In today's world of heightened security threats, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the availability of overwhelming amounts of data, comprehensively securing a single small facility is no easy task. Enterprise organisations tend to face even greater challenges when it comes to safety, as multiple people scattered throughout separate locations aiming to collaboratively respond to situations can easily become complicated. Individual buildings, divisions and branches of a large and/or global ente...
While there is much hype around drone technology today, initial successful drone usage for security can be dated back to the 1960s, when the US utilised the Lightning Bug 147, a camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicle that could travel 600 miles for surveillance in Vietnam, China and Korea. Drones for effective surveillance Since this initial deployment, drones have been used for a variety of security and surveillance applications. However, as professional-grade commercial drones incorporate...
A new crime wave is hitting automated teller machines (ATMs); the common banking appliances are being rigged to spit out their entire cash supplies into a criminal’s waiting hands. The crime is called “ATM jackpotting” and has targeted banking machines located in grocery shops, pharmacies and other locations in Taiwan, Europe, Latin America and, in the last several months, the United States. Rough estimates place the total amount of global losses at up to $60 million. What i...
The manufacturers behind today’s security technologies are a varied bunch. There are large manufacturers with deep pockets and plenty of resources. And there are smaller manufacturers who are nimble, can react faster to changing market conditions and to whom each customer represents a hard-fought win. There are also plenty of manufacturers in the middle ground. But what impact does the size of a company have on the quality of its products? We took the question to this week’s Expert P...
Round table discussions
Cloud computing has been around since the turn of the millennium. Over the years, the concept of storing and accessing programs over the Internet (instead of using an on-premises computer system) has grown in almost every realm of business. Some might say the physical security industry has come late to the party, delayed in some instances by (misguided?) concerns about cybersecurity of cloud systems. The bandwidth needed to transfer video to the cloud has also been a challenge. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What features of Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) are the most valuable to the average user?
The manufacturers behind today’s security technologies are a varied bunch. There are large manufacturers with deep pockets and plenty of resources. And there are smaller manufacturers who are nimble, can react faster to changing market conditions and to whom each customer represents a hard-fought win. There are also plenty of manufacturers in the middle ground. But what impact does the size of a company have on the quality of its products? We took the question to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is there a correlation between the size of a manufacturer and the quality of its products – for better or worse?
Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?
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The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a rich history of innovation. Since its founding in 1984, the facility has become one of the world’s leading public aquariums and ocean conservation organisations. Monterey Bay Aquarium has produced significant insights into the life history of sharks, sea otters, and bluefin tuna. The aquarium also was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest, and in 2004 it was the first to successfully exhibit and return to the wild a young great white shark. It is therefore no surprise that the Monterey Bay Aquarium desired the most innovative and state-of-the-art cameras as a key component for its security system, and Arecont Vision was able to deliver what they required. Until recently, the Monterey Bay Aquarium relied upon up to 60 analogue cameras for its video security needs Constant surveillance and monitoring The aquarium has a huge campus, with multiple separate properties and an average annual visitation of two million people. Until recently, the Monterey Bay Aquarium relied upon up to 60 analogue cameras for its video security needs. With such a large area to cover and with so many people to monitor, this type of system proved increasingly unreliable and insufficient to its growing security needs. The aquarium’s security staff also found it a major inconvenience that accessories and other parts for the system were exclusive to the original provider, limiting the security team’s options both technically and financially. The footage from the analogue cameras was monitored on monochrome screens and useful viewing of surveillance video was quite difficult at times. The quality of the images was low, and the inflexible nature of the cameras resulted in a number of blind spots throughout the aquarium’s large campus. Difficult lighting conditions The aquarium also has some very challenging lighting situations, requiring more specialised, versatile cameras in order to properly capture images. “We have some very difficult light levels here. The reflections of the water tanks can make certain areas lighter on camera than they are in person, or vice-versa,” stated Thomas Uretsky, Director of Security and Emergency Management for the facility. The security team reached the point where they knew they needed to upgrade. “The system needed more flexibility, multiple views on one camera, the works,” Mr. Uretsky said. “Blind spots needed to be eliminated, and we wanted as close to a 360-degree view as possible.” After thorough research, San Jose, California-based security integrator NSI Systems recommended Arecont Vision for the camera solution. The aquarium has a huge campus, with an average annual visitation of two million people Arecont Vision surveillance expertise Mr. Uretsky and the team at Monterey Bay Aquarium collaborated with Arecont Vision regarding what they were looking for, where coverage was needed, and how to best fit in into their budget. Monterey Bay Aquarium chose ExacqVision as their video management system, another solid partner to help upgrade their prior surveillance system. A range of different Arecont Vision cameras were ultimately deployed to serve the aquarium’s varying needs. Arecont Vision MicroDome cameras were ideal for the ticketing area and customer lines. The series includes Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) models, which can achieve clear images across extreme lighting conditions, such as those found in some of the indoor spaces at the aquarium. MicroDome cameras have an extremely low profile and only a 4” diameter, making them ideal for discrete security surveillance. When asked for his thoughts about the MicroDome camera, Mr. Uretsky responded, “They are small and nearly invisible to anyone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for. The fact that they have such a small footprint makes them ideal for us in the ticketing and front entrance areas.” The Monterey Bay Aquarium now has the unique and flexible camera solution it required, utilising 360-degree video Another favourite at Monterey Bay Aquarium were Arecont Vision SurroundVideo Omni G1 and G2 adjustable-view cameras. The SurroundVideo Omni series utilises a patented 360º track where each of its four-megapixel sensors can be moved to cover virtually any angle. Remote motorised focus simplified installation with the Omni G2. Combined with the ability to interchange lenses, the Monterey Bay Aquarium now has the unique and flexible camera solution it required. The customisable features of the camera also simplify future changes that may occur at the aquarium, saving time and money if construction or remodelling were to occur. “The SurroundVideo Omni cameras are some of our favourites because we are getting four cameras in one. They have the most flexibility,” said Kevin Wright, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s security manager. “Our blind spots are much more limited, and we don’t need to use nearly as many cameras as we previously had in those areas.” Although each camera offers four separate views, only a single PoE (Power over Ethernet) cable and a single software license is required for integration with the Exacq software, further reducing costs. Megapixel camera performance The system has performed incredibly well to date. Not only was it installed on time, but it was completed within budget. The Monterey Bay Aquarium monitors the system locally, 24-hours per day. The images are viewed on a dynamic video wall in the new Security Operations Center. While most footage is viewed on-site, some cameras have been enabled with the Exacq software for remote monitoring at satellite offices. For example, holding areas for rescued sea otters can be viewed remotely by a research team. Some cameras have been enabled with the Exacq software for remote monitoring off-site Arecont Vision cameras have helped the aquarium’s security department in a variety of ways, one of which is increasingly common: addressing bicycle theft. Individuals will sometimes access a public recreational trail that runs along the aquarium’s main campus to steal unattended bikes parked by visitors or staff. Unlike the previous analogue surveillance system, Arecont Vision’s megapixel cameras are able to provide the security department with good views and high-resolution images when reporting such incidents to the police department. The project at Monterey Bay Aquarium fulfilled a vast array of surveillance requirements — indoor and outdoor scenes, large and small spaces, low- to high-lighting conditions — and Arecont Vision cameras addressed each of the challenges. The deployment of the new cameras made an impression on Mr. Uretsky and his team. Making potential security solutions reality One installation inspired ideas for another, and Arecont Vision helped make these potential security solutions a reality as well. The continual partnership between the aquarium, the system integrator, and Arecont Vision has resulted in an ongoing collaboration between the three entities. “The reason we went with Arecont Vision was because it has a niche where a lot of manufacturers don’t, with its multi-view cameras,” Mr. Uretsky stated. Arecont Vision pioneered the first multi-sensor megapixel panoramic cameras in the surveillance industry in 2006, and has continued to enhance their capabilities, introducing adjustable-view Omni cameras in 2014. “These cameras have been fundamental as we systematically replace our old cameras with newer, megapixel versions. We are always improving and always adding cameras, so each time we’ve installed them we’ve been pleased.”Read more
Company in profile
Internet of Things (IoT)
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- HermexFX discusses exchange rate fluctuation impact on security industry at SCTX 2018
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