CCTV camera mounts - Expert commentary

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.

Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity
Ergonomic standards increase control room productivity

  Ergonomics are a critical, but often misunderstood aspect of designing control rooms for security. Ergonomics have a deep impact on the integrity of an operation, and the issue goes beyond the control room furniture. Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, divides ergonomics into three areas: physical (reach zones, touch points, monitors); cognitive (the individual’s ability to process information without overlooking a critical element) and organisational (how the facility operates in various situations; e.g., is it adequately designed for an emergency event?). He says the Evans approach is to determine the precise placement required for each element an operator needs, and then to design and build console furniture to position it there. Basically, the idea is to tailor the control room to the operation. What tasks must an operator perform? Are they manageable or should they be divided up among several operators? Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate, and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations. It all begins with understanding the information that needs to be processed, says Papic. Increased productivity in the workplace Because personnel are often stationed at a specific console, desk or workstation for long hours, physical problems and productivity issues can result, says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Ergonomically designed furniture and related products have been proven to increase productivity and alleviate physical stress in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture solutions are crafted for the ultimate in safety, adaptability, comfort and functionality. Coleman says AFC Industries can tailor furniture to specific needs and environment. For example, a height-adjustable workstation can be combined with adjustable monitor arm mounts to create a relaxed, comfortable environment. Furniture offers modern designs, comfortable ergonomics, and comprehensive features. Rugged materials withstand the 24/7 use of command control centres. Health benefits of ergonomic workstations A sedentary office environment is often an unhealthy one. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Ongoing research and studies have shown that a change in posture (i.e., using ergonomic sit-to-stand workstations) is an effective means to combat these negative health issues. Using sit-to-stand workstations helps to eliminate musculoskeletal disorders caused by long-term sitting. They can also improve productivity and focus from the increased blood flow. Energy levels can rise and employees burn more calories. Control room design should accommodate the need to collaborate and be flexible enough to adapt to various situations “The ergonomic environment we create for control rooms involves considering every need of the staff at each workstation and their equipment, as well as workflow within the entire room,” says Coleman. “From the proper setting of screen focal lengths to sound absorption and glare reduction, each requirement and phase of a control room design is a necessary process to ensure the protection and safety of people and property.” Emergency operations centre “The military has figured out that you are more alert when you are standing,” says Randy Smith, President of Winsted, and the realisation is guiding emergency operations centre (EOC) design toward sit-stand. “As soon as there is an emergency, everybody stands up,” Smith adds. Designing EOC environments also requires systems be integrated with annunciating signal lights to facilitate communication among operators. Winsted’s sit-stand consoles can be combined with a motorised M-View monitor wall mount, enabling a 60-inch wall monitor to be raised and lowered to match the positioning of the sit-stand console. Larger, wall-mounted screens are easier to use for operators, since a larger monitor size can make it easier to read text on a screen, for example. Combining the larger monitor with sit-stand capabilities provides the best of both options. Many operators today stand for 50 percent of their day, says Smith. Ergonomic standards guide the design of Winsted’s control room consoles, including ISO 11064 standards for the design of control centres. The furniture also is designed to accommodate industrial wire management (larger wire bundles), unlike furniture that might be bought in an office supply store. Read part 3 of our Control Rooms series here {##Poll37 - How well do you incorporate ergonomics into your control rooms?##}

Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing
Improving security system installations with Acceptance Testing

Significant technological advancements have created endless possibilities in how security is not only deployed, but also leveraged by the end user – the customer. For example, customers can now view surveillance at eight different offices in eight different states from a single, central location. A security director can manage an enterprise-wide access control system, including revoking or granting access control privileges, for 10,000 global employees from a company’s headquarters. However, with that increased level of system sophistication comes an added level of complexity. After successfully completing the installation of a security system, integrators are now expected to formally and contractually prove that the system works as outlined in the project specification document. Tom Feilen, Director of National Accounts for Koorsen Security Technology explains that this formal checks and balance process is gaining momentum in the security industry. The step-by-step process of Acceptance Testing is more commonly being written into bid specifications, especially for projects that require the expertise of an engineer and/or architect. Simply put, it is a way for the end user to make sure the system they paid for works properly and is delivered by the integrator as outlined in the project’s request for proposal. While Acceptance Testing can be a time consuming process, it is a valuable industry tool. It is estimated that at least 95 per cent of integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process. Security systems have become more complicated in recent years. The introduction of IP-based, enterprise-wide and integrated solutions have all opened the door to more sophisticated access control and surveillance systems than ever thought possible. This process can vary depending upon the size of the project, but for a larger scale project, it is not uncommon for Acceptance Testing to take several weeks from start to finish. This timeline can be especially lengthy when the project involves hundreds of devices, such as access control readers, surveillance cameras, video recorders, intrusion sensors, and intercom systems. Most integrated security systems today have been brought through the Acceptance Testing process What is involved in the Acceptance Testing process? While the specific process can vary from integrator to integrator, many follow a similar process with their customer to ensure the system works accurately and that the customer has the proper certification documentation. The initial part of the process typically involves generating a report of each device installed as part of the system. This list enables the systems integrator to systematically test each device ensuring that individual devices are not specific points of failure for the overall system. For example, in a building equipped with a system that automatically releases the egress doors upon the fire alarm activation, it is important to make sure each door’s electro-magnetic locking system is operating properly. The systems integrator would not only test that a door releases when the fire alarm sounds, but also to make sure the access control system is notified if the door is propped open or held open longer than in normal usage parameters. For a door that is also monitored by a surveillance camera, part of the testing would also involve making sure that an image being transmitted to a video monitor is coming from the correct surveillance camera and that the actual angle of the image is what the customer has requested and is correctly labelled as such. If a device does not function as it should, it is then added to a punch list that would require the systems integrator to repair that device within a certain period of time. Once repairs are made, the system integrator would then submit a letter to the client stating that every device has been tested and works properly. It is also important for the integrator that once the testing process is complete to obtain a customer sign off (Certificate of Acceptance) on all systems tested and documentation provided. This limits liability once the system is turned over. From a safety perspective, Acceptance Testing is also used to verify that T-bars and safety chains are installed on cameras that are mounted in drop ceilings. It can confirm that panels are mounted in a room that is properly heated and cooled to avoid major temperature swings. Also, as part of the Acceptance Testing checklist, it can insure that power supplies that drive all the security systems are properly rated with the recommended batteries for back-up. And, that emergency exist devices or card readers are not mounted more than 48-inches above ground. An Acceptance Testing process serves to protect the end user's investment After the project is complete, Acceptance Testing protects both parties involved against liability issues. One example is if the building has a fire and the functionality of the life safety system comes into question. Acceptance Testing can be used to prove that the system was able to function as specified and dispel any concerns about its performance. At that time, all close out sheets are turned in, along with as-built drawings and a manual providing a complete listing of each device and system installed. Today, these manuals not only come in paper form as part of a large binder, but also digital files saved to a disc. The benefit of providing the customer with a binder or documentation of the system is that should the end user/customer replace the person who manages security at the company, valuable information will not leave with that former employee. While this checklist to close out a project may appear trivial at first, it is an important part of the security project process. By implementing an Acceptance Testing program, it serves to protect the end user’s investment, ensuring that the systems integrators hired for the project is knowledgeable and provides quality work. For the integrator, it helps towards the end goal of a satisfied customer.

Latest MOBOTIX AG news

MOBOTIX launches 18 new products for intelligent video technology at once
MOBOTIX launches 18 new products for intelligent video technology at once

With its major global Innovation Splash in November, MOBOTIX AG is placing 18 new hardware and software solutions on the market at once. New products  The first hemispherical camera that combines infrared and LED white light in a single system is a major highlight. In addition, there is a new convenient dome camera, hemispherical modules, and Thermal CIF modules specially designed for perimeter protection for the MOBOTIX7 cameras with up to 105° wide angle of view (FoV). A fiber optic extension system now makes it possible to place the lenses of a single camera (S74) up to 60 meters apart. New intelligent apps and software developments expand the application possibilities of the MOBOTIX7 HighEnd video systems. And last but not least, three new cameras from the MOBOTIX entry-level MOVE series have been added to the portfolio, which for the first time feature a water-repellent nano-coating for the best view even in the rain. Video technology MOBOTIX can solve every conceivable video technology project worldwide in the future- and cyber-proof manner" "This comprehensive launch is visible proof of our strategy, which we have been stringently pursuing since the introduction of the open MOBOTIX 7 platform. MOBOTIX is now able to solve every conceivable video technology project worldwide in the future- and cyber-proof manner - regardless of size, the number of locations, requirements, or industry," explained Thomas Lausten, CEO of MOBOTIX AG. "The launch of the MOBOTIX HUB video management system (VMS) in May 2021 was already an important building block. We can now offer both the hardware - i.e., the camera itself - and the software and applications, including VMS for all project sizes from a single source and at our extremely high MOBOTIX security level, as a convincing all-around solution provider." Variety of innovations ensures a new launch format Whether hardware or software, all innovations will be presented to partners and customers on a central launch website. From there, visitors have the opportunity to delve into the versatile in-depth information in detail. "Ultimately, all these individual components of this product release combine with the existing portfolio to create customised solutions for our customers. Through the individual and effective combination of this vast potential, we can meet almost every need of our customers," explains Hartmut Sprave, MOBOTIX CTO." MOBOTIX - Once again, a pioneer in hemispheric technology Germany's video security experts are combining infrared and LED white light in a 360 omnidirectional camera MOBOTIX introduced hemispheric technology to the video security market back in 2008. Now, Germany's video security experts are again playing a pioneering role in the market by combining infrared and LED white light in a 360 omnidirectional camera for the first time. This makes it possible to create colour recordings even at night, allowing, for example, the reliable detection of the colour of clothing or vehicles. The second, new IoT video system, a classic dome camera, also impresses with its innovations. For example, the manual adjustability has been extended by the third level for more convenience and accuracy. Of course, both video security systems are integrated into the MOBOTIX7 platform, which allows the use of the individual camera-integrated analysis software (apps). High flexible tools: new apps & updates The MOBOTIX7 platform continues to grow. The current Innovation Splash includes four new apps, some from new software partners. This creates more and more innovative solutions for individual requirements. New intelligent apps and updates to existing apps make video analysis ever more flexible, precise and powerful. By the way, all available Certified camera apps can be used free of charge for 30 days for testing at MOBOTIX. If a customer can`t serve an application with the existing app portfolio, MOBOTIX will work with them to develop the perfect application for their particular requirements. MOBOTIX move breaks up raindrops Several new models, some with integrated video analysis, were also released in the MOBOTIX MOVE camera series, an attractively priced entry-level solution for smaller systems and selective additions to more complex projects. One highlight stands out: The new, groundbreaking MOBOTIX EverClear coating uses a special nano-technology that transforms water drops into an ultra-thin water film immediately upon impact. This ensures the best image quality, even in the rain. Flexibility and cybersecurity as core values MOBOTIX7 video system can face challenges, and the installation of suitable apps, without having to install new cameras" "We see more and more confirmation of our overall strategy. Companies or authorities are always facing new challenges to protect people, machines, or areas and in the course of process optimisation. An existing MOBOTIX7 video system can flexibly cover these tasks, and the installation of suitable apps, without necessarily having to install new cameras," sums up Lausten. “This is a flexible, highly intelligent, future-proof, and sustainable solution at the same time. And last but not least, it is highly cyber-secure." This is also evidenced, among other things, by the certification of the leading institute for penetration tests in Germany from June 2021, which once again confirmed the best possible cyber security of MOBOTIX products and solutions. Pure security was once - video technology can do much more Security remains a core competence of video technology. Supported by Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence, MOBOTIX cameras can now do much more than that. They support and improve production processes in the industry. Cameras relieve personnel in healthcare. They increase service effectiveness in public institutions and improve security in schools. Retailers improve the shopping experience for their customers and increase their sales potential in the process. And last but not least, camera technology in transportation - keyword "smart city" - offers the best opportunities for safe, relaxed, and sustainable travel. "Video technology has the potential to make our lives safer and, above all, easier in the long term," concludes Thomas Lausten.

MOBOTIX 7 video platform and Mx6 series security cameras get certification from SySS GmbH for advanced cyber security
MOBOTIX 7 video platform and Mx6 series security cameras get certification from SySS GmbH for advanced cyber security

The manufacturer-independent IT solutions firm, SySS GmbH has tested and certified the security of the MOBOTIX 7 intelligent video platform and MOBOTIX Mx6 security cameras. As a result, the renowned institute for penetration tests in Germany has confirmed the best possible cyber security of MOBOTIX products and solutions. SySS GmbH testing certified During the tests, hardware and software components are subjected to simulated hacker attacks in several scenarios. These correspond to the current cyber-attacks, which have recently led to data tapping and data hijacking worldwide. The testers of SySS GmbH are familiar with the recent attack methods on IT systems and research how to prevent the intrusion into digital infrastructures. With this exclusive know-how, SySS GmbH tests IT landscapes and looks for weaknesses and security vulnerabilities. MOBOTIX 7 intelligent video platform and Mx6 cameras We only offer our customers video systems and solutions that provide the best possible protection" “The renewal of the SySS certificate for our MOBOTIX 7 platform and our Mx6 camera series confirms our continuous acting. We only offer our customers video systems and solutions that provide the best possible protection - not only for people, facilities, goods, grounds, or buildings but also for the data that our recordings collect,” emphasizes MOBOTIX’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Hartmut Sprave. With MOBOTIX, customers can be sure that they will continue to be protected against cyber threats. The MOBOTIX 7 platform and the Mx6 security camera series from MOBOTIX are among the market-renowned systems in IoT camera applications. ONVIF and H.264 compliant They are appreciated worldwide for their robustness, durability, and energy-efficient solutions. Despite the decentralised approach, the system is ONVIF and H.264 compliant. Furthermore, all MOBOTIX products and solutions are integrated into the comprehensive cyber security strategy, whose overall measures are bundled in the MOBOTIX Cactus Concept. Hartmut Sprave concludes, “From the high-end video system to our software and app offering in the comprehensive video management solutions, we are the reliable, convincing and cyber-secure solution provider in the video surveillance market, with the stringent high demand for best quality.”

MOBOTIX opens up new options with the MOBOTIX HUB open video management platform
MOBOTIX opens up new options with the MOBOTIX HUB open video management platform

With MOBOTIX HUB, MOBOTIX AG is expanding its offering in the field of video management software. From a few local cameras to thousands of devices distributed worldwide, the company from Langmeil in Rhineland-Palatinate now offers complete system solutions for almost any requirement of specific vertical markets. For example, the open video management platform MOBOTIX HUB can integrate all ONVIF-enabled MOBOTIX video systems and more than 10,000 additional cameras and devices at a wide variety of locations worldwide. In addition, the highly performant platform maps the constantly growing variety of intelligent video analysis tools and other functions. While the cameras continue to form the basis of each system, the use of supplementary event and analysis software based on deep learning and artificial intelligence opens up versatile protection, optimisation, and security functions. Workflow, business, and production processes can thus be made more efficient and secure. MOBOTIX ManagementCenter MOBOTIX HUB provides the user with a central node and control point that connects all network components. All video and security systems are easy to control, giving the user the best possible overview. MOBOTIX thus offers its customers - in addition to the MOBOTIX CLOUD and the MOBOTIX ManagementCenter - three video management solutions covering the complete range of requirements, from small applications to the largest, highly security-oriented multi-site projects. In addition, customers using only MOVE cameras can use MOBOTIX MOVE NVR as an integrated storage and management solution. With MOBOTIX HUB, we have expanded our bandwidth in such a way that we can serve any company" "We want to offer our customers and partners product solutions that are a perfect fit," emphasises MOBOTIX CTO Hartmut Sprave. "With MOBOTIX HUB, we have expanded our bandwidth in such a way that we can serve any company of our focused vertical market. All requirements for the function and performance of video security systems can now be supported with proprietary MOBOTIX video management software products." Video management platform MOBOTIX HUB is an open video management platform (VMP) for companies of all types and sizes. It integrates all elements of modern video systems - even in highly complex structures and across any number of locations. The platform combines security and analytics cameras, access control systems, security equipment, environmental sensors, software and hardware interfaces to industrial equipment, and much more in a common control and user interface - centralised, transparent, and user-friendly. Through the intelligent use of collected data, MOBOTIX HUB helps to effectively protect people and property and analyse behaviour. It also provides users with new information that can be used to optimise business processes and workflows. Video Wall MOBOTIX provides five different levels of the MOBOTIX HUB: from the free L1 system for small, local applications with up to eight cameras to the MOBOTIX HUB L5, which is suitable for extremely large, enormously security-oriented applications - with an unlimited number of cameras and devices installed at a wide variety of locations worldwide. Flexible access to the video system can be provided via the Mobile, Web, or Desk Client. The Video Wall, accessible for the two most potent levels L4 and L5, provides the user with a completely transparent overview in an all-round control centre. The video management platform can continuously connect additional video equipment and new techniques Every solution is different. Every industry and every company has its requirements. MOBOTIX HUB will grow with future hardware and software developments in the video security market. As an open system with ONVIF compatibility, the video management platform can continuously connect additional video equipment and new techniques. It can independently assign alarms and trigger any functions. MOBOTIX HUB is almost arbitrary expandable. With three product updates per year, MOBOTIX ensures that the system is always up-to-date. Cybersecurity "Video technology has evolved beyond pure security requirements. Providing data for optimisation, marketing, and integration into other systems is an absolute necessity today," says Thomas Lausten, CEO of MOBOTIX AG. "MOBOTIX HUB is an important part of this, and we will continue to support integration with other VMS partners. We are a solution provider. Our goal is to always guarantee our customers the best fitting solution, according to their current and future requirements," said Lausten. Like all MOBOTIX solutions, MOBOTIX HUB is designed to enable secure end-to-end communication to protect data and the entire network. Cybersecurity measures are constantly being developed to be dynamically armed against cyberattacks permanently. The MOBOTIX HUB VMP software offers a whole matrix of security mechanisms. Tiered administrator and user permissions enforced on the server-side, combined with the use of strict IT security procedures, make MOBOTIX HUB the first choice for security-sensitive companies and organisations.