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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 Tamron Co., Ltd. news

Tamron announces the expansion of M117FM fixed focal lens series for machine vision compatible with 1/1.7” imagers
Tamron announces the expansion of M117FM fixed focal lens series for machine vision compatible with 1/1.7” imagers

Tamron Co., Ltd., a renowned manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, currently offers an array of globally renowned Ø29mm compact-size fixed-focal lenses, M117FM series, compatible with 1/1.7” imagers and full 6-mega pixel resolution, for machine vision applications. Five new models, M117FM12 / M117FM16 / M117FM25 / M117FM35 / M117FM50, will be released to support the growing needs of applications. Mega-pixel cameras used for machine vision applications including production equipment, print circuit board mounting equipment, various test equipment, and various machine tools, are migrating toward higher resolution. Tamron currently offers a variety of mega-pixel machine vision lenses with 30 different models compatible with 1.1”, 1/1.2”, 2/3”, 1/1.7” and 1/1.8” imagers. Machine vision applications Currently, rapid growth is expected in the use of machine-vision lenses compatible with 1/1.7” and 1/1.8” imagers of 6-mega pixel resolution. To meet the need, Tamron’s M117FM series is added with five new models. The new M117FM portfolio, in addition to the two models currently available (wide-angle 1/1.7” 6mm F/2.4 (Model: M117FM06) and 1/1.7” 8mm F/2.4 (Model: M117FM08)), offers a total of seven models to meet the requirements of a wide range of field of view in machine vision applications. Tamron’s state-of-the-art optics technology significantly reduces TV distortion compared with previous models The expanded lineup of compact-size M117FM models, with an outer diameter of Ø29mm, offers an optimum selection for all machine vision applications, and assures compact size, high-resolution, high-contrast imaging for all shooting distances including up-close distances. Fixed focal lenses Tamron develops popular and affordable high-resolution fixed focal lenses that address customers’ critical requirements and needs in all machine vision applications and pursues optical performance that assures distinguished fidelity in all image details with excellent user utility. Key Features High Contrast and Resolution Unrivaled in the Industry The new lenses are compatible with 1/1.7” imagers supporting 2.74μm pixel-pitch 6-mega (max) pixel resolution, with an approved highest-level resolution and contrast in Ø29mm machine-vision lenses. Industry renowned Low Distortion (TV Distortion) Tamron’s state-of-the-art optics technology significantly reduces TV distortion compared with previous models. Specification: M117FM12: -0.45% / M117FM16: -0.1% / M117FM25: -0.1% / M117FM35: -0.1% / M117FM50: -0.1% High-Quality Imaging in Close-up Shooting Distances The new lenses assure high-quality imaging in commonly used close-up distances. Rigorous Guarantee of Image Quality Thorough inspection is performed on the imaging resolution from the center to the periphery, delivering high-contrast and high-resolution without unbalanced blurring throughout the entire lens view. Robust Design of Anti-Vibration and Anti-Shock Mechanism New mechanism improves anti-vibration and anti-shock performance compared with previous models. Even under adverse conditions, the new mechanism suppresses the impact of vibration and shock of up to 10G of magnitude and limits the optical (image) deflection within 10μm. Vibration frequency 10-60Hz (amplitude 0.75mm), vibration frequency 60-200Hz (acceleration 100m/s2), and the number of cycles: 50 cycles. A Common use Setscrew is Included as a Standard Accessory A lock screw provided with the models can be changed to an embedding type setscrew. This further reduces the overall diameter of the lens barrel for more compact installation. Various optical devices Tamron provides a wide range of original optical products, from interchangeable lenses for digital cameras to various optical devices for both the general consumer and OEM. The company makes optical products that contribute to a range of different industries and will continue to devote its rich creativity and popular edge technical prowess to various industrial fields. Furthermore, Tamron is fully aware of its responsibility to the environment and aspires to help preserve the natural environment in all its business activities.

Tamron Co., Ltd. announces launch of three Shutterless Compact Long-Wavelength Infrared Camera Modules
Tamron Co., Ltd. announces launch of three Shutterless Compact Long-Wavelength Infrared Camera Modules

Tamron Co., Ltd., a globally renowned manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, has announced the market launch of Shutterless Compact LWIR (Long-Wave Infrared) Camera Modules that support simultaneous thermal imaging and temperature measurement. The modules are expected to be available on August 28, 2020. General LWIR camera modules need to update internal referential data by operating a mechanical shutter at regular intervals, in order to achieve precision in thermal measurement and stabilise thermal images. This necessarily accompanies incursion of the shuttering noise and disruption of image sequence. The mechanical durability of the shutter is also an issue for a long-time usage. Shutterless LWIR Camera Modules To address these issues with general LWIR camera modules, Tamron will release ‘Shutterless LWIR Camera Modules’ that eliminate the need for calibration using a mechanical shutter, by employing an LWIR sensor using Amorphous Silicon, which possess excellent property in reproduction of thermal reference against changes in temperature and integrating state-of-the-art image processing and optical technologies that have been developed in-house.  LWIR camera modules are capable of detecting thermal emission from a target and visualise it under poor or no illumination. This advantage is fully beneficial for various applications, including night-time nursing care without disturbing patient’s sleep, night-time surveillance in complete darkness, and the detection of abnormal temperatures to monitor facility equipment. Abnormal temperature detection Tamron’s new Shutterless LWIR Camera Modules offer distinguished improvement on surveillance Tamron’s new Shutterless LWIR Camera Modules offer distinguished improvement on nursing care, surveillance, and abnormal temperature detection by completely eliminating the annoying shuttering noise and intermittent image interruption. Market demands are also growing in the area of precision temperature measurement and control for livestock breeding, agriculture, etc. Tamron releases three models of Shutterless LWIR Camera Modules with lenses of different focal lengths to address these growing market needs. Proprietary signal processing technology As for the precision temperature measurement, Tamron’s proprietary signal processing technology warrants a temperature precision of ±2℃ (*1) under the adverse condition of shutterless measurement. Key Features Lineup of lenses with various focal lengths Three models of camera modules are offered with optimal lenses, covering a wide angle of applications from wide-angle to mid-telephoto range. Consistent high performance in thermal imaging and temperature measurement Pixel-by-pixel measurement of temperature is achieved through the use of Tamron’s high-performance lenses and proprietary temperature signal processing developed for shutterless measurement. Thermal images and temperature data are simultaneously available. Incorporation of shutterless feature Shutterless feature eliminates incursion of shuttering noise and interruption of image sequence. New modules improve on reliability, free from durability issue related with a mechanical shutter. Protection against dust and water New modules adopt a new mechanism to protect against dust and water to assist implementation in various industry applications.

Tamron announces the launch of M117FM06 and M117M08 fixed focal lenses for expanded applications in machine vision
Tamron announces the launch of M117FM06 and M117M08 fixed focal lenses for expanded applications in machine vision

Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Shiro Ajisaka), a renowned manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of two fixed focal lenses, M117FM06 and M117M08, for large 1/1.7” imagers employed in machine vision, supporting full 6-mega-pixel resolution in a Ø29mm compact body. (In machine vision camera lenses compatible with 1/1.7 imagers and supporting 6 mega-pixel resolution - survey by Tamron, effective as of June 2020.) In recent year, mega-pixel cameras used for machine vision applications including production equipment, substrate mounting equipment, various test equipment, and various engineering machines migrate toward higher resolution. Under this market trend, Tamron currently offers an extensive array (total 28models) of mega-pixel machine vision lenses for 1.1” imagers, 1/1.2” imagers, 2/3” imagers and 1/1.8” 2-mega-pixel imagers.  High resolution fixed focal lenses In addition to this, Tamron newly releases two mega-pixel lenses supporting 1/1.7” and 1/1.8” 6-mega-pixel imagers in a compact body that are expected to spread in the future. In many cases, some specific production equipment, substrate inspection equipment, and industry-grade printers demand lenses that can be installed in a limited space and assure high resolution and high contrast in close-up wide angle images. Tamron now offers the widest selection of high resolution lenses to address customers’ exacting needs With this addition, Tamron now offers the widest selection of high resolution lenses to address customers’ exacting needs. Tamron develops high resolution fixed focal lenses to meet customers’ critical requirements and needs in machine vision and pursues optical performance that assures distinguished fidelity in all image details, and excelled user utility. Key Features Unrivalled High Contrast and High Resolution in the Industry The new lenses are compatible with 1/1.7” 2.74μm pixel-pitch 6-mega (max) pixel imagers, while assuring the highest resolution and contrast in Ø29mm machine-vision lenses. Low Distortion (TV Distortion) Tamron’s state-of-the-art optics technology achieves drastic improvement in TV distortion compared with previous models. Specification: M117FM06: -1.5% / M117FM08: -1.0% High Quality Imaging in Close-up Shooting Distance The new lens provides high quality imaging in commonly used close-up distances. Rigid Inspection on High Quality Rigid inspection is performed to certify resolution from the centre to the periphery of images, assuring high contrast and high resolution without unbalanced blurring throughout the entire lens view. Rugged Mechanical Design for Anti Vibration and Shock Newly designed mechanism improves anti vibration and shock performance compared with previous models. Even under a severe machine-vision setup with as much as max 10G vibrations and shocks, the new mechanism limits optical (image) deflection within 10μm. (Vibration frequency 10-60Hz (amplitude 0.75mm), vibration frequency 60-200Hz (acceleration 100m/s2), and number of cycles: 50 cycles.) A Commonly used Setscrew is Included as a Standard Accessory A lock screw used in previous models can be replaced with an embedding-type setscrew, reducing the diameter of the lens barrel for further compact installation. (Ø29mm: Excluding the objective-end of the lens.)

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