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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 Tyco Security Products news

Tyco, security products brand of Johnson Controls, announces secondary sponsorship of the British Superbike Team, SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad
Tyco, security products brand of Johnson Controls, announces secondary sponsorship of the British Superbike Team, SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad

Tyco, the security products brand of Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart and sustainable building solutions, has announced its secondary sponsorship of the SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad team for the 2021 British Superbikes season. Support for TAS Racing “We are delighted to have the opportunity to renew our support for TAS Racing who run the SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad team,” said Gordon Morrison, GB Sales Director for the Johnson Controls’ Tyco access control and video solutions. Gordon adds, “Our two companies share the same level of determination to succeed and we both have enthusiastic, talented engineering teams who strive for continual improvement in everything they do. From a strategic marketing point of view therefore, this synergy makes TAS Racing the ideal partner to help us promote the excellence of Tyco solutions.” Tyco brands, Exacq, Kantech and Illustra Johnson Controls intend to organise technology days at selected British Superbikes events Johnson Controls intend to organise technology days at selected British Superbikes events, taking place during the 2021 racing calendar. Before watching SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad’s Andrew Irwin and Danny Buchan compete against 24 riders representing 14 other Superbike teams, invited business partners and their customers will be able to see how Tyco brands, such as Exacq, Kantech and Illustra, are harnessing the latest advances in technology. Artificial Intelligence infused into Tyco products In addition to a wide range of solutions that will help businesses operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Illustra Insight Intelligent Frictionless Access, the guests will also be able to learn more about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being infused into the Tyco product portfolio, as well as how they can generate new business with the help of Cloudvue, the Johnson Controls Cloud-based subscription service. Philip Neill – SYNETIQ BMW Team Principal, said “After a long and successful relationship together, everyone at TAS Racing is extremely happy to welcome Tyco back to the British Superbike paddock in 2021. The team image may have changed slightly, however it will be very nice to see some old faces back at the racetracks this year.”

Johnson Controls releases Tyco HD Video Encoder for seamless analogue and IP integration
Johnson Controls releases Tyco HD Video Encoder for seamless analogue and IP integration

Johnson Controls introduces the Tyco HD Encoder, an ideal solution that allows high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) analogue cameras to function within an evolving IP infrastructure. The product is supported by both exacqVision, American Dynamics and VideoEdge. IP video surveillance Available in one-and four-channel options, the Tyco HD Encoder allows users in networked environments to retain HD and SD cameras while adding IP cameras over time, leveraging the benefits of IP while utilising their existing analogue infrastructure. Encoder hardware adapts analogue video to be sent over IP networks, helping CCTV systems upgrade to a modern IP video surveillance organisation. The HD Encoder is ready for deployment out-of-the-box and is Power over Ethernet enabled for minimal cabling by running power and data through the same CAT5/6 cable. The encoder also includes important features like HDMI out, H.264 compression for cameras up to 2MP, multi-streaming and support for AHD, CVI and TVI analogue protocols. Fully integrated video system Tyco provides network video recorders and video management systems from American Dynamics and Exacq, offering the foundation for a fully integrated video system. Purchasing each aspect of the solution from the same vendor reduces potential product lifetime issues while streamlining setup and support.

Tyco CEM Systems protect Salalah, Duqm and Muscat International airports with 1 access control security infrastructure
Tyco CEM Systems protect Salalah, Duqm and Muscat International airports with 1 access control security infrastructure

Oman Airports manages and operates all civil airports in the Sultanate of Oman. As a result of the growing aviation sector in the Middle East, Salalah, Duqm and Muscat International airports were all recently redeveloped with new state-of-the-art terminal facilities and technologies. Access control solution To protect Oman Airport’s growing number of passengers and new hi-tech terminal buildings, Oman Airports required an advanced access control solution that not only incorporated the latest advances in technology but also had proven resilience within the aviation industry. With 30 years’ experience of securing airports around the world, the CEM Systems’ AC2000 Airport security management system was the ideal match. As the largest airport in Oman, Muscat International’s upgrade was a landmark $1.8 billion expansion project. Phase one involved the construction of a new state-of-the-art 580,000 sqm Terminal 1 building, which was officially inaugurated for operations in March 2018. CEM intelligent card readers additionally feature a large internal database for offline card validation" Airport edition access control system “Oman Airports required a proven, fully integrated security solution to secure Muscat Airport’s new hi-tech Terminal 1 building, as well as a number of its external peripheral buildings. At the same time we were also awarded the contract to secure the new Salalah and Duqm Airports in Oman. “This allowed all three airports to use the CEM Systems’ AC2000 Airport Edition access control system and share a commonality of security infrastructure for operational excellence. We congratulate Oman Airports in their achievement and are delighted to be part of such an important leading infrastructure project for the development of Oman.” said Philip Verner Regional Sales Director, Security Products, Johnson Controls. Intelligent IP card readers CEM Systems’ range of intelligent IP card readers with integrated controllers (S610e, S700 readers) were installed throughout Oman Airports to provide the highest possible level of on-board smart card technology. CEM intelligent card readers additionally feature a large internal database for offline card validation and can store up to 200,000 cardholder records and 50,000 transactions offline. This ensures zero system downtime, prevents any loss of transaction data and delivers the highest possible level of system reliability within airports. Over 3,000 CEM IP card readers were installed throughout Muscat Airport’s new Terminal 1 to protect airside and landside locations, including 45 arrival and departure gates, 29 jet-bridges and 82 immigration counters. Emerald touchscreen terminals CEM Systems’ emerald touchscreen terminals have also recently been chosen by Duqm airport A large number of outlying annex buildings (spread out over 30,000 m2) were also secured with CEM intelligent card readers. These included a new 97m high Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, aircraft hangars, cargo and crew facility buildings and the new pivotal headquarters building for the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA). CEM Systems’ emerald touchscreen terminals have also recently been chosen by Duqm airport for heightened security. Emerald is a combined access control card reader and controller featuring fully integrated Voice over IP (VoIP) intercom, onboard Power over Ethernet technology and a range of smart airport applications and operational modes, all in one single, powerful terminal. Integrated biometric and access control solution For areas of heightened security, over 1,300 CEM fingerprint card readers (S610f & emerald fingerprint terminals) have also been installed throughout all three Oman airports. As an all-in-one advanced IP card reader, controller and integrated biometric solution combined, CEM fingerprint readers uniquely provides three layers of security (card, PIN and biometric verification) via one hardware device and one integrated software enrolment process. This eradicates the need for a separate biometric enrolment solution, provides a quick and accurate biometric read time and ultimately creates less biometric verification errors at the door/gate. Intelligent IP readers critically provide Oman Airports with aviation specific door modes Gate room management CEM Systems’ intelligent IP readers also go beyond security by helping airport operations. Intelligent readers are used to enable air-bridge monitoring, provide check-in-desk enabling, control baggage belts and assist with airport passenger flow and gate room management. Intelligent IP readers critically provide Oman Airports with aviation specific door modes such as ‘Passenger mode’ which enables the efficient management of gate rooms for departing and arriving passengers. Passenger mode controls the open times of single or interlocking doors, ensuring Gate Room doors are opened or closed depending on the configuration set for a specific flight. The user-friendly LCD screen on CEM card readers effectively acts as a smart information point for ID staff and flight agents and allows staff to easily manage the Gate Arrivals process on the ground. S3040 portable hand-held readers Oman Airports now utilise portable card readers to enable random ID checks on personnelCEM Systems’ S3040 portable hand-held readers uniquely protected Muscat International Airport during its initial construction phase in December 2014. Portable readers enabled ID card validation at temporary airport site entrances and gates, which at the time of construction had no power or comms. Oman Airports now utilise portable card readers to enable random ID checks on personnel throughout all three airports. Designed specifically for airports, CEM Systems’ AC2000 Airport security management system provides powerful aviation-specific access control throughout airside and landside areas. Using a range of powerful AC2000 Airport software applications, Oman Airports benefit from sophisticated ID badging, airport visitor management and high levels of airport systems integration. Open architecture integration tools CEM Systems’ open architecture integration tools successfully enabled the AC2000 access control system to be seamlessly linked with other airport security systems including video, perimeter detection and Oman Airport’s central ‘Airport Operating System’ for the resolution of maintenance faults. This ensures that system maintenance faults and alarms are dealt with promptly, efficiently and with full accountability. Oman Airports use the CEM Systems’ AC2000 VIPPS application to manage airport pass applications and biometrics To provide the highest possible level of smart card security to over 30,000 authorised card holders, all three Oman Airports utilise highly secure CEM DESFire smart card technology with multiple layers of encryption. Oman Airports use the CEM Systems’ AC2000 VIPPS (Visual Imaging Pass Production) application to successfully manage airport pass applications and biometrics. AC2000 Visitors application The AC2000 Visitors application also provides a powerful tool for Oman Airports to monitor and control ID card access for visitors and temporary airport staff. Information such as ‘name of airport sponsor’ can be recorded and once visits have been completed, cards can then be recycled, creating efficiency savings within the airport ID centre. Moving forward, CEM Systems will continue to work together in partnership with Oman Airports and their chosen system integrators as all three airports move into their next development phases. It is understood that airport security needs and legislation requirements change over time and thus CEM Systems will remain flexible to help meet their evolving project needs.

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