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 Linear LLC news

Linear upgrades its e3 Series firmware to deliver enhanced security in its commercial access control systems
Linear upgrades its e3 Series firmware to deliver enhanced security in its commercial access control systems

Significant upgrades to the e3 Series firmware were announced in the Linear Essential, Essential Plus, Elite and ProControl commercial access control systems. The new firmware updates employ the latest code technology to provide improved security and web services protection against the rise in cyber threats for businesses of all sizes. Giving end-customers and users the features most in demand, the upgrades to the Linear e3 Series also include improved encryption, smart reporting and card types access control functionality. Access control security “Commercial businesses of all sizes are acutely aware of need for increased access control security due to the growing sophistication of electronic intrusion capabilities,” said Richard Pugnier, Vice President of Marketing at NSC. “The new e3 Series firmware updates and feature enhancements allow our dealers to offer heightened security confidence to deter intruders while keeping employees and facilities safe using the latest technological advancements.” “After listening to our dealer partners, this firmware upgrade is the first of several planned that will help address ongoing commercial security and access control needs for organisations large and small,” said Mark Prowten, Director of Product Management for NSC’s Linear brand. Commercial access control systems The Linear e3 Series firmware upgrades we’ve engineered open new customer opportunities for our dealers" “With tens of thousands of systems installed, customers depend upon the proven managed access and convenience of our systems, and we remain committed to constantly improving our security technologies to guard against the growing list of internal as well as external threats. Plus, the Linear e3 Series firmware upgrades we’ve engineered open new customer opportunities for our dealers to offer market-leading capabilities along with added security peace-of-mind.” The scalable design of Linear e3 Series is specifically engineered to minimise future costs and help lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as organisational needs evolve and more functionality is needed. Based on a single hardware design, a single software code base and sophisticated integrated features, the Linear e3 Series can easily scale up to 128 doors. All Linear Essential, Essential Plus, Elite and ProControl commercial access control systems include the upgraded e3 Series firmware. Licence expansion capability Each is out-of-the-box ready to install, designed to match customer-specific needs and are readily upgradeable with a licence key. The top-of-the-line Linear Elite is a feature-rich system designed for four to 128 multi-door, multi-site facilities. The advanced capabilities of the Linear Elite system can accommodate more users, doors, readers, online transactions and overall capacity. The Linear Essential and Essential Plus access control systems give smaller and mid-size businesses access control that can grow with them. These systems provide entry-level value for one to four doors with immediate licence expansion capability to Elite system with no additional hardware needed.

SIA invites nominations for George R.Lippert Memorial Award
SIA invites nominations for George R.Lippert Memorial Award

The award is presented annually to honour a distinguished individual from a SIA Member company The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently issued a call for nominations for the George R. Lippert Memorial Award. The Lippert Award, as it’s known in the security industry, is presented annually to honour a distinguished individual from a SIA Member company for long-term, selfless service to the security industry and to SIA. In memory of George R. Lippert The award is named in honour of Mr. Lippert, who dedicated more than 20 years of his life to the security industry and SIA. In 1967, Mr. Lippert purchased a company called Cameras for Industry. He served in leadership positions with Morse Security Group, Aritech and Linear Corp. Mr. Lippert was elected to the SIA Board of Directors in 1971, and served on the board for 17 years. His insights and efforts had a lasting impacting on SIA’s standards program and many other initiatives that benefited the industry. Recipients of the George R. Lippert Memorial Award are individuals who exhibit the same characteristics as Mr. Lippert, providing exceptional service to the security industry and SIA. To qualify, a nominee for the award must be: Employed in the security industry for more than 10 years with a manufacturer, integrator, distributor or service provider; Affiliated with a company that is a SIA Member in good standing; Respected as a leader in SIA and the industry; Viewed as a goodwill ambassador for SIA and the industry, as demonstrated by activities with various industry segments, such as regulatory agencies, industry associations, etc.; and Recognised as honest, responsible, courteous and kind. When evaluating candidates nominated for the award, the SIA Lippert Award Committee will consider their long-term service to SIA and the security industry, the impact of their efforts on behalf of SIA and the industry, and their integrity, leadership and diplomacy as demonstrated in industry dealings. Deadline for the submission of nominees is Monday, August 10. SIA will announce the winner of the Lippert Award during SIA Honours Night: Celebrating Performance, Partnerships and People in the Security Industry in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Farpointe Data long range wireless transmitter installed at Kolea, Waikoloa Beach Resort
Farpointe Data long range wireless transmitter installed at Kolea, Waikoloa Beach Resort

Integrated with gate entry system, long range solution opens Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort's main gate Farpointe Data, a DORMA Group Company, the access control industry's trusted global partner for RFID solutions, recently announced that its Ranger WRR-4+ 433 MHz receiver is used to gain admittance to the main gate of the Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kolea is a very diverse community offering both private residences and two and three bedroom vacation villas. This exclusive gated community offers everything a vacationer could desire in a vacation rental. That includes insuring that only those authorised to be in the community can enter.Farpoint P-640 proximity cards Kolea's organically grown security system includes Napco locksets with integrated card readers and keypads, a Linear gate entry system and Cisco video surveillance. Some houses on the property use Farpointe P-640 proximity cards with keypad readers for access from the street and directly from the beach. Those entering the main gate in their car use a Farpointe transmitter which is read by the Farpointe WRR-4+ receiver integrated into the Linear gate entry system via the industry standard Wiegand protocol. Instead of using a card, which could activate more than one device or door at a time, the transmitter holder selects exactly the mechanism to be immediately triggered. Available in either a two- or four-button configuration (WRR-2+ or WRR-4+ models respectively) and equipped standard with a weather-resistant potted proximity or contactless smart card module, the transmitter can use either two or four buttons to open two or four different doors from ranges up to 200 feet (61 m). Each button outputs transmitter data over separate Wiegand outputs yet the receiver installs just like a proximity reader for easy integration with popular proximity or contactless smart card access control systems. "Being located here directly on the beach places unique demands on our electronic security infrastructure. Our access control needs have evolved over time and we've been very happy with the flexibility and reliability the Ranger series has given us," reports Trenton Johnson, facility manager for Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort. "This dependability means we  are no longer continually re-investing in new equipment." "Using standard 26-bit Wiegand protocol and featuring standard mounting holes, the WRR-4+ is used as an "add-on" or "wire-in" receiver at the resort," adds Scott Lindley, Farpointe Data president. "With custom Wiegand protocols and Farpointe's MAXSecure™ security option, the long range system can be made even more protected to prevent credential duplication and ensure that the readers will only collect data from this single system's coded credentials. The lithium cell battery is tested to exceed 250,000 presses."Farpointe for ISC West 2015 Attendees at the ISC West Show in Las Vegas April 15-17 can see how the new long range WRR-2+ and WRR-4+ 433 MHz receivers operate. At ISC West, Farpointe Data will be in Booth 8056.

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