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CCTV cameras - Expert commentary

Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected
Video surveillance is getting smarter and more connected

The global pandemic has triggered considerable innovation and change in the video surveillance sector. Last year, organisations around the globe embraced video surveillance technologies to manage social distancing, monitor occupancy levels in internal and external settings, and enhance their return-to-work processes. Forced to reimagine nearly every facet of their operations for a new post-COVID reality, companies were quick to seize on the possibilities offered by today’s next-generation video surveillance systems. Whether that was utilising motion sensing technologies to automatically close doors or switch on lighting in near-deserted office facilities. Or checking if people were wearing masks and adhering to distancing rules. Or keeping a watchful eye on streets and public spaces during mandated curfew hours. Beyond surveillance and monitoring use cases, organisations also took advantage of a raft of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to undertake a range of tasks. Everything from automating their building management and optimising warehouse operations, to increasing manufacturing output and undertaking predictive maintenance. Behind the scenes, three key trends all contributed to the growing ubiquity of video surveillance observed in a variety of government, healthcare, corporate, retail, and industry settings. Video surveillance takes to the Cloud Last year the shift to digital working led organisations to rapidly embrace cloud-enabled services, including cloud-hosted Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) solutions that provide tremendous economies of scale and flexibility. Alongside significant cost savings, these solutions make it easier for organisations to enhance their disaster recovery and manage their video surveillance estate in new and highly effective ways. Surveillance cameras with audio recording were used more than 200% by customers between 2016 and 2020For example, in addition to enabling remote access and maintenance, today’s cloud-powered systems eliminate any need to invest in local storage technologies that all too often fail to keep pace with an organisation’s growing data storage requirements. Indeed, data from our worldwide customer base survey reveals how in 2020 an impressive 63% of organisations had abandoned using any on-premises storage option and were instead only storing all their video surveillance recordings and data in the Cloud. A deeper review of the global stats shows that the average cloud recording retention period for this stored data was 28.2 days, with organisations in Asia topping the global average at 38 days – 33% higher than was observed in any other region. Improvements in bandwidth and scalability engendered by the Cloud have also helped boost the growing utilisation of audio recordings in addition to visual image capture. Indeed, our research found the number of surveillance cameras with an audio recording facility used by customers jumped more than 200% between 2016 and 2020. Making sense of Big Data The enhanced ease of connectivity and scalable bandwidth made possible by the Cloud is stimulating more companies to connect a lot more video surveillance cameras to their networks. The top motivation for doing so is to generate live metrics and data that can be utilised to deliver enhanced business insights and operational intelligence. In recent years, a rich choice of video analytics solutions have been developed for a variety of industry verticals. The range of functionalities on offer is impressive and covers a variety of applications. Everything from making it easy to classify and track objects and behaviour patterns in real-time, to undertaking anomaly detection, or generating predictions based on past and present events/activities. Data collected via today’s cloud connected cameras can now also be used to feed deep learning training and AI analytics, utilising the unparalleled virtualised processing capacity of the Cloud to convert Big Data into usable information quickly. By integrating this information with data from other enterprise data capture systems, organisations are now able to gain a 360-degree view of their operations – in almost real-time. IT is now in the driving seat No longer the sole preserve of on-site security staff, the wider application and business use of video surveillance means that IT is increasingly taking the lead role where the management and control of these systems are concerned. IT is asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need Aside from the fact that IT has a vested interest in addressing the cybersecurity implications that come with attaching a growing range of IoT devices to the enterprise network, they’re also increasingly being asked to integrate video surveillance into key enterprise platforms to generate the data that business leaders need. As organisations expand their integration of video with other business applications, such as point of sale, access control, process control and manufacturing systems, this trend is only set to accelerate. Looking to the future Right now, the video surveillance industry is at a key tipping point, as video systems become increasingly strategic for enabling the enterprise to boost productivity, stay compliant, and fulfil its obligations to protect employees and customers. As the technology’s contribution to enhanced data-driven decision-making and problem solving continues to increase, expect the adoption of IP connected video cameras to burgeon as organisations look to capture more data from their day-to-day business operations.

Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace
Video intercoms for a smarter, safer workspace

Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realise that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defence, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitiser, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.

Making school safety a priority with smart technology
Making school safety a priority with smart technology

With pupils in the UK set to go back to school on 8 March, there are a number of safety measures schools need to implement to ensure the health and wellness of the staff, students, and school communities.  The first lockdown and closure of schools brought on by the coronavirus pandemic fired a “warning shot” for education facilities managers, forcing head-teachers to re-examine school safety standards. Now that a third lockdown is here and schools have been shut down for a second time, anyone behind the curve with the benefits of smart technology should get on board now before children return to the school environment. And with the ever-changing variants of the COVID-19 virus, schools can’t afford to be “late to class” when it comes to health and safety. Preventing the spread of disease Some schools in the US have been using smart technologies for a while to measure utility consumption and efficiency, streamline maintenance and enhance general school safety. These technologies are playing a significant role in keeping school buildings healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Let’s take a look at how smart technology can help schools to become safer, as well as more energy-efficient and cost-effective.   Thermal detection cameras  Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing Smart cameras placed at entry points of a school can remove the manual task of temperature testing. These cameras provide medically-accurate, real-time temperatures of individuals in real-time. If a high temperature is detected, the software sends an instant alert to the relevant party. It can also be set to deny access to those with high temperatures or to people not wearing masks.  Safer water  As the coronavirus continues to sweep through the world’s population, healthcare providers should also be on heightened alert for Legionnaires’ disease, another potential cause of pneumonia with similar symptoms. Legionella is a potentially deadly bacteria that can infect a school’s water supply and cause an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. It’s a school's duty of care to prevent Legionella infection by monitoring the risk of the bacteria proliferating.  Particularly as schools reopen and previously stagnant plumbing and cooling systems return to use, additional Legionella cases could rear their ugly head to emergency departments in the coming months. Traces of Legionella were recently found at a Worcestershire school. The school was forced to remain shut while treatment and testing took place. Automated flushing and temperature testing Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters The Health and Safety Executive advises, “If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease… If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.” Typically, managing the risk of Legionella includes running all outlets for two minutes, taking and recording the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s not conducive to Legionella growth. This is a time-consuming process, which is why schools are looking for automated water temperature monitoring systems. This smart system with automated flushing and temperature testing reports and records water temperature data in real-time. Instant alerts will notify relevant staff if water temperatures fall within “Legionella-friendly” parameters.  Cleaner air  Advisers say that improving air filtration and ventilation in schools can help mitigate the potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. Strategies include: Increasing outdoor air ventilation Filtering indoor air Using portable air cleaners with HEPA filters  Smart building technologies such as advanced HVAC controls can help facilities managers promote cleaner air with less hassle. For example, smart HVAC systems use sensors to remotely monitor and control variables such as:  Humidity Temperature Indoor air quality The level of carbon dioxide and other pollutants The technology is also energy-efficient and cost-effective.  While these solutions may be key to the reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19, they also bring long-term benefits. Although COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of smart technology, many of these solutions are focused on health, wellness, and security in general; which have been needed in school systems for a long time.

Latest Guide Infrared news

EUNIR Systems unveils new EB Series of thermal IP and analogue cameras
EUNIR Systems unveils new EB Series of thermal IP and analogue cameras

EUNIR Systems is pleased to be introducing their new Thermal security cameras the EB series. The EB series is based on two options IP and analogue versions. The IP version which is ONVIF II and incorporates POE functions to ensure ease of integrations into IP environments with other 3rd party products and technology. The analogue version addressed the legacy environments with simple plug and play integration capabilities. Both version offer many features and benefits such as full Pelco P/D protocols, our unique energy tracking, energy monitoring with alarm functions, this allows for automated detection and tracking of heat (energy) sources. With option for on-board analytics to set up virtual trip wires and intrusion zones to offer the additional benefit of automated alarming based on detection and tracking of threats and added with the energy alarm it is by far one of the most advanced thermal security cameras. With a user selectable Colour pallet, range of lens options, the image enhance feature, the EB series of cameras are the perfect tool to address all security applications from residential security to nuclear power stations, from power plants to airports , from border protection to coastal systems. The EB is based on IP54 so can be used for internal use and offers the additional benefit of encapsulation into a housing for external use. The housing can be your own or we can provide the EB in our own housing which is the SFE & MFE series of cameras. One may wish to fully integrate the EB module into their own system incorporating the thermal imager with their own CCD or HD camera as part of their turnkey solutions. And there is also an option for an inbuilt SD card for live video recording on board the camera. The SFE & MFE series of cameras are the prefect tools for your perimeters security systems, with its options for both IP and Analogue variants they are designed to be installed in the harshest of environments, to be durable and reliable with ease of implementation. There are options for the SFE & MFE can be mounted on Pan & Tilt platforms and with the OSD it is possible to provide full positioning co-ordinates, set up tours and pre-sets with the full Pelco D/P protocols. Option for different lenses means that the EB and the SFE and MFE series of cameras are the most economical solutions for addressing the perimeter security of wide open or large areas. Added to the cost savings of 1 single thermal camera can cover the same distance of several conventional CCTV cameras. Thermal cameras operate without the need of any form of lighting or illumination. From a project perspective reducing the number of equipment, and therefore any additional ancillaries such as extra cabling, poles, civil and installation costs. And then add to this the overall cost in maintenance and running of the lights and cameras, the implementation of Thermal is the right choice and most economical choice.

Guide Infrared releases Thermal Imaging Handheld cameras with new features
Guide Infrared releases Thermal Imaging Handheld cameras with new features

The existing Guide Infrared IR518 Monocular series of Thermal Imaging Handheld cameras will shortly be released with some very exciting new enhanced features. The new features include: User adjustable colour palette User adjustable on/off reticle User adjustable auto standby time setting Energy Alarm for Auto Detection/Tracking of hot objects The most existing key features of the cameras is 50Hz, with adjustable focus, recoding of live video and still image capture and 2 years warranty. With the existing of recording or still images to the removable 4Gb SD card, adjustable focus to ensure the target is always in focus, adjustable rear focus so the image is crystal clear, easy to use on-screen menu has made the IR518-serieas a preferred choice for any application.

GUIDE Infrared releases KnightIR Series, the technology cameras
GUIDE Infrared releases KnightIR Series, the technology cameras

GUIDE Infrared a leading manufacturer of Thermal Imaging cameras since 1999 are introducing into the Security market their latest range of best of breed, leading technology cameras the KnightIR Series. The KnightIR Series cameras have been specifically design and manufactured to meet the demanding needs of security application around the globe and the diversity of the different environments where the very best security systems are deployed. We have the the widest range of both Static and PTZ cameras available, with an array of lens options from 8mm to 150mm, with the lowest F# lenses for maximum efficiency.  with our advance 384x288 FPA resolution detector and 50Hz full frame rate video. Our entire range of cameras offers the very best in performance, reliability and durability no matter the environment, application or location around the world. The SF and MF (Standard Function, Multi-Function) are static cameras. The SF range of cameras  are plug and play offering power in and analogue video out, the MF offering power in and IP out. The cameras make the perfect choice for the implementation of a security detection system. With standard brackets the SF and MF can be mounted to building, poles or towers. And option for a Pan and Tilt platform using Pelco D protocols. The DS (Duel Sensor) cameras are fully functional cameras offering the operator the benefit of live visual image and live thermal image with both Analogue and IP streams. For the CDD imager we offer an optional choice of cameras for day night, low light use with 10  and 16x optical zoom and now with the new and latest HD cameras. With the implementation and integration of the static cameras along the perimeter of any establishment, the live video images can be monitored in the security room, just like conventional CCTV cameras. When you also use motion detection/video analytics in conjunction with the live video image it is possible to set up a fully automated detection and alarming system. The DS cameras can be used as the response camera to the alarm. When a potential threat has been detected using the static thermal camera with the analytics this will trigger an alarm and the DS camera can slew to the area where the alarm was generated. The security teams would then have the live image from the static camera with the alarm, the live image from the DS camera with the thermal image and also the CCD image, and the security team can then monitor and track the threat. This allow for timely interception to prevent a possibleincident. The operator can provide real time and upto date live information to the mobile security team or police if they are to intercept the threat. This fully automated, full situational awareness real time live visual monitoring and alarming detection system have proven to be the preferred choice of use for the highest level of security and for domestic residence. It has been proven to be cost effective, reliable and the only system that offers this capability in day, night 24/7/365 and in adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow and fog. All Guide cameras are embedded with Pelco D protocols to ensure the ease of integration into legacy or new build security systems and with our team of pre/post engineers we are at hand to support you and your clients all the way through the channel to the end user, this can be site surveys, design and commissioning. All Guide products are supplied with 2 years warranty as standard and options to extend to 3, 4 and 5 years. All repairs are carried out under RMA at our Belgium office and we can turn repairs around very quickly, and we share the cost 50/50 for the shipping. To support the EMEA market EUNIR Systems NV was established in Belgium, a subsidiary of Guide to offer sales, marketing, training, admin and support to all our channels in this region. EUNIR systems based in Leuven which is 20 minutes outside Brussels ensures that we are centrally placed in Europe. From here we can offer the highest calibre support from our professional team of staff. We can offer fast turnaround of any technical matters, support in the filed with demonstration and presentation, provide consultative services to aid in the design and recommendation of products and technology. From our central European operations we are able to delivery our products from stock or for large projects or bespoke projects our normal delivery schedule are approx. 6 weeks. The benefit of this service is that within Europe there is no Duty cost and minimal shipping costs. Thermal imaging cameras provide the assurance that security applications and operators need to be able to offer the highest level of protection of any asset. Because Thermal unlike conventional cameras which are reliant of the reflected light from all objects, our cameras will be able to detect all objects any time of the day or year or weather condition. Guide thermal cameras are able to detect the radiated heat from every object that can and cannot be seen because of poor lighting, weather conditions or even if the target is trying to use the cover of foliage or vegetation. Thermal cameras are not affected if LED lights or bright light beams are used to obscure the vision of the camera. The cameras require no form of lighting or illumination unlike conventional cameras, which have to use lights or illuminators or IR lamps, all of which are costly to implement, maintain and run, and reduce the overall performance of the CCD based camera and in adverse weather condition significantly. With the Guide KnightIR Series of Thermal imaging cameras and our range of lens options, we have the perfect solution to meet your requirements. To be able to detect a person day or night at 200mtrs upto 3600mtrs. The KnightIR series cameras can be deployed at critical infrastructures like nuclear and coal power stations, water treatment plants, oil, gas and electrical installation, substation, airport, ports and mariners, along the highways or rail lines, commercial and domestic property and for the protection of our boarders and costliness. Whether fixed in a static application or on a mobile platform which could land or sea, the KnightIR series offer the flexibility and adaptability all in the same product.

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