Dahua launches new easy4ip app Wi-Fi solution: Eyes on your home security
Dahua launches new easy4ip app Wi-Fi solution: Eyes on your home security

Dahua Technology, a world-leading manufacturer of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China, introduces home Wi-Fi solution, offering real-time monitor for home surveillance. Dahua home Wi-Fi solution allows users to monitor home or staff at work, and acts as a deterrent to thefts and other crimes. The resolution of Dahua home Wi-Fi series camera is up to 3-Megapixel and it can connect with easy4ip app for remote control and viewing. The footage saved in local storage. Users are able to communicate with family, friends or staff remotely while checking on them via the built-in bi-directional audio. Besides, the camera can send alarm notifications when it detects activity. Dahua home Wi-Fi series camera features wireless operation that saves wiring and installation time in great deal. The simple 3-step installation process enables it to detect and connect to the Wi-Fi network automatically, letting users view streamed video right away. Due to its compact design, the camera can be placed almost anywhere and provides 120 degree monitoring with more clear details. Dahua home Wi-Fi solution is ideal for home or business owners who want to stay aware of their property 24/7. It is a great tool for keeping an eye on things from afar. “Our 3-Megapixel Wi-Fi cameras with bi-directional audio ensures the owners to keep an eye of their home or business in real-time. By working together with easy4ip app, video clips can be sent to their phones or tablets when an alarm is tripped, showing them the cause of alarm and the information needed before arrival on-site.” said Peter Pan, Product Manager at Dahua. “We offer customers a perfect choice for not only smart and comprehensive security, but also added value with remote monitoring capabilities and effective management.” Recommended models: C 15/35 K15/35 A15/35 HFW1120/1320S-W HDBW1120/1320E-W SD22204T-GN-W SD29204T-GN-W Product highlights: Capture every detail with 3MP camera 7*24 real-time monitoring & playback Bi-directional audio Push alarm (motion detection & sound detection) Plug & Play with Easy4ip APP Easy to install

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Latitude NVMS version 6.3 from DVTEL
Latitude NVMS version 6.3 from DVTEL

Latitude NVMS is the platform of choice for corporations and organisations that want to manage video surveillance operations over IP networks in the most effective way. DVTEL’s award winning Latitude NVMS® is an open standards, network-based video management software platform that is designed to be both powerful and versatile. Using the latest technology advancements of an enterprise system, Latitude is part of DVTEL’s cutting-edge Video Security Solution for organisations of all sizes. Latitude replaces antiquated CCTV matrix switches, multiplexers, or DVRs to provide the power of a cutting-edge IP-based physical security solution. From a small business, single server system to a distributed system managing thousands of cameras, Latitude can efficiently support any system size or architecture. Plus, installations can span multiple sites, cities and continents. Latitude NVMS is part of DVTEL’s total Video Security Solution. DVTEL develops, designs, and provides solutions that protect critical infrastructure -- in transportation hubs, city centres, nuclear and power facilities along with buildings and campuses of corporations, educational institutions and government facilities. DVTEL’s Video Security Solutions tie together the most advanced Network Video Management Software with leading edge IP-based cameras and encoders, including built-in analytics capabilities that detect and report security threats, creating a powerful security “edge”. Features of Latitude version 6.3 include remote and central monitoring; failover and redundancy; advanced alarm management; audio handling; SceneTracker™, which stitches multiple scenes together into a panoramic image; and TruWitness™, which enables a smartphone to be used as an IP camera. Now, certain advanced features, such as ActiveDirectory, CaseBuilder and SNMP, are included free of charge, and the prices of some of the existing features have been reduced.

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Omnicast 4.7, the latest version of Genetec’s IP video surveillance system
Omnicast 4.7, the latest version of Genetec’s IP video surveillance system

Omnicast 4.7 – IP Video Surveillance System Omnicast is the IP video surveillance system of the Security Center, Genetec’s unified security platform. It is the perfect solution for organizations requiring seamless management of digital video, audio and data across any IP network. The release of the latest version Omnicast 4.7 provides an array of new features and enhancements to the system. New Features & Enhancements  Video Trickling: Video trickling leverages the recording capabilities of the edge devices (IP cameras and encoders) by providing the ability to choose and transfer the video from the edge on demand and store it in Omnicast for long-term archiving. This new feature allows for increased recording reliability, bandwidth usage optimization by only transferring video of interest at the right time, and the opportunity to lower costs of remote-site recording by going serverless. HTTPS support: HTTPS support increases security of the edge device communications by encrypting the commands and controls of the cameras. The support for HTTPS is available with all Axis cameras and encoders, fifth generation Sony cameras, and the Genetec extension when supported by the partner. Simplified unit enrolment process: It is now possible to search and enroll cameras by manufacturer name and add units to the system based on a specific IP address range so that multiple units can be added simultaneously, saving considerable time during setup. Support for Axis cameras’ Cross Line Detection feature: Customers can now monitor and handle cross line alarms within Omnicast, and search for cross line alarms directly from the Archive Player. Additional languages: In order to enhance the user experience, Arabic, Persian, Thai and Russian languages have been added to Omnicast 4.7. The user interface has also been adjusted to read from right to left in both Arabic and Persian.

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New Hikvision iVMS-5200 professional video management software
New Hikvision iVMS-5200 professional video management software

Hikvision iVMS-5200 Professional software can be easily customized to suit the complete business needs of different vertical markets. For example, iVMS-5200 Professional includes a Transact module and a Business Intelligence module in, to better meet the demands of the retail sectors and Hikvision is integrating a License Plate Recognition module for transportation and parking systems and an Access Control module for building facilities management. Many more modules are planned and will be introduced in the future. The retail sector also benefits from a fully-integrated POS system, which enables users to combine video and transaction data to assist loss prevention and provide evidence in case of customer disputes. Retailers, and supermarkets and chain stores in particular, can also take advantage of the advanced video analytics, such as face recognition, people counting and heat maps to monitor customer flow and preferences and employee performance. iVMS-5200 Professional generates a host of graphical reports to capture this valuable business intelligence and improve management efficiency. Smart iVMS-5200 Professional fully supports smart features from Hikvision products, including smart search, playback, smart detection, and smart application for people counting, heat map, interactive map and much more. It delivers a total Smart Solution and enhances management efficiency, allowing users to easily find a specific video clip or locate a suspicious target, etc. Open Besides integration with all types of leading CCTV equipment, iVMS-5200 Professional also easily interconnects with various types of security and business systems due to its open architecture design. This complete flexibility provides customers with greater operational possibilities and almost limitless adaptations. More importantly, the iVMS-5200 software allows operators to fully customize their own security system specifically tailored to meet each project’s individual needs. Besides the comprehensive benefits that Hikvision iVMS-5200 Professional brings through being Open, Smart and Complete, users can also enjoy the easy-to-use functions in which it excels. iVMS-5200 Professional video management software ensures a simple and optimised experience for partners and end users, such as supporting One Step Installation. With just a few clicks, users are able to easily install the software and avoid time-consuming tasks, such as additional staff training. With efficient modular design, iVMS-5200 Professional is also capable of resolving potential system failure quickly by automatic detection and recovery. This ability enables shorter maintenance times and protects users’ investment. “I am very excited about this release and the possibilities it gives our customers. Whether it’s a new site installation or expanding an existing system, the iVMS-5200 professional software delivers a complete end-to end solution, a more seamless integration of system components, and a superior user experience for our customers worldwide,” concludes Yao.

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Hikvision Smart IP Solution 2.0
Hikvision Smart IP Solution 2.0

This amazing and intelligent solution has enriched Smart features, and consists of many innovative, industry-leading IP products. The Smart Solution 2.0 solution is also the ideal choice for various vertical applications.  Enriched smart features Smart IP Solution 2.0 includes Smart features such as object counting, region entering, region leaving, object removing, object leaving, target cropping stream and ANPR (customisation required). Industry-leading IP products New Hikvision IP cameras have been incorporated into this solution, including the DarkFighter series, LightFighter series, 6MP Ultra HD series, 4K series, and new 3MP WDR series, with industry-leading product performance. Versatile solutions Smart IPC and Smart NVRs with Smart features are the perfect solution for small and mid-sized applications. For mid-sized to large-sized applications, iVMS-5200 Professional software further improves the system's effectiveness with Smart features and analytics. Tailored to vertical applications As an all-in-one Smart platform to manage cameras, NVRs, alarms, access control and decoders, the Smart Solution 2.0 is loaded, with Smart features and analytics such as people counting, heating mapping, LPR, and more. This makes it highly adaptable to verticals’ special requirements and can be used in retail, banking, hotel and industrial applications, among others. Enriched smart features Target cropping stream - The third stream of video can be sent to a different source for recording or display in a pre-defined resolution, thus providing more details of a targeted area if needed. Object counting - You can designate an area of interest and let the camera count objects entering or leaving, which include not only humans but also vehicles. It also offers statistical reports. Region enter / exit - This function detects people, vehicles or other objects that enter or exit from a pre-defined virtual region, triggering an alarm. Object left behind / object removed- This function detects objects left or removed from a pre-defined region, the alarm is triggered. ANPR - On-board ANPR analytics allow the ability to detect and recognise a vehicle’s license plate and send ANPR info to a Smart NVR or iVMS-5200P for access management. Supports may vary based on local LPR algorithm development and customisation process required. How does it work? Smart Search: quick retrieval of the camera’s Smart content, such as ANPR or facial recognition. Smart Playback: playback important events in normal speed, otherwise footage will play in 16x quick view. Smart Backup: only store event-based video to maximise storage. Highlighted technology 1. Smart Codec H.264+ optimised compression: An efficient way to benefit manage super high resolution video footage  Analytic + Compression: The moving target is extracted from the static background, using a different codec for each element.  Hikvision H.264+ Smart Codec: In a static night time environment, the bitrate of H.264+ can reach up to 50~60Kbps, 10~20x over standard H.264 codec, that not only saves bandwidth resources, but efficiently decreases storage requirements. 2. ANPR module - The perfect solution for your entrance management.  3. People counting module - Boosts productivity as well as security.

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Honeywell creates open technology alliance to increase interoperability with third-party video systems
Honeywell creates open technology alliance to increase interoperability with third-party video systems

Honeywell has announced the Honeywell Open Technology Alliance, a group of global security manufacturers that will collaborate to help businesses more easily secure and protect their facilities by increasing interoperability between third-party IP systems. As part of the initiative, Honeywell will work with security manufacturers to integrate their IP cameras and systems with its flagship MAXPRO® VMS video management system, as well as make its own devices more-easily compatible with other vendors' management platforms.  The Honeywell Open Technology Alliance currently includes North America and European based manufacturers such as Milestone Systems, OnSSI, Heitel and IproNet Sistemas S.A. "Because security needs are becoming more complex and unique, we're seeing more companies and organisations today using technology from multiple manufacturers to create the solutions they require," said Don Roberts, Strategic Corporate Accounts, Honeywell Security Group. "The goal of the Honeywell Open Technology Alliance is to give these companies and their integrators more choices when designing their security systems, and to make the process easier."   Currently in use at several major sites, MAXPRO VMS simplifies security by helping personnel control video subsystems dispersed across multiple facilities, and by enabling IP and analogue systems to seamlessly work together. With MAXPRO VMS, security personnel only need to learn a single programme to control the various subsystems, which can include virtual switchers, multiplexers and monitors. MAXPRO VMS - which integrates with several high-profile Honeywell systems such as its Pro-Watch® security management system and Rapid Eye™ and Fusion digital video recorders - displays data to security staff through a customisable graphical user interface. This common user interface gives operators the advantage of a similar look and feel across the disparate video components.In addition to helping manufacturers integrate their products with MAXPRO VMS, Honeywell will offer software development kits (SDKs) to enable its growing portfolio of IP cameras to integrate with other third-party video management systems (VMS). "Honeywell strongly supports open architecture, and now our open technology alliance formalises our processes and commits additional resources to developing strategic relationships that will bring IP solutions to market faster and drive value for our customers," said Scott Harkins, vice president and general manager of Honeywell's Video Systems business.

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Avigilon Control Center 4.6 network video management system provides a powerful engine for HD surveillance
Avigilon Control Center 4.6 network video management system provides a powerful engine for HD surveillance

Avigilon Control Center 4.6 The award-winning, enterprise-class NVMS platform, Avigilon Control Center was engineered from the ground up to intelligently manage HD video, delivering both situational awareness and complete image detail. Avigilon Control Center captures, transmits, manages, stores, archives, plays back, and exports HD video while efficiently handling bandwidth and storage. Avigilon Control Center's modular, open architecture allows system designers to integrate Avigilon solutions with existing assets including analogue and IP cameras, access control and other intrusion systems. New features Expanded third party IP camera support Avigilon Control Center 4.6 delivers expanded support for a wide range of third party IP cameras and analogue encoders from vendors such as ACTi Corp., Sanyo Electric Co., Mobotix, and VideoIQ, in addition to ONVIF certified cameras for the purpose of building hybrid systems and preserving existing assets. Management of surveillance video from third party cameras and analogue encoders is in the camera's native compression format, including H.264, MPEG4, or MJPEG. Expanded analytics support In addition to its current integration with SightLogix outdoor video analytics cameras, Avigilon Control Center 4.6 now also supports video analytics solutions from vendors including VideoIQ, creating an integrated situational awareness platform for real-time incident management and response. Advanced HD video management functionality Avigilon Control Center 4.6 offers enhanced HD video management features including an 'in-panel' acknowledgment of alarms from within the monitored video stream, streamlined advanced alarm management functionality, and expanded monitoring capabilities. In addition, Avigilon Control Center 4.6 can activate digital outputs from within the monitored video stream, enabling guards to open a gate or trigger a siren or alarm directly from the video. Expanded mapping interface An advanced graphic mapping interface enables operators to layout cameras and servers on an imported map for easy navigation of large surveillance systems and provides the ability to view alarm status directly on the map. A powerful rules engine enables operators to map any camera or system event to a set output action for access to surveillance images from any location, resulting in faster identification and improved response times. Enhance audit trail capabilities With new features to maintain details of user actions, Avigilon Control Center 4.6 ensures that a detailed audit trail is available for the highest level of system security possible.  See the image with captions

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MOBOTIX launches Lowlight Exposure Optimisation - MxLEO and new DoorStation hardware
MOBOTIX launches Lowlight Exposure Optimisation - MxLEO and new DoorStation hardware

MOBOTIX AG launches the new Lowlight Exposure Optimisation (MxLEO) software and new hardware for its building automation/home automation offering. The MxLEO is part of the latest MOBOTIX firmware 4.1.9 that also includes support for Hemispheric 5 Megapixel technology sensor modules. "MxLEO is the latest in MOBOTIX image enhancing technology," says Dr. Ralf Hinkel, founder and CEO of MOBOTIX AG. "The main benefits for all MOBOTIX users are that our camera solutions now offer a dramatically enhanced sharpness of images, considerably less noise in these images, extremely user-friendly light settings in the camera(s), optimised recording and alarm results using the added MxActivitySensor intelligence. All these benefits in low-light conditions are made possible through the new MOBOTIX 5 Megapixel technology". MOBOTIX is adamant that one of the most important criteria for a security camera is to offer high-quality images no matter what. "Our users do not have the luxury to choose when and how they want to use MOBOTIX camera solutions whether it is day, night, good/bad weather or whatever. Our technology is put to test everyday and in the worst conditions imaginable for a camera. The sun is shining directly at it - no problem the camera handles it through the built-in automatic exposure settings, unwanted movement in the images triggering alarms - no longer a problem as the MxActivitySensor in the camera reduces these alarms and now in extreme low light conditions - the MxLEO enhances the images to a completely new level", continues Dr. Hinkel. The Lowlight Exposure Optimisation software is included in the firmware release 4.1.9 and is as all MOBOTIX software and firmware free of charge. It can be downloaded on all 5 Megapixel MOBOTIX cameras and is included as standard from today. Apart from the MxLEO does the 4.1.9 also include support for MOBOTIX new Hemispheric sensor modules for the newly released S15 and M15 camera platforms. The firmware 4.1.9 enhances the MOBOTIX door station offering further as MOBOTIX recently launched the AudioMount for the S14/S15 camera platform. "We have customers around the world that want to build their own building automation/home automation solutions," says Dr. Hinkel. "As a customer-focused company we have seen the possibilities and advantages of using our core strength in decentralised product technology to allow the S14/S15 product platform to be the main product for our partners to build their own door station offerings around. For instance mailboxes, different steel casings, etc. are solutions that MOBOTIX does not offer but we can help our customers through sharing our technology solutions with them. The AudioMount is extremely simple to install and integrate for the users." MOBOTIX also offers a new door opener, the MxDoorMaster for their users to integrate in their own solutions. MOBOTIX also launches a new component for the T24 Door Station product platform, the BellRFID keypad. The BellRFID keypad offers the possibility of adding a simplified keypad for usage in the T24 Door Station product platform. "The BellRFID is modular doorbell concept that simplifies the usage for many users. We have also integrated the latest in RFID technology so that users can open their doors completely secure with an RFID card. Of course the BellRFID includes the standard in MOBOTIX Door Station technology including leaving and retrieving messages from the integrated mailbox and connection through the MOBOTIX App ", continues Dr. Hinkel. MOBOTIX also offers a unique service for their customers. "All MOBOTIX customers using the new BellRFID module can free of charge order their wanted and needed personalised name signs for the BellRFID module using optimised paper against UV radiation. We thought all our users were worth that", says Dr. Hinkel.

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MOBOTIX MxMC 1.1 includes full range of professional VMS functions & free one-day training
MOBOTIX MxMC 1.1 includes full range of professional VMS functions & free one-day training

MOBOTIX has released an enhanced version of the intuitive Video Management Software platform, the MxManagementCenter for Windows and Macintosh. The latest version has been optimised to provide a full range of functions required for efficient and professional video surveillance management. The new MxMC has no system limits and can handle hundreds of cameras and users, live and recordings up to terabytes per camera. The number of recording servers is unlimited. MxMC 1.1 can be downloaded free of charge and is licence free.  Playback technology MOBOTIX power playback technology of MxMC provides with direct fileserver access 60-times high-speed rewind and fast forward search capability of the recordings as well as a comfortable time lapse search, which reduces a 24-hour video footage down to nearly one minute for example.   Remote access Thanks to the integrated scaling of image size and frame rate, MxMC supports optimised remote access of live images and playback of recordings over limited bandwidth connections, and is still able to retrieve related image details in full resolution. MxMC includes a complete user rights management. All functions and views can be easily defined per individual user, even down to a simple quad view arrangement with dedicated camera views. In order to become familiar with the exciting new features of MxMC. MOBOTIX is offering a number of free-of-charge trainings worldwide.

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Mobotix updates MxControlCenter software
Mobotix updates MxControlCenter software

MOBOTIX, the world's largest manufacturer of megapixel network video surveillance systems, recently unveiled a major update to MxControlCenter, its network video management platform. Focusing on operator usability, MxControlCenter 2.5 introduces a host of new features, including: saved search profiles to make user defined common search queries a single-click operation, unlimited users and groups rights management control with full action audit log, and video motion search on recorded footage to identify critical events quickly. Playback is improved, putting common functions in user friendly locations. MxControlCenter 2.5 also improves initial system setup, allowing recording paths for multiple cameras to be configured in a single operation. "Other vendors charge tens of thousands of dollars for their video management platforms," said Steve Gorski, General Manager, Americas, MOBOTIX. "We provide this software to our customers with no per-server or per-camera licenses and no installation fees with unlimited instances, plus phone and e-mail support for the life of the system." "ControlCenter allows users to easily manage and monitor their cameras and footage on-the-fly. This new release cements ControlCenter's position as a market leader and strengthens the overall MOBOTIX offering," Gorski said. These new features build on MxControlCenter's already strong capabilities including: alarm notification and management, system and software configuration management and backup, automatic camera discovery and setup using built-in Bonjour services, and flexible grid and background layouts. MxControlCenter 2.5 integrates features for managing video walls using readily available thin client PCs & LCD screens, making command center setups simple and cost efficient. The new software has an improved export function with additional container formats. Live recording of camera streams - even different cameras - as one clip on the local archive, means that someone tracking suspicious persons in an MxCC layout across several cameras can track that group or individual and record it as one clip. "The new MxControlCenter update from MOBOTIX has made my day-to-day use of the system much easier. I've always loved this software, and the new features make it an even more powerful tool for managing our security system," said Adam Lewis, Operations Manager, Canada Bay Club.

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CCTV software - Expert commentary

Why ease of installation & flexibility matter for video surveillance
Why ease of installation & flexibility matter for video surveillance

There’s almost no installation that goes 100-percent smoothly in the field of video surveillance. Unexpected issues routinely arise that can increase time on the job, cost of the project and frustration. Manufacturers work on the product side to help ensure their products are easy to install and – when troublesome situations do arise – are flexible enough for installers to quickly find a remedy. Importance of ease of installation Ease of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labour is variable  Ease of installation is a very important part of the project to the system integrator because the cost of labour is variable and can be very expensive. In some cases, the cost of labour to install a camera can be more than the cost of the camera! If labour costs are high – or are more expensive than a system integrator planned – they can lose a great deal of money on a project. If a cautious system integrator includes too high of an estimate for labour in a project bid, his overall bid will to high and it could cost him the project. The easier the camera is to install, the lower the labour cost, subsequently achieving higher savings for end-users. Hence it is essential that camera manufacturers develop products that are easy to install or are flexible in the field for system integrators and installers who know that time is money. Enterprise projects can involve thousands of cameras installed Simplifying installation of cameras Camera installation typically involves an electrician, the camera installer and the person who configures the VMS (Video Management Software). Of course, one person can play all three roles, and in many cases, does, but enterprise projects can involve dozens, hundreds or even thousands of cameras with teams of individuals involved in an installation. The electrician runs conduit with an electrical or PoE (Power over Ethernet) connection to the housing or the backplate of the camera; the installer then installs the camera at that location, hooking it up to power; and then a configurator adds cameras to the network and makes adjustments – renaming the camera, setting the frame rate, enabling WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), and the like. When it’s a project that involves different players for any of these functions, there is the potential for a bottleneck and delay in project completion. And if a system integrator is paying an electrician, installer and software configurator – and they are all three on site waiting for each other to finish – that’s a system integrator’s worst-case scenario. Enhancement through modular cameras Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take different roles Video surveillance camera manufacturers like Hanwha Techwin are producing products that take the different roles of electrician, installer and configurator into consideration, allowing them to complete their tasks independently. With a focus on modular design which includes a USB dongle, a device manager, magnetic module and included accessories, the Wisenet X series Plus is one of the fastest cameras to install, service and upgrade – saving installers time and money. Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a detachable camera module that utilise magnets to lock into the housing for instant configuration. Electricians can run conduit with a single PoE connection to the back plate/housing while the configurator is working on configuring the camera module, allowing security professionals to later snap the camera into place in just minutes. The VMS configurator can then come and add the cameras to the network and program their functionality. Modular cameras offer flexibility  In the past, an end user might determine after the camera is installed that there aren’t enough pixels on target, or they need certain different functions like video analytics for example, resulting in the time-consuming replacement of the entire camera. With modular-designed cameras, the camera module can be swapped with a new one without having to focus or replace the camera – even to change the resolution or field of view, also Wisenet X series Plus has optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view and the position of the camera lens. Making camera adjustments in the field is also now easier and perhaps even safer. Installers have been known to climb a ladder and juggle a bulky laptop to access the network to be able to see video of how the camera is positioned. Or they’ve had to use analogue video output to view the video feed on a separate monitor which provides the field of view, but not megapixel quality. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera Wisenet X series Plus cameras have a USB port that allows installers to connect it to a small dongle that converts the camera to a Wi-Fi device. Using a smartphone, the installer can wirelessly see full and not cropped quality video directly from the camera. It’s a much easier way to evaluate video while at the camera. Eliminating the second person looking at live view on a computer guiding through a cellphone to the installer to accurately point the camera to the proper position. If system integrators can do some of the legwork prior to even getting on site, it can reduce cost and improve efficiency. Imagine having 300 cameras ready to send to a project site. To configure those cameras, a system integrator has to take each camera out of the box, plug each into a switch, configure it, take it off of the switch and put it back in the box. To improve this process, camera manufacturers have now developed packaging that provides access to the camera port without even having to remove it from the box. It’s an innovative solution that saves time. Modular cameras have optional PTRZ modules that can be remotely adjusted to the field of view Software programs help in enhancing installation Whether it’s a one-man show or a team of electricians, installers and configurators, software programs can greatly enhance the installation process. Device managers are important tools in adding multiple cameras to a project. Using that 300-camera project, for example, it’s easier when a manufacturer has a device manager that allows the mass programming and configuration of cameras. Adding 300 cameras one by one is time consuming and leaves room for error when making so many multiple entries. A device manager should be able to scan the network and locate its devices, allowing them to be grouped, configured and much more. Every video surveillance camera project is going to have its ups and downs. But camera manufacturers can do their part in the production process to address the many issues known to slow down progress. It’s impressive that many are taking the lead in producing innovations like modular camera design, flexibility in the field and accessible packaging that can truly reduce installation cost and improve efficiency.

7 steps to make VMS system design and installation easier
7 steps to make VMS system design and installation easier

For those of you old enough to remember, video matrix switchers were once the heyday of surveillance camera control. These cumbersome antiques were at the heart of every major video surveillance system (CCTV at the time) in premier gaming properties, government installations and corporate industrial complexes. They required more physical labour to construct and configure than perhaps the pyramids – maybe not – but you get the picture. And then digital video made its way in to the market and everything changed, transforming the physical demands for camera control and management from a hardware-centric to a software driven process. We’ve come a long way in a few short years, and the borders that once defined IT and security continue to diminish, if not disappear completely There’s no doubt that this migration also presented significant challenges as many security professionals often struggled with all things IT and software programming being one of the industry’s soft spots. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way in a few short years, and the borders that once defined IT and security continue to diminish, if not disappear completely. However, the complexities of today’s VMS functionality can be intimidating for anyone tasked with installing one of these systems given all of the user-defined options available from the simplest camera sequencing and bandwidth allocations to mobile management and enterprise level integration. This is where truly advanced VMS solutions need to shine on both the operations and the design/build sides of the equation. Smart VMS design There are more solutions products labelled “VMS solutions” out there than ever before. The issue is the fact that many of these “solutions” really don’t fall into the category of a true VMS by today’s standards but offer basic camera and NVR control. No doubt that there is a place for such software programs in the market. However, VMS solutions from the likes of OnSSI and other industry-leading companies offer distinct and superior management and control capabilities for demanding security and business intelligence applications. Perhaps of equal importance, these top-tier VMS solutions incorporate provisions for installers, so they have a clear and easier implementation path. OnSSI offers VMS solutions with smart camera drivers Here are seven attributes that can assist with the design and implementation of an advanced VMS solution: 1) Open architecture platform We need the ability to easily integrate with other systems and scale for future developments and physical system growth The ability to easily integrate with other systems and scale for future developments and physical system growth is largely dependent on a systems platform architecture. Here’s where VMS solutions with open architecture provide a distinct advantage. Open-architecture solutions expand functionality by facilitating greater integration between multiple systems and components. This not only makes VMS solutions with open architecture easier to implement, it makes them extremely cost-efficient by eliminating the need for proprietary solutions. Open architecture systems also provide adherence to industry standards such as ONVIF and PSIA, as well as compression formats such as H.265 and MJPEG, and help ensure system integration and support of an extensive range of manufacturers’ cameras and off-the-shelf hardware. Be wary of VMS solutions with limited camera manufacturer support. 2) Simple licensing processes and pricing Camera licenses and pricing is always a touchy subject, as any misunderstanding of a specific VMS solutions’ licensing terms can prove to be costly after the fact. And it often seems that some VMS suppliers have gone to great lengths to complicate the process as to obscure actual Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Perhaps the most direct, simple and straightforward camera licensing and pricing method is to have one license per IP address used by each camera/encoder on multi-channel devices. These should be perpetual licenses with no required annual fees or subscriptions. Additionally, the licensing agreement should be all inclusive without added fees for multiple clients, failover servers, active directory support, I/O devices, redundant management servers, technical support or security patches and updates. 3) Mixing and matching camera license types The ability to mix and match different camera license types within the same system helps facilitate a seamless and simple migration of new and pre-existing systems with minimal downtime or interruption in operation. The ability to mix and match camera licenses not only saves valuable design and installation time, it can provide considerable savings when integrating large, multi-tenant systems. Mix and match capabilities also allow system designers to apply specific feature sets to specific groups of cameras to best leverage functionality and budgets, as well as providing the flexibility to implement an on-site, virtual, or cloud-based VMS solution, without any additional cost. 4) Auto camera detection and configuration Another VMS set-up feature that eases the install process is the ability to forego device registrations or MAC address requirements Another VMS set-up feature that eases the install process is the ability to forego device registrations or MAC address requirements. This functionality allows installers to instantly locate cameras on the network and configure them centrally so they can easily replace older cameras while seamlessly retaining video recorded from them. The auto detection capability should also include the ability to detect and import CSV files, which can then be stored and used to configure camera templates for future camera installation profiles. 5) Smart camera driver technology VMS solutions with smart camera drivers offer valuable assistance during system implementation, and any time new cameras are added to the network or replace older models. Manufacturer-specific smart camera drivers expand the range of model-specific static drivers. Instead of storing the device’s information (codecs, resolutions, frame rates, etc.) statically, a VMS with smart camera drivers queries devices for their capabilities using the manufacturers’ proprietary protocol. All that is required for configuration is that the camera is available on the network. Smart camera drivers eliminate the need to wait for model-specific drivers or installation of driver packs, allowing for newly released cameras to be used immediately. Network security is an area where leading VMS suppliers like OnSSI have ramped up development efforts to stay ahead of hackers  6) Importance of network security Network Security is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by industry professionals today Network security is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by industry professionals today. This is an area where leading VMS suppliers like OnSSI have ramped up development efforts to stay ahead of hackers. New security developments to look for include TLS 1.2 encryption protocols for camera-to-server communications (SSL 3.0 supported for older cameras), as well as server-to-server communications. Additional safeguards to consider include: randomised video databases with no camera identification information to secure recorded data; support for Active Directory authentication; AES encryption between servers and clients; and AES encrypted exporting. 7) Automatic updates Regardless of the supplier you select for your VMS solution, they should be consistently providing new updates and security patches on a frequent if not regular basis. Keeping up with these updates can be a burden and are often overlooked leading to system failures and breeches. Advanced VMS solutions now feature automatic update service checks on a system-wide basis, eliminating the need to manually update individual servers and devices. This ensures that your VMS system always has the latest drivers, fixes and updates which assures overall security while reducing TCO. So next time you’re getting a demo of the latest and greatest VMS solution, remember to ask what it offers in terms of design and implementation tools. Half the battle with new technologies is getting them installed and working properly. Without the right tools to accomplish these critical first steps, all the functionality in the world will do you little good.

Can we prevent active shooters through AI technology?
Can we prevent active shooters through AI technology?

According to the reports of not-for-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, the year 2018 has seen 323 mass shooting incidents as of November 28 in the United States. This number is 346 for the year 2017 and 382 for 2016 (more statistics are available here), with “mass shooting” defined as cases where four or more people are shot or killed in the same time period and location. While definitions of mass shooting vary with organisations in the US, the count of over 300 incidents per year, or about once per day on average, is simply alarming. It raises public safety concerns, ignites debates and protests, which in turn lead to public unrest and potentially more violence, and increases costs for governments from the regional to federal level. Most importantly, the loss of lives demands not only improvement in post-incident handling and investigation, but also new prevention technologies. Gunshot detection solutions AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting There are several gunshot detection solutions in the security market, commonly used by law enforcement agencies to detect and locate gun fires. These systems function based on acoustic recordings and analyses and often in combination with signals detected by sensors of the optical flash and shockwave when a gun is fired. However, gunshot detection by nature dictates that the law enforcement can only react to a shooting incident that has occurred. With fast action, law enforcement can prevent the incident from escalating, but lives that are lost cannot be recovered. With the development of artificial intelligence in object recognition, AI weapon detection offers a more efficient alternative to prevent active shooting: AI can visually detect guns based on their shapes before they are fired. The AI is trained to recognise firearms in different shapes, sizes, colours, and at different angles in videos, so that the AI weapon detector can be deployed with existing cameras systems, analyse the video feeds, and instantly notify security staff when a gun is spotted. Comparison of the advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies Legacy gunshot detection using sensors AI weapon detection Reactive measure: detect after guns have been fired Proactive measure: detect before guns are fired Time to action: within 1 second Time to action: within 1 second Unable to provide visual data about shooter(s) Can provide data about shooter(s) based on the camera recording: clothing, luggage (backpack, handbag, etc.), facial features, vehicle Unable to track the location of the shooter(s) before and after shooting because of the lack of sound Can track the shooter(s) using AI Person & Vehicle Tracking, AI Face Recognition, and AI License Plate Recognition False detection caused by similar sound such as fireworks and cars backfiring Minimal to no false detection, as AI can distinguish different types of handguns and rifles from normal objects (umbrella, cellphone, etc.) Require physical deployment of gunshot detection sensors Can be used with existing camera systems, do not require special hardware Complicated to deploy, require highly trained professional Easy to deploy as an add-on to existing video surveillance system - Can integrate with gun-shot detection to create a “double knock” audio and video active shooter alert system Gun-shot detection advantages In addition to advantages for law enforcement and public security agencies, this type of visual-based pre-incident detector has three-fold advantages for the public: Save lives by spotting the shooter before the shooting event. Minimise the chaos entailing an incident: panic and chaos caused by a shooting incident often adds to injury, as people run, fall, trample on others… With an AI weapon detector, when a gun is spotted, the system sends an alert to security staff, who can quickly control the situation in an organised manner and apprehend the intending shooter. Can be added as a SaaS (Security as a Service) component to small business and home surveillance systems, e.g., intrusion detection alerts (home invasion incidents with firearms number over 2500 per year nationwide). For a complete active shooter detection system, video-based AI detector can operate in conjunction with gunshot detectors for enhanced security. Traditional X-ray based weapon detection or metal detection entrance systems are complicated and expensive; with AI video technology, active shooter detection system can be cost-effective, and after all, what price tag can one put on a life? Written by Paul Sun and Mai Truong, IronYun