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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 Hitachi news

Moxa joins the OpenChainProject by the Linux Foundation to streamline open source compliance
Moxa joins the OpenChainProject by the Linux Foundation to streamline open source compliance

Moxa announced that it has joined the OpenChainProject, an initiative by the Linux Foundation to streamline open source compliance. By enrolling as a Platinum member, Moxa becomes the first Taiwan-based company to join the OpenChain's Governing Board, expanding the project's reach globally and across multiple industrial sectors. Formed in 2016, the OpenChain Project aims to build trust in open source by making open source license compliance simpler and more consistent across supplies chains. The OpenChain Specification defines inflection points in business workflows where a compliance process, policy or training should exist to minimise the potential for errors and maximise the efficiency of bringing solutions to the market. Advanced industrial networking The OpenChain Specification is being prepared for submission to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and evolve from a de facto standard into a formal standard. Moxa has demonstrated for several years its continuous commitment to open source compliance to enable advanced industrial networking and communications applications for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) world. This commitment has helped Moxa become one of the providers of industrial edge-to-cloud connectivity and computing solutions for IIoT environments. Promoting industry standards Moxa is thrilled to join the OpenChain Project so that we can demonstrate our commitment" Andy Cheng, President of Strategic Business Unit at Moxa, commented: "Moxa is thrilled to join the OpenChain Project so that we can demonstrate our commitment in supporting open source compliance standardisation.” “Moxa has been a strong supporter of the Linux Foundation for some of its important projects such as Civil Infrastructure Project (CIP) for long-term support Linux distribution. We are now looking forward to working closely with the OpenChain community to promote industry standards of open source compliance. Moxa has actively participated in the OpenChain community during its key growth phase over the last two years," said Shane Coughlan, OpenChain General Manager. Ensuring open source compliance "Moxa joining as a Platinum member underlines its commitment to further deepening industry collaboration and understanding at this critical juncture. In particular, I believe Moxa will play an important role in helping us build bridges across the Mandarin-speaking world to ensure open source compliance." Moxa joins an array of companies that have already become Platinum members of the OpenChain Project, including ARM Holdings, Bosch, Cisco, Comcast, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, Hitachi, Microsoft, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Siemens, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Uber, and Western Digital.

ISC West 2018: Invixium unveils IXM TITAN – a multimodal, multifactor, multipurpose biometric solution
ISC West 2018: Invixium unveils IXM TITAN – a multimodal, multifactor, multipurpose biometric solution

Invixium, a manufacturer of next-generation biometric products for enterprise access control, time and attendance and smart home markets, introduced its IXM TITAN at ISC West 2018 (booth #6109). TITAN incorporates facial recognition and fingerprint or finger vein biometric modalities into one multifunctional device capable of access control, time tracking, video surveillance and video intercom applications. “Biometric authentication is now relevant and continues to trend across many markets, rapidly becoming a mainstream solution for physical security applications,” says Shiraz Kapadia, CEO and President of Invixium. Invixium’s new TITAN solution combines highly accurate biometric technologies and diverse functionality into one exquisitely designed unit" Facial recognition algorithm “Security professionals continue to accelerate the replacement of traditional and antiquated access control methods using physical credentials with advanced biometric solutions. Invixium’s new TITAN solution – which combines highly accurate biometric technologies and diverse functionality into one exquisitely designed unit – delivers higher levels of security, is easy to deploy and implement, and provides lower total cost of ownership.” TITAN’s hallmark features include a revolutionary facial recognition algorithm based on a single 21-megapixel camera solution. With the fastest enrollment time and smallest biometric record size, TITAN delivers superior throughput, authenticating approximately 15 faces per minute with extreme accuracy and includes onboard memory to store an unprecedented 100,000 facial biometric records. Finger vein technology TITAN also incorporates Hitachi finger vein technology with liveness detection, making it virtually impossible to spoof. Vein technology provides increased privacy by eliminating latent prints and is not reproducible as vein patterns are beneath the skin.  Two industry-leading fingerprint sensor options: Lumidigm Venus utilises multispectral imaging technology that virtually eliminates common real-world problems experienced by conventional fingerprint sensors. Fast, accurate and reliable, the Venus fingerprint sensor delivers best-in-class biometric authentication along with liveness detection. SecuGen U20 is an FBI certified, high-performance, maintenance-free optical fingerprint sensor resistant to scratches, impact, vibration and electrostatic shock. Additional features of TITAN include: Android Nougat Operating System A 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor providing supreme power, graphics, reliability and battery efficiency Inbuilt RFID card reader options: iCLASS SE, MiFARE DESFire, MiFARE DESFire EV1 and 2, EM Prox A 5.0” IPS (in-plane switching) LCD for better colour reproduction and wider viewing angles An aluminium enclosure that makes it suitable for all environments including extreme heat, cold or rain. This construction is especially ideal for mines, construction sites, seaports, petro chemical and nuclear power plants Advanced connectivity options such as Gigabit Ethernet, RS485, RS232, customizable Wiegand, 3G for remote locations, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth But it doesn’t stop there. TITAN was designed to be future proof and anticipates more functionality to be added in the near term.

Hitachi launches new business entity Hitachi Vantara to solve business and societal challenges
Hitachi launches new business entity Hitachi Vantara to solve business and societal challenges

Hitachi, Ltd. has launched Hitachi Vantara, a new business entity to leverage the broad portfolio of innovation, development and experience from across Hitachi Group companies to deliver data-driven solutions for commercial and industrial enterprises. This new company will unify the operations of Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group, and Pentaho into a single integrated business as Hitachi Vantara to capitalise on Hitachi’s social innovation capability in both operational technologies (OT) and information technologies (IT). OT expertise combined with IT Hitachi has been in OT for industries such as finance, government, manufacturing, power/energy and transportation for over 100 years, providing solutions that have positively impacted cities, industrial operations and businesses at large. The company has also been prominent in IT for over 50 years—bringing IT applications, analytics, content, cloud, and infrastructure solutions to market that have transformed the way enterprises do business. Combining Hitachi’s broad expertise in OT with its proven IT product innovations and solutions, Hitachi Vantara gives customers a powerful, collaborative partner in data – unavailable in any one company until today. Monumental change “Hitachi Vantara marks a monumental change for Hitachi as we continue to advance our unified corporate vision of Social Innovation,” said Hitachi, Ltd. President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara. “Hitachi has been helping customers harness the power of their data to support meaningful business action for years. Now as the world is being transformed by digital tools and processes, we are unifying our strongest digital solutions companies together as a new Hitachi company that delivers exponential business impact for our customers and the betterment of society. The formation of Hitachi Vantara underscores Hitachi’s commitment to collaborative creation with customers and partners, and being a true innovation partner for the era of IoT.” Opportunity in data Hitachi Vantara is uniquely able to help customers extract all the value their data has to offer. By bringing new data-driven solutions and services to market, Hitachi Vantara will help its customers achieve tangible outcomes that positively drive business and society forward. "The formation of Hitachi Vantara underscores Hitachi’s commitment to collaborative creation with customers and partners" The market opportunity for mission-critical data solutions has never been greater. Data has become a businesses’ greatest asset—if they can extract actionable insights from it. Data holds the key to new revenue streams, better customer experiences, improved market insights and lower costs of doing business. However, a comprehensive offering has yet to emerge that combines both OT and IT expertise to uncover its true potential—until now. Filling critical gap in emerging IoT market Hitachi Vantara will continue to provide superior infrastructure and analytics technologies that enterprises rely on for their mission-critical data in their data centres, in the cloud and at the edge of new innovations. The new company is targeting the emerging IoT market opportunity, in which there is no clear winner yet. According to Gartner, Inc., “more than $440 billion will be spent on IoT in 2020,” and the firm estimates that by 2020, “there will be more than 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints, and digital twins will exist for potentially billions of things.” in the same timeframe. To address this market, Hitachi Vantara will harness business, human and machine data across OT and IT environments to build comprehensive, data-driven solutions. Customers will be able to manage, store, govern, blend, analyse, and visualise data—and then take action based on uncovered insights. From data centre to factory floor Hitachi Vantara will continue to develop the trusted data management and analytics technologies Hitachi is known for, including Hitachi’s popular data infrastructure, storage and compute solutions, and Pentaho software. It will also be driving the development of strategic software and services solutions, including Hitachi Smart Data Center software and services, Lumada, Hitachi’s IoT platform, now available as a standalone, commercial software offering, and Hitachi co-creation services. "Hitachi Vantara sees dataas an opportunity—a pathto outcomes that matter" Announced concurrently today and now in its 2.0 release, Lumada has been fully updated with enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and advanced analytics capabilities. It also has an elegant, portable architecture that enables it to run both on-premises or in the cloud, and supports industrial IoT deployments both at the edge and in the core. Meeting needs of increasingly connected world The company will focus on serving global Fortune 1000 companies with best-in-class data management, infrastructure, content and analytics products and industrial IoT solutions for a number of industries including financial services and insurance, government, industrials/manufacturing, telecom, and transportation. “No other company brings together more than a century of operational technology expertise with informational technology trusted in the world’s most demanding enterprise environments,” said Hitachi Vantara CEO, Ryuichi Otsuki. “Hitachi Vantara capitalises on this unique combination by creating solutions that meet the needs of an increasingly connected world. Like our customers with whom we partner and co-create, Hitachi Vantara sees data as an opportunity—a path to outcomes that matter.” Hitachi’s new Lumada IoT platform and Smart Data Center solutions will be on display at the Hitachi NEXT 2017 user conference in Las Vegas, September 19-20th, where event attendees can see live demonstrations of the company’s software and IoT solutions.

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