Access control software - Expert commentary

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.

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Altronix demonstrates Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions at ASIS 2017
Altronix demonstrates Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions at ASIS 2017

Altronix, a recognised provider of power and transmission solutions for the professional security industry, is featuring its expanded offering of Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions at ASIS 2017 (booth # 2823). New additions to the Trove series include Altronix integrations with Bosch, DMP, Honeywell, Kantech and Sielox access. These new models join the versatile line of Trove solutions which accommodate AMAG, CDVI, HID/Vertx, KABA/KeyScan, Mercury and Software House access controllers. “Trove enclosures and backplanes simplify board layout and wire management, greatly reducing installation and labor costs, while providing the versatility and scalability that system designers and installers require to easily configure their systems.” said Alan Forman, President, Altronix Corporation. Enhanced performance efficiency Trove2 Access and Power Integration Solutions are designed for larger applications, allowing Altronix power/accessories combined with access controllers from the industry’s leading manfacturers to be wired and pre-tested prior to on-site installation. This reduces total cost and enhances performance efficiency. Altronix also offers the Trove1 Access and Power Integration Solution, a more compact version of the Trove2 for smaller applications which accommodate CDVI, HID/VertX and Mercury access controllers. All Trove enclosures include a cam lock, tamper switch and mounting hardware. Altronix has further simplified the product selection and configuration process by offering a free online Trove System Design Tool for configuring a access system.

First edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 to lead upward trend of fire safety and security markets
First edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 to lead upward trend of fire safety and security markets

Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 is expected to host more than 100 exhibitors, including 22 launch partners Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the upward trend for the fire safety systems market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as stringent government regulations fuel demand for the replacement of existing and outdated equipment. According to consultancy firm 6Wresearch, the GCC’s fire safety systems market was worth US $ 1.36 billion in 2015, with Saudi Arabia (US $ 598.4 million), and the UAE (US $ 394.4 million) comprising 73 per cent of the regional market. The other Gulf States of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait accounted for US $ 367.2 million (27 per cent). Fire safety system market growth 6Wresearch said Saudi’s fire safety systems and equipment market is projected to grow six per cent annually from 2016 – 2020.  By 2022, the market is estimated to be worth US $ 632.2 million, attributed to a recovery in the construction and real estate verticals. Other factors driving regional demand for new fire safety systems include government and transportation sectors, residential, retail, and hospitality verticals, while Saudi’s Vision 2030 and the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 in the UAE is also likely to boost further growth. The latest market updates were told to more than 100 fire, safety and security industry professionals at a three-day Saudi roadshow promoting the upcoming Intersec exhibitions in Dubai and Jeddah. Intersec Dubai 2017 The first edition of IntersecSaudi Arabia meanwhile is expected to host more than100 exhibitors, including 22launch partners Intersec, the world’s leading exhibition for security, safety, and fire protection, runs from 22-24 January 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, while Intersec Saudi Arabia will take place from 2-4 May 2017 at the Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events. In its 19th edition, Intersec 2017 will feature more than 1,300 exhibitors from 54 countries spanning over 55,000sqm of exhibition space, registering a 10 per cent growth over the previous year. Intersec Saudi Arabia 2017 The first edition of Intersec Saudi Arabia meanwhile is expected to host more than 100 exhibitors, including 22 launch partners; Al Alameya Group, Axis Communications, Bristol Fire Engineering – Corodex, the British Security Industry Association, CP Plus, Dahua, dorma + kaba, Draeger, Genetec, Hanwha Techwin, Harco Group, HID Global, Hikvision, Milestone, NAFFCO, Nedap, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Promise Technology, Smiths Detection, Tadween, NITIE, and ZMR. Fire & rescue section Fire & Rescue is one of seven show sections at Intersec 2017, and has nearly doubled in size over the last four years. The section, which attracted 350 exhibitors in 2016, is expected to continue its growth trend in 2017, having attracted the likes of Apollo, bsi, Bristol, Chemours, Fike, Hochiki, Grupo Komtes, LPCB, NAFFCO, Oshkosh, Rapidrop, Scott Safety, Securiton, SFFECO, Siemens, UL, and Velox. “Ongoing investments in the commercial, retail, industrial, hospitality, and the healthcare sectors, combined with upcoming high profile international events, means growth is the buzz word across all sectors in the GCC, and this also applies to the fire safety market,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec, and Intersec Saudi Arabia. “Improvements in the enforcement of fire codes in the construction sector, and the constant need for fire protection and life safety means the GCC’s fire safety market is estimated to grow annually by 14-16 per cent to reach US$3.15 billion by 2020.” "Expenditures in the MiddleEast oil and gas sector are expected to increase by morethan 19 per cent for the 5-year period ending in 2017" “This robust demand for the latest equipment, fire protection and firefighting systems is reflected in the strong growth in the Fire & Rescue section at Intersec, while Intersec Saudi Arabia too will host the biggest names in the fire protection market,” added Pauwels. Oil & gas Oil & Gas is another key sector for the fire protection industry, and will be a key target area for Hochiki at Intersec 2017. The Japanese-headquartered company specialises in commercial and industrial fire detection and emergency lighting solutions, and will showcase its latest range of fire detection products designed specifically for use in oil refineries, gas processing plants and other high risk environments. “Expenditures in the Middle East oil and gas sector are expected to increase by more than 19 per cent for the 5-year period ending in 2017,” said Robert Head, Assistant Managing Director at Hochiki Middle East. “When operating in such hazardous environments, it’s important to ensure the building’s fire safety systems are robust and reliable. There is a variety of fire detection products designed specifically for use in oil refineries, gas processing plants and other high risk environments.” “Intrinsically Safe devices (IS) restrict the electrical and thermal energy in the circuit ensuring that ignition in an explosive atmosphere cannot occur; making them ideal for use in oil and gas facilities as well as chemical engineering plants. Hochiki have a wide range of IS devices, from smoke detectors to flame detectors, which have all been certified by BASEEFA to IECEx and ATEX,” added Head. New panel & product launches Global Fire Equipment from Portugal, a manufacturer of fire detection and extinguishing systems will return to Intersec 2017 with the launch of its new panels and several other products like PA/VA systems, and web enabled interfaces. "Our goal is to establish longterm partnerships with agents working in the security fieldwith the purpose of expandingour global presence whichcovers more than 70 countries" João Paulo Ajami, the Commercial Director for Global Fire Equipment, said, “We had several interesting projects in Saudi Arabia in the last 12 months, while exhibiting at Intersec has helped us launch several good distribution channels in countries like Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Tanzania, and Pakistan.” “Our goal is to establish long term partnerships with agents working in the security field with the purpose of expanding our global presence which covers more than 70 countries. Our systems are applied in residential, commercial and industrial sectors and its subsectors, since fire detection is applicable to almost all construction sectors.” Regional fire safety codes Elsewhere, Aman Fire Protection, an Oman-based fire protection engineering consultancy, will look to increase its business contacts at Intersec 2017 and explain the fire codes approvals process to those undertaking projects in the Middle East. Anthony Cole, Technical Director at Aman Fire Protection, highlighted the growing trend for better awareness of regional fire safety codes following recent fire incidents across the GCC. “There’s an increase in awareness for the need for review and approval of materials used in construction by fire protection consultants especially in high rise projects following the several high profile fires,” said Cole. “Oil & Gas, military, power and energy creation, large commercial developments such as shopping malls and integrated tourism leisure projects are the most important industries our business is targeting now.” Intersec’s other core sections include Commercial Security, Homeland Security & Policing, Safety & Health, Information Security, Smart Home and Physical & Perimeter Security. Save Save Save Save

Altronix showcases latest Trove access and power integration enclosures at ISC West 2016
Altronix showcases latest Trove access and power integration enclosures at ISC West 2016

New additions include backplanes for AMAG, CDVI, KABA/KeyScan and Software House access controllers and accessories Altronix, the recognised leader in power and transmission solutions for the professional security industry, is showcasing new additions to its popular line of Trove™ access and power integration enclosures at ISC West 2016. Additions to the Trove offering include backplanes for AMAG, CDVI, KABA/KeyScan and Software House access controllers and accessories, as well as the introduction of Trove1, a compact enclosure that accommodates CDVI, HID/VertX and Mercury controllers. Trove enclosures simplify board layout and wire management, greatly reducing installation time and labour costs. “Trove has been extremely well received by the industry since its introduction this past fall,” said Alan Forman, President, Altronix Corporation. “Our new backplanes and the smaller Trove1 enclosure provide installers with added versatility and scalability when configuring access and power board layout.” Maximum installation capacity and flexibility The new Trove backplanes accommodate access control boards and accessories, joining Altronix’s existing backplanes for Mercury and VertX. Trove accommodates a wide range of boards with or without Altronix power supplies and accessories. An optional TMV2 door backplane is also offered for maximum installation capacity and flexibility. Systems can be wired and pre-tested prior to on-site installation for added cost and performance benefits. All Trove units include a cam lock, tamper switch and mounting hardware. As with all Altronix products, Trove Enclosures are made in the U.S.A.

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