager) as identifiers for cameras in your application?  For example, name the cameras by "Nice name (User ID)”. In case there are two camera users of the same name. Requires support for "StoreUserIDKey" capability.  Mandatory
Is the metadata of each recording presented in a user friendly manner?  In the form of bookmarks, for example. Mandatory
Is it possible to search for recordings by metadata? By searching for a category, location, trigger method, etc. Good to have
Is a recording longer than minutes displayed as a single recording instead of multiple clips?   Mandatory
Could the location data be used in a sensible way? For example, by displaying recordings on a map, or possibility to search for recordings nearby a specified location, or at least allowing the location data to be copied and pasted so that the operator can find out where the recording was taken (by using a third party application, like Google Maps). Good to have
Is the operator directed to the playback view in a friendly way when the live view for body worn camera is opened? By displaying a body worn camera image or a friendly message that explains live view is not available for body worn cameras, for example. Good to have
When playing back a recording, is the recording's trigger time (i.e. when the recording button is pressed) used as the default start point, instead of the beginning of the recording?  This is preferred because pre-buffer (by default on) recording is often not as interesting at first sight. It can be achieved by auto-generating bookmarks or thumbnails at the trigger time, for example. Good to have
System maintenance    
Is there any measure taken to stop users of your application from removing a body worn camera in your application before it's removed from Body Worn Manager?  This is to prevent complications caused by a mismatch between cameras in your applications and Body Worn Manager, e.g. license issues,  leftover recording upload issues. Mandatory
Does your application back up the body worn system related configurations regularly, together with the other important system configurations, e.g. username/userID/deviceID/systemID etc? This helps the body worn system to restore the connection to your application in case of reinstallation of your application and prevents that you will have stuck content on your AXIS W800. Good to have
Is it possible to show Body Worn Manager in a built-in browser in your application? This way the system admin doesn't have to switch between Body Worn Manager and your application. Good to have
Does your application notify its users if licenses for body worn system run out? If licenses are based on camera users, licenses may run out when a new camera user is created in Body Worn Manager. Good to have
Are body worn system related events logged in your application?  i.e. recordings from a body worn camera has arrived? Mandatory
System performance    
Has performance test been done on a system as large as you plan to support? Recordings from body worn system need to be offloaded to your application in time. Otherwise, the system controllers and cameras can be filled up. As a result, the system won't be usable. Mandatory
Documentation    
Is there user documentation in place that explains how to integrate Axis Body Worn System with your application? Please provide a PDF copy of your documentation to Axis. Mandatory
Is there a webpage on your website that shows you have an integration with Axis Body Worn System? Please provide a link to the page to Axis. Good to have
Is it clearly documented from which body worn system firmware version your application has support for?   Mandatory
Are the users of your application informed about this: Once the body worn system is set up to connect to one application, it is locked to that instance. A proper system reset is required if the system needs to be connected to another application instance. Out of security reasons, the body worn system works only with the application instance with its SystemID. Mandatory
Are the users of your application informed about this: Body worn system administration should be done in Body Worn Manager and not in your application.   Mandatory