CCTV cameras - Expert commentary

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.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Latest Hanwha Techwin Europe news

Hanwha Techwin introduces Face Mask Detection application to support the businesses reopening during COVID-19
Hanwha Techwin introduces Face Mask Detection application to support the businesses reopening during COVID-19

Coinciding with the recent launch of the Occupancy Monitoring application designed to help implement social distancing rules, Hanwha Techwin has also introduced a Face Mask Detection application which will further help businesses operate in a COVID-19 affected world. Wearing a mask is believed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has already been adopted as a safety measure in many workplaces. However, the availability of the Face Mask Detection application could not come at a better time with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommending the use of face masks wherever social distancing is difficult. The UK government is also making it compulsory to wear a face covering when visiting or working within healthcare facilities and when using public transport. Innovative video analytics An Alarm Out feature can also be used to turn on a device such as a warning beacon The UK is not alone in introducing regulations to ensure the wearing of face coverings. In Germany, for example, it is necessary to do so when on public transport and while shopping, and in Spain everyone older than six, has to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when it is not easy for people to keep more than two metres apart. The Face Mask Detection application developed by Hanwha Techwin’s technology partner, a2 Technology, runs on open-platform Wisenet X Series cameras and uses innovative video analytics to detect if a person entering an area is not wearing a mask. This will trigger the playing of a customisable audio message such as ‘please wear a face mask’. Fixed lens cameras The audio message is generated via an audio support feature built into Wisenet X cameras, negating the need for a PC or a separate audio storage device to be installed nearby. A short cable is all that is required to connect a speaker to the camera. An Alarm Out feature can also be used to turn on a device such as a warning beacon. The application, which simultaneously detects and analyses up to 4 people and can detect people at a distance up to 5 metres from a camera, is not affected by glasses, hats or scarfs, is also able to detect if a mask is not being correctly worn. A digital zoom-in function, which is designed to be used with fixed lens cameras, assists installers to configure the application so that it focuses on a specific region of a camera’s field of view if it is considered to be too wide. Edge-based solution The Face Mask Detection application can be ordered pre-loaded on selected Wisenet X models as an out-of-the-box solution. These are: XNB-6000/MSK Network box camera XNO-6080/MSK Network IR bullet camera XND-6010/MSK Network dome camera XNV-6011/MSK Vandal-resistant network dome camera As is the case with all Wisenet X Series cameras, these models are equipped with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory slots, enabling images associated with incidents of people not wearing masks or not wearing them correctly, to be stored locally. There is also the option for the images to be stored on an FTP server. Video Management Software We fully understand our responsibilities in terms of offering solutions which are fit for purpose" A web-based interface enables users to receive alerts via a desktop PC. The application has also been integrated with the Wisenet WAVE 4.0 Video Management Software (VMS) platform which, with its ‘Layout-as-an-Action’ feature, enables a predefined screen layout to be automatically opened when an event occurs. This makes it even easier for operators to verify there has been an infringement of mask wearing rules. “The Face Mask Detection application is an excellent example of how video surveillance technology is able to help people safely go about their every-day business,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Occupancy Monitoring applications “With lives sadly at stake, we fully understand our responsibilities in terms of offering solutions which are fit for purpose, such as the Face Mask Detection and Occupancy Monitoring applications." "Over the coming weeks we will therefore continue to work in-house and with hand-picked technology partners to develop additional practical solutions which will robustly assist offices, factories, hospitals, art galleries and museums, places of worship, transport facilities and many other types of businesses and organisations, to safely open their doors to the public.”

Hanwha Techwin unveils Wisenet P Series AI cameras-compatible, edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application solution
Hanwha Techwin unveils Wisenet P Series AI cameras-compatible, edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application solution

Help is immediately on hand for businesses who are urgently seeking to safely re-open their doors following the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. Hanwha Techwin’s licence-free Occupancy Monitoring application provides retailers, places of worship and museums, as well as leisure facilities, pubs, clubs and restaurants, with highly accurate data on the number of customers on their premises at any particular time. Edge-based Occupancy Monitoring Compatible with the recently introduced Wisenet P Series AI cameras, the edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application simultaneously counts the number of people entering or leaving a building. When the maximum permitted number of people has been reached, the application generates alarm outputs to control automatic doors or a traffic beacon, as well as ‘wait’ or ‘enter’ messages that can be displayed on a monitor. Serverless solution The Occupancy Monitoring application has the power to aggregate and process data from multiple cameras The Occupancy Monitoring application has the power to aggregate and process data from multiple cameras and is therefore, ideal for buildings with multiple entrances and exits. As a serverless solution, it negates the need for system integrators to spend time configuring complicated server-side software. It also significantly reduces the capital cost of a project as the end-user does not need to incur the cost of buying a server. Deep Learning AI built into cameras With the support of Deep Learning AI built into the cameras, the Occupancy Monitoring application offers the additional benefit of being able to accurately count people even when a camera is wall mounted. Unlike less accurate people counting solutions which use conventional video analytics, the camera does not have to be mounted on a ceiling to provide an overhead field of view. This means, the camera can be simultaneously used for security purposes and people counting, and users are also able to take advantage of a host of additional video analytics applications which can be run onboard the camera, including heat map and intrusion, loitering and people/object detection. The new Wisenet Occupancy Monitoring application is compatible with the following cameras: PNB-A9001 - 4K AI box camera PNO-A9081R - 4K AI bullet camera PNV-A9081R - 4K AI vandal-resistant dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RF - 4K AI flush-mount dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RV - 4K AI dome camera with built-in IR illumination Time and cost savings The dome cameras have a four-part magnetic modular design, which makes them extremely easy to install The dome cameras have a four-part magnetic modular design, which makes them extremely easy to install. The ability to prefigure IP network settings without the need to remove the camera modules from their packaging also reduces the time an engineer has to spend on site, thereby enabling companies with multiple sites to rapidly roll-out the application with minimal disruption to their business. Wisenet P Series AI cameras The high-performance and feature-rich Wisenet P Series AI cameras will continue to deliver significant benefits beyond the immediate requirement to support the Occupancy Monitoring application during COVID-19. In addition to being used to detect and monitor any criminal activity, they can easily be redeployed to capture valuable business intelligence and help companies improve productivity. Retailers, in particular, can analyse the impact of any marketing activities on footfall and by identifying a store’s busiest times, better manage the peaks and troughs of customer flow at checkouts. Integrated with Wisenet Retail Insight (v2.0) In this respect, the cameras are supported by Wisenet Retail Insight (v2.0), a business intelligence solution, which utilises people counting, heat mapping and queue management applications to display statistical analytics on a centralised dashboard, along with other practical information such as weather reports. With the help of AI algorithms onboard the Wisenet P Series AI cameras, Retail Insight is also able to display an estimated age and gender of store visitors. Hanwha Techwin has always been able to rapidly respond to changing market demands" Licence-free solution “At this most challenging of times for our communities and the economy, we are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the efforts being made to recover from the effects of COVID-19 by offering the Occupancy Monitoring application as a licence-free solution,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Uri adds, “With the security budgets of many businesses being stretched, we have felt a social responsibility to offer the application licence-free and in doing so, help maximise the number of end-users who are able benefit from it.” He further said, “Hanwha Techwin has always been able to rapidly respond to changing market demands and with countless businesses extremely eager to re-open, we have yet again been able to rise to the challenge. This rapidly deployable, innovative and highly effective solution can offer peace of mind by assisting the implementation of social distancing rules at any building open to the public.”

Security and Safety Things GmbH reshapes video analytics and computer vision with IP cameras
Security and Safety Things GmbH reshapes video analytics and computer vision with IP cameras

Security & Safety Things GmbH (S&ST) is set to reshape innovation in video analytics and computer vision with the commercial availability of a number of new smart IP security cameras, from a variety of vendors, that leverage the Security & Safety Things open and secure IoT platform. This new generation of security cameras will operate using the free S&ST camera operating system, which enables the cameras to run multiple AI-enabled applications in parallel. The apps automate the analysis of video data to produce valuable operational intelligence for business optimisation as well as provide easy to deploy tools that can aid in re-opening measures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic health and safety mandates “Organisations of all sizes around the world need flexible, easy to deploy solutions that enable compliance with constantly changing pandemic health and safety mandates and provide future value to ramp up and optimise their ongoing business operations,” says Hartmut Schaper, chief executive officer, Security & Safety Things. Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps" “Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps from our Application Store, to detect the absence of facial coverings in a retail environment. Tomorrow, the same camera can help that same retailer to optimise merchandise placement based on store foot traffic, in one store or throughout the enterprise, along with further optimisations.” IP-based surveillance footage Qisda/Topview will be the first camera manufacturer to launch a camera running the S&ST OS in May, followed in quick succession by AndroVideo, who will also start shipping their S&ST enabled cameras in Q2. Bosch is making their INTEOX camera line available as of July followed by camera firms Vivotek and BSTsecurity who plan to ship a bit later in Q3. The first devices from Hanwha Techwin that run the S&ST OS are expected to be commercially available in Q4. Security & Safety Things, Hanwha, Vivotek, Bosch, Qisda/Topview, and AndroVideo are also all proud members of the OpenSecurity and Safety Alliance (OSSA). The free Security & Safety Things OS is built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It leverages the expanding processing and analytic power of modern IP cameras to exponentially increase the amount of operational intelligence that can be mined from traditional IP-based surveillance footage. Drone threat detection It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners The applications that can be installed on these cameras, both in an on-premise as well as a remote setting, are created by highly specialised third-party developers and are available through the platform’s open Application Store. It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners, with more than 30 additional apps expected to hit the store soon. In addition to pandemic applications, use cases include detection of weapons, behavioural analysis, payment systems for parking garages, drone threat detection and even identifying objects presented for purchase in a cash register transaction for cashier-free retail environments. Security & Safety Things, together with some of its camera and system integration partners are already running projects in a live setting. These projects use, for example, heat mapping and queue analysis in retail stores and automated payment processing and license plate recognition for barrier free traffic. These types of applications are running in pilots with the parking management solutions provider Peter Park as well as with the mobility provider SIXT.

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