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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.

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Counter Terror Expo 2014 to provide international perspective on border security and access control
Counter Terror Expo 2014 to provide international perspective on border security and access control

The exhibition will host a number of leading international companies showcasing the very latest technologies For governments, security services, law enforcement agencies and CNI operators, the need to police borders, protect perimeters and control site entry is becoming an ever increasing challenge. To help meet that challenge, Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be taking an international perspective – both within its free-to-attend exhibition and through one of its seminar workshops, the International Security for an Evolving World Theatre. The exhibition will host a number of leading international companies showcasing the very latest technologies, products and services in the area of border security and access control. As Steve Roberts, Marketing Manager of Zaun Ltd, one of the Counter Terror Expo premium exhibitors, commented: “Counter Terror Expo brings together the foremost experts … to share real-life experience, debate strategies, brainstorm issues, shape policy and define effective counter-measures. We see ourselves as part of that debate and innovation to mount a robust defence against international terrorism in an age when the threat is both dynamic and continually evolving”. Zaun Ltd, manufacturers and suppliers of high quality steel fencing, fence products and fencing systems, will be exhibiting their MultiFence, RDS and SecureGuard systems as well as their range of PAS 68 blockers and bollards. Also participating as a premium exhibitor will be Dynasystems Ltd whose CEO, Claire Hemmings, said: “Dynasystems has been exhibiting at Counter Terror Expo for 5 years”. The company will be launching “a truly innovative, expeditionary, scalable retrofit solution to protect against high levels of Blast and Ballistics; its modularity of design provides the ability to protect even multi-storey structures, both temporary and permanent”. For Dr Edward Klinger, CEO of CNIguard, the exhibition will offer the company the opportunity to showcase “its infrastructure and environmental monitoring systems for pipelines, overhead lines, pylons, tunnels, tanks, generators, masts, substations and other assets. Visitors can see our products, including our unmanned aerial systems, whilst discussing their requirements with our team. We will have continuous physical demos of our intrusion detection systems as well as videos.” From the latest in infrastructure protection to state-of-the-art biometrics, screening and scanning technology, the Counter Terror Expo 2014 exhibition will cover the whole spectrum of new developments in this highly important area. “Counter Terror Expo has been instrumental in the development of the security market" A key player in the application of some of the most advanced technologies is L-3 Security & Detection Systems, another exhibitor. In the words of William Frain, the company’s Senior Vice President: “Counter Terror Expo has been instrumental in the development of the security market. It has a reputation of being the most focused trade show for security screening in the UK”. In this year’s exhibition, L-3 SDS will be demonstrating its people screening product, the ProVision 2, and its explosives trace detection system, the OptEX. In addition, there will be “animations showcasing a selection of other products that L-3 SDS offers the market, such as air cargo screening and checked baggage screening solutions, which will be presented via a plasma screen”. Alongside the exhibition will be the International Security for an Evolving World Theatre featuring a range of exclusive presentations, including: “Border Security & Contraband Detection: Cars, Trucks, Boats & more”, “How to Utilise Global Supply Chains and Black Markets to Finance and Fuel Terrorist Activity” and “Combating International Terrorism: The Proposed use of the International Criminal Court in Response to the Jurisdictional Shortcomings of International and Domestic Law”. Damaune Y. Journey, Director, Global Business Development for CSECO, worldwide leaders in portable contraband detection equipment, will be one of the speakers at International Security for an Evolving World Theatre. As he commented: “Terrorism requires funding and addressing the funding is one of the best ways to attack the problem. Our tools hit at the heart of this important, often overlooked, component in the terror continuum”. CSECO will also be taking a stand within the exhibition where the company will be demonstrating its CT-40 Kit, specifically the Buster Contraband Detector and the new Perfect Vision V20 Videoscope. There will be videos of the equipment in use by law enforcement officers around the globe and visitors will have the opportunity to use the equipment themselves to detect hidden items at the display. David Thompson, Event Manager, Clarion Defence & Security, commented: “Border Security and Access Control are critical components of the counter-terrorism and security portfolio. Through the exhibition and the seminar workshop sessions, Counter Terror Expo 2014 will provide a unique insight into the very latest protective solutions to a truly international threat as well as an opportunity to engage in the debate about how we should continue to meet that threat into the future.” 

Second Mission 500 Security 5K Race at ISC West 2011 proves to be a great success
Second Mission 500 Security 5K Race at ISC West 2011 proves to be a great success

 The funds raised by Security 5K/Mission 500 Charity Run will be channelised to benefit the needy childrenThe second Security 5K/Mission 500 Charity Run in Las Vegas on the second day of ISC West raised more than $80,000 to benefit Mission 500, a charitable organisation engaging security professionals to sponsor children in need through the World Vision organisation. Proceeds from the April 7th event will sponsor 240 children for a full year - providing food, water, education, healthcare and most importantly, hope. Event proceeds increased the number of sponsored children to more than 360 total. The first-ever Security 5K event also kindled many colourful stories and highlighted the great sense of community and generosity of the security industry.As in the case of the 2010 event, the organisers were overwhelmed by support from across all facets of the security industry. More than 470 runners registered for the event, and about 370 ran. Registrants included 116 female runners, and participants hailed from 13 countries and 37 states. The youngest runner was 13 and the oldest was 65. Over 30% of the runners were over 50 as well. First place overall female runner was Theresa Campbell of Reed Exhibitions (21:59), and first place overall male runner was John Donegan of L3 Communications (19:13).Many runners had positive things to report on the race: It was a great event, well done and well organised; I will look forward to running next year.Hayden Burr - Integrated Control TechnologyAnother incredible race! Great work organising the event, and most importantly a significant thank you, for bringing together a group of people in the security industry to make a difference in this world, while enjoying team camaraderie and an active lifestyle.Elizabeth Cohen - AnixterThanks so much, I had a fantastic time. Again great run and for a great cause!Kevin Kaiser - IS&T ConsultingThis was a great event. Organised, and well put together. Had lots of fun. I'm looking forward to next year. Andy Grewal - Anacon SolutionsI really enjoyed the run yesterday morning and will make sure some of my colleagues join in next time! Russ Singleton - Coretrol Limited The second "Mission 500 Humanitarian Award" to Barbara Holliday, Director of Dealer Services, Monitronics Security Freeman, contractor of services to ISC West and its exhibitors, waived staff costs and fees for using audio-visual equipment during the 5K race and the awards ceremony, and Starbucks generously donated coffee to complement the post-race refreshments and food.At the Reception and Awards Ceremony for Security 5K runners, Mission 500 awarded its second "Mission 500 Humanitarian Award" to Barbara Holliday, Director of Dealer Services at Monitronics Security. The award honours individuals in the security industry who make important contributions to those in need. Pelco by Schneider Electric was the first recipient of Mission 500's Corporate Social Responsibility Award as well. More than 100 of the runners also set up fundraising web pages and added more donations to help the cause: Caleb Simonyi-Gindele was top fundraiser with $1,230, followed by Mark Pickett with $1,087 and Shane Geringer with $766.The Security 5K / Mission 500 Race at the 2011 ISC West Expo in Las Vegas is a collaboration between United Publications, publishers of Security Systems News and Security Director News; Reed Exhibitions, producers of ISC Expos; and Mission 500. Sponsors in 2011 were Alarm.com, Altronix Corporation, AXIS Communications, Bolide Technology Group, Deister Electronics, HID, Honeywell, LRG Marketing Communications, Panasonic System Networks Company, Pelco (by Schneider Electric) and Safety Technology International, Inc. Tee-shirt sponsor DMP, bracelets from Ditek and the cocktail raffle sponsor was Pivot 3. Other race winners in various age categories included:Male Age Group:                20 - 30: Joshua Koopferstock in 20:10Female Age Group:           20 - 30: Kate Olson in 22:15Male Age Group:                31 - 40: Brian Ordway in 19:38Female Age Group:           31 - 40: Brooke Hafen in 22:55Male Age Group:                41 - 50: Doug Johnson in 19:51Female Age Group:           41 - 50: Martha Entwistle in 24:23Male Age Group:                51 - 99: Alejandro Loera Harfus in 20:59Female Age Group:           51 - 99: Charlene Foglio in 26:23

Transport Security Expo 2010 registers growth in visitor numbers
Transport Security Expo 2010 registers growth in visitor numbers

 The event was dominated by high level conferences focusing on the travails in the aviation and maritime sectorsTransport Security Expo saw a significant upswing in visitor numbers during its first outing in the capital, over 2000 attendees visited the exhibition and conference across the 2 days. The visitor hike reflected a heightened level of concern over high profile actual and attempted strikes against the system during the course of the year and emphasised the need to do more, often times with less, as austerity measures begin to bite, to protect the travelling public and international commerce.With transport security industry news for the year to date having been dominated with terrorist strikes against the air sector and the marked increase in acts of piracy on the high seas, inevitably the event was dominated by high level conferences focusing on the travails in the aviation and maritime sectors. The operational failures that led to the attempted bombing of a Northwest airlines flight late last year have exposed the fact that the aviation world is still wide-open to the machinations of those with intent to harm. A shift in tactics by pirates has demonstrated that a naval show of force alone is insufficient to prevent the seizure of vessels in the vast swathe of ocean where they maraud with apparent impunity.A sense emerged during the course of the Transport Security Expo conference programme that the need for a step change in how the protection offered to the travelling public and international commerce is delivered has become much more acute and demands careful consideration in currently austere times. A tour de force of the world's leading security solution vendors marked the Transport Security Expo exhibition out as best in class and ensured that almost all aspects of security relevant to the transportation sector were covered. Transport Security Expo will next be held 13-14 September 2011Vendors such as Smith, Rapiscan, L3 and AS&E had substantial presence, but so to did a number of the emerging technology companies such as Kromek and others. A paradigm shift of sorts has been ongoing in the marketplace. With traditional hardware having reached the limits of capability, the shift is toward squeezing more out of the available data stream through high end, software driven, digital signal processing techniques. In a very real sense, the future in the security world lies within the software code on a disc.The high number of visitors to the exhibition also reflected change afoot in the regulatory framework controlling delivery of security in the aviation sector. European Union (EU) regulation published in April of this year sets the ground rules on multiple aspects of the process from the public facing screening for liquid threats through to behind the scenes screening of belly-hold cargo. Many of the deadlines contained within the regulation are tight, a question remains whether they will be met, but it does seem likely they could drive a sales spike in the short term to medium term.Standing room only left available during the open theatre technology workshop sessions, emphasised the eagerness amongst delegates and visitors to learn more about each of the solutions showcased and how they could be harnessed to enhance security across the board.Transport Security Expo is one of the only such events to work closely with the leading industry bodies, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and many others, to deliver a thought provoking conference and extensive workshop programme supported by one of the best exhibitions of its kind annually.Transport Security Expo will next be held 13-14 September 2011.

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