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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 Videotec news

Videotec added video analysis and advanced GeoMove features to NVX video cameras
Videotec added video analysis and advanced GeoMove features to NVX video cameras

With the goal of constantly improving the performance of its products, Videotec has now added the new video analysis and GeoMove functions to its NVX cameras. This versatile compact stainless-steel camera is already well known on the market for its exceptional corrosion resistance and for providing high image quality with Full HD, super low-light, 1080p and 30x zoom, with bright clear colours in even the poorest lighting conditions. The NVX camera is used in the maritime sector onboard vessels or as part of traffic control in ports, as well as on railways, transport and industrial process environments. Accurate detection The NVX has been enhanced with Videotec Analytics technology which integrates robust algorithms to ensure accurate detection in even the most adverse external environmental conditions. It offers the operator complete situational awareness at all times. The detection algorithm even works with rain, snow, or low contrast, camera vibrations, sudden changes in changes in light or shadows and in the presence of small animals or insects. Alarm activation Depending on the rules set up by the user, an alarm is generated if an item enters, exits, appears or stopsDepending on the rules set up by the user, an alarm is generated if an item enters, exits, appears or stops for too long within an area. Any violation of these rules will activate the alarm and the other programmed actions. Up to ten rules for each preset can be quickly and easily set up. GeoMove function A particularly interesting feature is the possibility of geo-localising the NVC video cameras on maps to support the new GeoMove and GeoMove&Track features in combination with one or more Videotec PTZ cameras. The GeoMove feature is very useful in perimeter surveillance systems and for port traffic monitoring because it lets the video cameras detect and capture any object through its geographic coordinates, even in critical visibility conditions. Integrated analytics The GeoMove function can be activated via an NVX camera with integrated Videotec Analytics which provides the target’s coordinates to one or more Videotec PTZ(s) and they, in turn, use the coordinates to frame the target. Coordinates can also be sent via third-party software, such as VMS (Video Management Software) or VTS (Vessel Tracking Service) for navigation control, or via radar control systems. GeoMove&Track function GeoMove&Track provides the advantage of having a turnkey detection, positioning, and tracking solution Furthermore, if the PTZ that receives the target’s coordinates has Videotec Analytics integrated, then it can also start the GeoMove&Track function, independently recognising and autonomously tracking the geolocated target. Thanks to GeoMove&Track, the system made up of Videotec fixed and PTZ cameras provide the advantage of having a complete, turnkey detection, positioning and tracking solution guaranteed by Videotec. Marine environment The NVX camera is Lloyd's Register Type Approval System Test Specification Number 1 certified and can therefore be used in marine environments. Such as on boats and ships on open decks, in enclosed spaces, in technical areas that are subject to the heat generated by other equipment or as visual support for docking manoeuvres. Weather protected The total protection against inclement weather and the option of cleaning the camera with high-pressure and high-temperature water jets is guaranteed by the IP66/IP67/IP68/IP69 protection grades. The NVX has been tested and certified from -40°C to +65°C. Models with an integrated wiper or with a polycarbonate window are available for use in the food industry. Design and integration Mounting an NVX is quick and easy, even in confined spaces, thanks to its compact design, lightweight, practical quick-fit connectors and versatile modular support for mounting on walls, ceilings or parapets. Developed entirely by the Videotec R&D team, NVX offers the Videotec guarantee of being a reliable, cyber-safe and future-proof platform that can be easily integrated with third-party products.

Videotec launches COMB, the new polycarbonate communication box
Videotec launches COMB, the new polycarbonate communication box

Videotec has expanded its range of communication boxes with the new COMB. This product has been designed for use in non-hazardous applications and is robust with its external polycarbonate and extraordinary resistance to external agents. COMB is much more than a simple junction box. It has everything that you need for a state-of-the-art installation and correct operation of one or more Videotec IP or analogue cameras. It provides local low voltage power to connected devices. Functions and features COMB enables fast Ethernet connection thanks to the integrated Ethernet switch equipped with three RJ45 ports and an SFP port (MSA compliant) for fibre optic connection. COMB comes with an extended/industrial range of electronics. The internal board offers 2 bypasses for analogue video signals and 2 bypasses for I/O signals with multipolar connectors. COMB can manage systems that consist of a Videotec PTZ camera with or without the Videotec washing kit; up to two Videotec fixed cameras with or without the Videotec washing kit; or one Videotec fixed camera and one Videotec PTZ without washing kits. Internally, the unit has been designed with easy cable access and convenient connection operations in mind. COMB guarantees maximum protection against impact (IK10) and weather (IP66/IP67/IP68/IP69, and NEMA TYPE 4X and TYPE 6P). Obtained Lloyd’s Register Marine Type Approval certification for the maritime and naval sector. It also complies with railway application standards. COMB is the competitive integrated solution for the professional installation of Videotec cameras in industrial and marine environments.

Videotec announces NXPTZ SERIES2, the new PTZ in stainless steel for corrosive environments
Videotec announces NXPTZ SERIES2, the new PTZ in stainless steel for corrosive environments

Videotec, a company with more than thirty years of experience in stainless steel product development for video surveillance in marine offshore/onshore and corrosive industrial environments, announces NXPTZ SERIES2, the new generation of PTZ Full HD video cameras with innovative and high-performance features for outdoor preventive security applications in the most difficult environmental conditions. PTZ product range The PTZ range has been completely revamped and expanded to include visible Day/Night Super low-light, FullHD 1080p-60fps video cameras with DELUX or SONY FCB-EV7520 technology, capable of producing impeccable image clarity even in the most difficult lighting conditions. New thermal PTZ or dual vision network PTZ models are also available for extreme precision in the detection and perimeter monitoring and high-risk environment monitoring and monitoring with poor lighting conditions. The integrated thermal video cameras also offer radiometry features for precise temperature readings, useful in monitoring industrial processes. Intrusion detection for outdoor applications Videotec analytics uses algorithms for accurate detection and precise auto-tracking in most adverse environmental conditions Advanced video analysis features are now available for these PTZ cameras, thanks to Videotec Analytics. This excellent new technology in preventive intrusion detection for outdoor applications, developed entirely by Videotec, uses very strong algorithms for highly accurate detection and precise and fluid auto-tracking even in the most adverse environmental conditions. The detection algorithm is particularly reliable even with the rain, snow, camera vibrations, low contrast, sudden changes in light or shadows and in the presence of small animals or insects. Perimeter surveillance systems The new NXPTZ SERIES2 PTZ video cameras can be geo-localised on the maps to support the GeoMove and GeoMove&Track features. The GeoMove feature is very useful in perimeter surveillance systems and for port traffic control because it lets you capture any target through geographic coordinates, even in critical visibility or offshore conditions. Video management software In a video surveillance system, the GeoMove feature can typically be activated using a camera with Videotec Analytics on board, or through third-party software such as Video Management Software (VMS), which provide the geographic coordinates of a target and use them to guide the Videotec PTZ cameras to capture the target. The coordinates can also be sent in the same way using Vessel Tracking Services (VTS - navigation control services) or using radar control systems. Video analytics SERIES2 video camera can connect the PTZ over fibre optics owing to the SFP module slot on the base unit Furthermore, PTZ video cameras with Videotec Analytics on board can activate the GeoMove&Track feature. In this case, the Videotec PTZ camera that receives the coordinates of the target, thanks to the video analytics, can also recognise and autonomously follow the geo-localised target. Compared to the previous generation, the SERIES2 video cameras can easily connect the PTZ over fibre optics, thanks to the SFP module slot installed directly on the base of the unit. Operating efficiency The NXPTZ SERIES2 PTZ cameras can operate in corrosive environments, thanks to their solid construction in AISI 316L stainless steel with micro shot-peened and electro-polished surfaces, and the extreme precision adopted during the construction processes. The IP66/IP67/IP68/IP69 grades, in addition, to guarantee total protection against inclement weather, allows the device to be cleaned with high-pressure jets of hot water and temporary submersion. NXPTZT SERIES2 maintains maximum operating efficiency with temperatures from -40°F to +149°F. Quality, cyber security, reliability Videotec owns the design know-how for all of its products and this allows total control of mechanics, electronics, positioning, networking, software and firmware. This represents a significant competitive advantage in meeting the needs of personalised solutions or integrations with third-party systems, all with the guarantee of Videotec quality, cyber security and reliability.

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