CCTV cameras - Expert commentary

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 IDIS news

IDIS unveils video tech solutions and AI Box for COVID-19 at a virtual showcase for system integrators
IDIS unveils video tech solutions and AI Box for COVID-19 at a virtual showcase for system integrators

IDIS is unveiling its latest video tech solutions with an innovation-rich online Virtual Showcase for systems integrators, consultants, and end-users. The ‘virtual booth’ replicates the exhibition experience, taking visitors on a tour of the latest IDIS products and technologies, with features and functions explained, and application examples included. Visitors to the virtual showcase will be introduced to the newly launched IDIS AI Box for COVID-19 (DV-2232). Facilitating social distancing Powered by the industry’s most accurate IDIS Deep Learning Engine and compatible with IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA), the AI Box for COVID-19 is a simple add-on appliance that’s compatible with existing IDIS cameras and DirectIP® NVRs, eliminating the need for complex analytics software or edge VA cameras. The AI Box for COVID-19 is a simple add-on appliance that’s compatible with existing IDIS cameras Features support safe return-to-work practices, compliance with government regulations and industry-specific guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including capabilities that facilitate social distancing, people counting and occupancy monitoring, crowd detection, mask detection, and dashboard and reporting tools for reporting compliance. Remote situational awareness Visitors will also experience the next generation IDIS Deep Learning Analytics with 98% accurate AI-assisted notification for object, intrusion, and loitering detection, as well as tools that leverage metadata to enable more reliable detection, better identification, easier verification, and more rapid investigation of incidents. IDIS’s new Mobile Plus app, which integrates the company’s popular IDIS Mobile app with its network and digital recorders, network cameras, and IDIS Solution Suite VMS, will also be showcased. It delivers improved and more powerful functionality - anytime and anywhere – and gives users remote situational awareness of single and multiple sites, which is critically important in this COVID-era. Securing video projects Because IDIS is working with systems integrators to identify and secure video projects in post-COVID growth sectors, the virtual booth also features IDIS solutions for logistics, education, and retail. The virtual booth also features IDIS solutions for logistics, education, and retail These encompass the latest cameras and software enhancements that solve common security and safety challenges, as well as risks and challenges specific to each sector. Also highlighted within the virtual showcase are the numerous IDIS cameras and NVRs that do not use or deploy critical components or System-on-a-Chip (SOC) circuits produced by NDAA banned component vendors, making them compliant with the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA). Systems integration partners “Our industry, like so many others, have had to transition in this COVID-era from in-person events and exhibits to virtual ones,” notes Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. “We at IDIS are very pleased to be able to continue supporting our systems integration partners, consultants and end users via online platforms and present them with the solutions and technology they need to in turn implement safe return to work strategies and solutions.” Anyone who registers for the Virtual Showcase and books a personalised demo can be entered to win a network surveillance home starter pack consisting of a compact 4-channel recorder and choice of mini dome or mini bullet camera – an ideal sleek and low-profile solution for residential surveillance.

IDIS Mobile Plus app launched in integration with IDIS Solution Suite VMS
IDIS Mobile Plus app launched in integration with IDIS Solution Suite VMS

Video surveillance users can adapt to the challenges of working more flexibly between home, office, stores, and the control room with the newly released IDIS Mobile Plus app. Mobile Plus integrates the company’s popular IDIS Mobile app with its network and digital recorders, network cameras, and IDIS Solution Suite VMS. It delivers improved and more powerful functionality - anytime and anywhere – and gives users remote situational awareness of single and multiple sites. The app enables up to 4K live streaming on remote mobile devices, with high image quality in H.264/MJPEG and H.265 formats. Recorded footage can be played back in the same high definition that operators and managers use in from their control rooms or client software.   Investigate incidents or suspicious behaviour The IDIS Mobile Plus app can be configured to receive push alarms based on event and time lapse queries Users can choose from a range of viewing options - including portrait or landscape, dark mode, simultaneous 1/4/9/16 split screens, and a four-channel synchronized 2 x 2 split screen mode - to quickly receive multiple camera events. The IDIS Mobile Plus app can be configured to receive push alarms based on event and time lapse queries, and gives users the ability to use two-way audio, QR codes for fast device registration, and image capture while on the move. Security, safety, and loss prevention personnel can also remotely respond to and investigate incidents or suspicious behaviour using notifications generated by alarm-in, motion detection, trip zones, video loss, and text-in functions. The new app also incorporates the benefits of IDIS’s Smart UX Controls, with: full pan, tilt, and zoom control of DirectIP® and DirectCX® cameras; calendar search, playback, and bookmark functions; simple drag and drop to change the size and position of the video; and pinch zoom for PTZs and fisheye dewarping. Manage surveillance operations remotely “The pandemic has forced many organizations to adapt quickly to changing work patterns, and move from fully to partially operational facilities. It’s now more important than ever for security and safety personnel to be able to manage their surveillance operations remotely, flexibly and on the move,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. “The new Mobile Plus app provides much needed help by putting the vital tools and functions of IDIS Solution Suite VMS directly into the hands of customers, wherever they are and whenever they need them.” The IDIS Mobile Plus app also supports dual stream options for playback, which means users can choose between lower mobile data consumption and higher image quality of up to 4K, depending on mobile bandwidth availability. iPad users can now also benefit from slide over and split view functionality. Language options include English, Russian, Japanese, and Korean and Mobile Plus supports Apple iOS from version 11.0 and Android 5.0 Lollipop (API 21) onward. 

IDIS secures Austen House hospital with comprehensive security system to enhance security
IDIS secures Austen House hospital with comprehensive security system to enhance security

A national centre of excellence for children and young people with mental health needs has been secured by a comprehensive security system from IDIS, the largest in country video surveillance manufacturer in South Korea. The £7 million refurbishment of Austen House, a 14-bed forensic hospital in Hampshire run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, prioritised keeping both staff and patients safe from harm, given their specialised needs. Security systems integrator As the sole specialist National Health Service (NHS) unit of its kind in southern England, its refurbishment means vulnerable young people and their families no longer have to travel hundreds of miles to receive vital support. Video surveillance was key to allow incidents to be investigated and care practices to be monitored and improved. The solution had to cover all social and communal areas with no blind spots, be easy for non-specialist staff to use, and would have to comply with NHS cybersecurity requirements. Specialist security systems integrator ISD Tech selected IDIS technology as the best value and most robust solution, and one that would be the quickest and least disruptive to install. Outdated security setup The enhanced video coverage improves both standards of care and accountability Working with main contractor Kier Construction, ISD Tech and IDIS replaced an outdated security setup with an affordable cybersecure system which is easy to operate and maintain. It allows caregivers a complete overview of all internal and external communal areas at Austen House, including education facilities, music and sensory spaces, a gym and an art studio, as well as higher-risk isolation rooms. The enhanced video coverage improves both standards of care and accountability. It provides a complete record of events at the facility, making it easy for incidents to be investigated and video evidence to be provided, should it be required. Active tampering alarms Almost 100 IDIS 12MP Super Fisheye cameras, plus a mix of 5MP bullet and PTZ cameras, connected to 32-channel NVRs guarantee evidential-standard video coverage with a 360º view of all communal areas, a choice of 6 view modes and the ability to dewarp footage after the event. The 5MP bullet and PTZ cameras provide 24-hour coverage of the multi-use games area, gardens, car parks and perimeter. Built-in IR enables night-time image capture at distances of up to 30m, and the cameras enable intelligent functions such as active tampering alarms, motion detection, auto-tracking, and trip zones. All the IDIS cameras benefit from true DirectIP® plug-and-play set-up, which allowed the ISD Tech engineers to complete their work ahead of schedule. The ‘one-click’ set-up is faster and eliminates the cybersecurity risks associated with manual password entry. Local area networks IDIS Smart Failover protection ensures 24/7 continued recording, even during network instability or drop-out IDIS Smart Failover protection ensures 24/7 continued recording, even during network instability or drop-out. And, crucially, the Trust can link the new system to its local area networks without increasing the risk of hacking, thanks to IDIS’s use of proprietary software, which is inherently cybersecure. “Our upgraded IDIS video solution makes it easy for our clinical teams to review incidents quickly and work with external investigators whenever required,” said Tracey Edwards, Head of Security at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. “It’s not just an important tool for improving patient care, it allows us to maintain full public confidence and accountability.” Supporting clinical care Nicky Stokes, Managing Director of ISD Tech, commented: “We were impressed by the consultative approach of IDIS right from the initial design and planning, through installation to commissioning, and the ongoing support that they provide both to ISD Tech and the Trust. IDIS technology even helped speed up the installation so that we could deliver the project ahead of time.” IDIS Europe Sales Director Jamie Barnfield added: “This is the 4th major project that IDIS has completed for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and it is part of one of the biggest refurbishments of its kind ever undertaken in the NHS. Not only is our video tech enhancing safety and security for patients and staff, it also supports clinical care and rehabilitation, which benefits the most vulnerable members of our community.”

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