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Edge computing, AI and thermal imaging – the future of smart security
Edge computing, AI and thermal imaging – the future of smart security

Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities? As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are also seeing demand for thermal imaging technology increase. New technology like this combined with more of these always-on systems being rolled out, means organisations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data and there are some key trends you can expect to see as a result of this evolution. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. Edge computing and smart security As public cloud adoption grew, companies and organisations saw the platform as a centralised location for big data. However, recently there’s been opposition to that trend. Instead we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. There is one main reason for this change in preference: latency. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralised data centre hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure. UHD and storage AI-enabled applications and capabilities, such as pattern recognition, depend on high-definition resolutions such as 4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD). This detailed data has a major impact on storage – both the capacity and speeds at which it needs to be written, and the network. Compared to HD, 4K video has much higher storage requirements and we even have 8K on the horizon. As we know, 4K video has four times the number of pixels as HD video. In addition, 4K compliant video supports 8, 10, and 12 bits per channel that translate to 24-, 30- or 36-bit colour depth per pixel. A similar pattern holds for HD — more colour using 24 bits or less colour using 10 or 12 bits in colour depth per pixel. Altogether, there is up to a 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080 pixel video. Larger video files place new demands on data infrastructure for both video production and surveillance. Which means investing in data infrastructure becomes a key consideration when looking into smart security. Always-on connectivity Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more. Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralised recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to the safety and security of hospital patients and staff. For this reason, microSD cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps. Thermal imaging Health and safety is the number one priority for all organisations as people return to work and public spaces. Some organisations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organisations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices. Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means requirements of the supporting data infrastructure improve to match that, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation. Companies need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy for the future.  

Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?
Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?

A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and whilst business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback programme, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security centre, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyse what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximise surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyse suspicious behaviour or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.

Can CCTV become a more effective tool?
Can CCTV become a more effective tool?

We all know that having CCTV around your home can help to protect you and your family. Without CCTV, you could end up in danger and an intruder could get away with breaking into your house, hurting your loved ones and stealing your possessions. Similarly, without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process. In short, making sure you have CCTV is important for both home and business security. However, it can be improved to become a more effective system so that you’re better protected, and can even deter a potential intruder without having to panic. In our world of ever-changing technology, we’re able to upgrade and enhance our CCTV systems so they can become a monitored system. Remote CCTV monitoring is an ideal way to protect everyone and everything whether you’re at home or at a workplace. What is remote CCTV monitoring? For a long time, CCTV was one of the best ways to keep your home, the office and people safe. But people started to notice that it would only deter people so much of the time and often the cameras were ignored by intruders. They would just cover their faces and hope for the best as they steal from a home, office or any other premises. Remote CCTV monitoring is a system that can loop into your existing CCTV, or come preinstalled with a new system. This technology sends a feed to a control room full of trained operators that are on call 24/7. Within this control room, operators are able to respond to any sort of distress call or unauthorised movement on the property line.  How does it work? Remote CCTV monitoring works by attaching to a live feed of your CCTV system, existing or new, so that the signal and images can be passed to a team of operators. These operators are on hand 24/7 so that if there is a problem, you know that you're safe in the hands of a specialist team. The specialist team has been trained to mitigate the chances of somebody breaking into your home when the system is triggered; similarly they call the local authorities instantly so that the potential intruder has less time to flee the scene. This is especially important if an intruder is already inside your property because they have less time to steal your items and leave. Without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process One of the biggest questions that revolve around remote CCTV monitoring is the idea of operators watching the CCTV at all times. Luckily most remote CCTV monitoring systems will incorporate a motion detection system to accompany your CCTV. Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line. These motion detection systems are state-of-the-art and so, depending on the system that you choose, they can watch over your property from a number of angles. Once the motion detection system has been triggered and the alert has been sent to the control room, then and only then will the operators get involved. This means that until the motion detection system has been triggered, nobody will watch your live CCTV feed. After one of the systems has been triggered, one of the specialist operators will instantly jump into action. This means that they can take different measures to deter any potential intruder and make sure that they do everything in their power to stop any damage or theft from the premises. In addition to the motion detection system and CCTV, you are able to opt for a public address (PA) system too. This means that an operator is able to shout commands through the PA system and potentially scare away any intruder. The intruder will also be warned about the fact that local authorities have already been called to the location.  Remote monitoring versus traditional CCTV Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line Having a monitored CCTV system means that you're able to better protect yourself, your business, employees and even your loved ones. Whether you're at home or in the office, having someone looking over your shoulder protecting your every move is something that can be appreciated by everybody. The biggest problem with just having traditional CCTV, is that it is a reactive system. This means that rather than stopping crime, a CCTV system just records it. While the thought is that having a CCTV camera visible can deter some intruders, there's no real evidence to suggest that it stops anybody; anyone can simply cover their face and carry on breaking into your home, office or even your car. As mentioned, remote CCTV monitoring is going to tackle that problem and make sure that someone is on hand to protect you at all times.

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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