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Wireless technology is transforming motion detection
Wireless technology is transforming motion detection

Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localisation. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymised and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

The role of building systems to ensure safety as employees return to work
The role of building systems to ensure safety as employees return to work

Returning to work after the global pandemic will not be business as usual, and security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices – like ventilation and temperature controls – and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. “While the ‘new normal’ is still being defined, we believe there will be a greater focus on creating healthier environments while also complying with new regulations,” says Marcus Logan, Global Offering Leader, Honeywell Commercial Security. “Temperature, humidity, energy efficiency, security, safety, comfort, productivity, and demonstrating compliance with regulations are all a part of a healthy building.” For example, social distancing is a new concept for the workplace. How do you make that happen in an open work setting, in breakrooms, elevator lobbies and meeting spaces? Optimised systems create healthier environments Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace Building owners will need to look at how they can optimise their systems – or deploy new ones – to create a healthier environment. Building technologies, like those provided by Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions, provide building owners with more control over critical factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations, and a company's risk management policies. These solutions also provide transparency for occupants into a building's status, says Logan. Hygiene will be a critical issue: People will want to know that the spaces are ready for their return. Increased cleaning procedures and schedules will evolve, and a way will be needed to demonstrate the procedures are effective and that they have been strictly adhered to. Identifying ways to measure effectiveness of sanitisation and track compliance to the procedures will be a key challenge to solve. This is a space that will evolve significantly in the coming months and years, says Logan. Access control and video analytics Contact tracing is a new requirement in some businesses, and security technology – like access control and video analytics with advanced reporting – can help. Access control technology integrated with video analytics can be used to trace occupant movements within a facility. These technologies capture data that can be used with advanced reporting to provide a digital footprint of where a person has been within a facility and if they may have been exposed to someone identified as being infected with a contagious virus. Building owners can then proactively notify exposed individuals evolve to self-quarantine and minimise further spread of an infection. Video analytics can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace. They will not only seek confidence that the building is optimised for a healthier environment but also that processes are in place to quickly identify and respond to potential issues. Transparency and visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace. “One way to do this is to share building analytics with occupants – to help them understand factors about the indoor air quality or occupancy density,” says Logan. Controlled health, safety and security Honeywell’s solutions provide building owners with more control over critical health, safety and security factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations and a company’s risk management policies, Logan adds. Visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace Every day there is new information coming from the medical and scientific community about COVID-19, and the building industry is just starting to learn what it all means. Logan warns that there is no single solution that will keep every environment healthy and safe. A good strategy features deploying a combination of solutions, optimising systems and being vigilant to make sure that companies are sustaining compliance to new and changing regulations, says Logan. “Today more than ever we must be mindful of the changing culture of how buildings are managed by making apparent the need to be mindful of health and well-being in all aspects of our lives,” says Logan. Honeywell has developed outcome-based solutions that allow building owners to transparently address building quality factors while supporting their business continuity needs in the uncertain environment. “We’re giving them the data they need to confidently reassure their employees to accelerate their business operations,” he adds.

Latest Morse Watchmans news

Morse Watchmans introduces touchless and anti-microbial coated key control solutions for organisation safety
Morse Watchmans introduces touchless and anti-microbial coated key control solutions for organisation safety

Morse Watchmans announced the introduction of new touchless facial recognition access and an anti-microbial powder coating on the company’s KeyWatcher and AssetWatcher systems. The new product enhancements fight the spread of microbes and bacteria to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and other potential threats to personnel health. “Getting personnel back to work is the most pressing issue organisations are faced with today,” said Tim Purpura, VP Global Sales & Marketing, Morse Watchmans. "The addition of touchless facial recognition as a cabinet access option along with anti-microbial powder coating now standard on all of our KeyWatcher and AssetWatcher cabinets provides our customers with heightened protections.” Facial recognition access A touchless facial recognition access option for KeyWatcher and AssetWatcher makes these systems even more secure Anti-microbial powder coating is now a standard feature on all new KeyWatcher and AssetWatcher cabinets at no added cost. Designed to resist the spread of microbes, the new coating retains its highly effective anti-microbial properties through regular cleanings, while providing the durability and scratch resistance that Morse Watchmans’ customers have always appreciated. A touchless facial recognition access option for KeyWatcher and AssetWatcher makes these systems even more secure while reducing the chance for cross-contamination and disease transmission. The new facial recognition access option will be available in Q3 of this year. Proximity card access These new enhancements join existing features of Morse Watchmans products that help safeguard health, including touchless proximity card access support and hospital-grade 304 stainless steel panel surfaces that resist corrosion and bacteria. “Integrating these new technologies into our product line is an important step we are taking to assure even greater cleanliness and health protection,” said Purpura.

Morse Watchmans’ key and fleet management solutions to be exhibited at ISC East 2019
Morse Watchmans’ key and fleet management solutions to be exhibited at ISC East 2019

At the ISC East 2019 event at Jacob Javits Center in New York City, Morse Watchmans (ISC East booth #847) is showcasing its KeyWatcher Touch key management solutions that protect important keys and physical assets, resulting in reduced downtime, fewer losses, and improved accountability. Also featured is their latest addition, KeyWatcher Fleet which is proven to optimise fleet utilisation and longevity through key control. “Morse Watchmans has multiple decades of experience in delivering proven key management systems with extensive audit capabilities,” said Joe Granitto, COO, Morse Watchmans. “KeyWatcher Touch and KeyWatcher Fleet make it easier than ever to protect valuable investments and to streamline key management.” KeyWatcher Touch key management system Morse Watchmans’ KeyWatcher Touch key management system features a 7” touchscreen with an easy-to-use interface Morse Watchmans’ KeyWatcher Touch key management system features a 7” touchscreen with an easy-to-use interface and patented SmartKey system with KeyAnywhere technology to make it simple to withdraw and return a key securely to any key cabinet in an enterprise. KeyWatcher Touch also offers the convenience of scheduled PDF reports that are emailed to authorised recipients. Email delivery of customised or standard reports can be scheduled for any frequency or specific time, or they can be accessed using the Morse Watchmans smartphone app. KeyWatcher Fleet management solution System administrators have access to view or run reports as needed. The system also enables security management to notify a user via email when a key becomes overdue. Built on proven KeyWatcher Touch hardware, KeyWatcher Fleet is the only key control system with software designed specifically for fleet management. A dashboard displays vehicle use, bookings, status, and more. Administrators can generate quick and customisable reports to gain actionable insight on fleet utilisation and operations. Morse Watchmans Smarts Morse Watchmans Smarts lets administrators create policies to enable automatic vehicle allocation. Vehicles can be assigned by lowest mileage, most fuel, priority and more. Drivers can be notified automatically via email or text if a specific vehicle is not available, and unique pin codes or optional card or fingerprint readers provide strong key/vehicle management.

Morse Watchmans to showcase its key management and asset control systems at GSX 2019
Morse Watchmans to showcase its key management and asset control systems at GSX 2019

Morse Watchmans, the provider of key control and asset management systems, will showcase its KeyWatcher Touch, AssetWatcher, and KeyWatcher fleet key and asset management solutions at GSX 2019 this week (booth #1153). “We are excited to show GSX 2019 attendees how key management and asset control can help them to create a state-of-the-art security system for their organisation,” said Fernando Pires, CEO, Morse Watchmans. “We continue to be completely focused on providing innovative solutions for our customers to help them achieve their business goals, reduce costs, and secure their enterprise.” Access control system Morse Watchmans’ KeyWatcher Touch key management system features a 7” touchscreen with an easy-to-use interface and patented SmartKey system with KeyAnywhere technology to make it simple to remove and return a key to any key cabinet in an enterprise. Key Group Associations feature makes it easier for users to cover special situations New features to KeyWatcher Touch include remote functions added to the TrueTouch Software that supports multiple user logins for key returns and removals. A new ‘Key Group Associations’ feature allows users more specific key access to be configured directly through the access control system. This feature makes it easier for users to cover special situations, such as when an employee is out of the office that day, or if they fit the criteria for a specific profile, but temporarily need some additional keys. RFID-enabled locker system AssetWatcher is a flexible, scalable, and highly capable RFID-enabled locker system. It can support more than 10,000 users on a single system and is configurable in three modes. AssetWatcher’s RFID technology allows users to easily track who is removing or replacing an asset, as well as when and where in the system the asset has been taken from or placed. Available in 10, 22, or 34-locker configurations, each system is designed to be freestanding and can be mounted to the wall or the floor. A number of modes allow AssetWatcher to accommodate a wide variety of uses. Classic mode allows assets to be returned either to any open locker or to be assigned to a specific locker. Owner mode assigns individuals with a specific locker, which may or may not be shared with other users Personal mode allows assets to be added to the system for tracking, with permissions based on lockers rather than assets. Leased mode allows users to ‘lease’ a locker temporarily. Owner mode assigns individuals with a specific locker, which may or may not be shared with other users to accommodate shared or specific assets that may be used by one or more persons. Stronger key security KeyWatcher Fleet is the first key security system that puts users in command of vehicle distribution, comprehensive utilisation, right-sizing of a fleet, and more. The software allows fleet managers to create user role-based ‘Pools’, or groups of vehicles, to assign each vehicle accordingly. A convenient dashboard displays real-time status, bookings summary, vehicle use and many other data points to instantly provide the pulse of the fleet. Built on the KeyWatcher Touch hardware, KeyWatcher Fleet uses the same 16, 8, and 6-key modules, along with the same card and locker modules. Unique PIN codes ensure only authorised individuals can access keys, or users can add an optional card or fingerprint reader for even stronger key security, allowing users to manage thousands of keys and users with a single system or network.

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