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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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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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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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

Steps to develop an integrated retail security strategy
Steps to develop an integrated retail security strategy

There are many aspects to consider when developing a retail security strategy, including loss prevention, physical security, asset protection, risk management, and IT. All these areas could be the responsibility of just a few people working to secure a handful of stores or each of these areas could be entirely separate departments, as is often the case for major retailers with locations throughout the country. Regardless of the size of the retailer, there are many different technologies that can be used within a retail store to improve security and loss prevention, yet none should be used in a silo. There are tremendous benefits to integrating security technologies and communications systems together, including enhancing overall safety and security, reducing shrink, and improving operations. There are many different technologies that can be used within a retail store to improve security and loss prevention As the existing security infrastructure is evaluated and plans for the future are developed, the team responsible should consider some of the following questions. Are there areas of the store that require greater security? Are there notifications or other technologies that could improve the efficiency of personnel and the safety of shoppers? Are there other departments within the organisation that could benefit from the data gathered by the security technology? Understanding current pain points within the stores and how integrated security solutions can address these is the key to implementing the best solution. Here are a few “hot spots” within a typical retail store that easily demonstrate the power of integrated solutions. Point of sale terminals Whether it’s loss through sweet hearting or other fraud, point of sale terminals present a significant shrink risk for retailers. Integrated systems enhance security at these locations. Video recording of HD or megapixel cameras integrated with point of sale data makes it easy to locate video associated with transactions and exception reporting. This allows for visual verification of each transaction when needed.There are tremendous benefits to integrating security technologies and communications systems together Other risks like robbery not only result in loss, but also impact the safety of employees and shoppers alike. Panic buttons or bill trap sensors connected to the intrusion detection system ensure silent alarms are issued when employees are at risk. When the intrusion detection system is integrated with the video system, pressing a panic button or pulling the bill from the sensor can automatically trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the monitoring station to provide verification of the alarm and more information for law enforcement when they are dispatched. Adding audio integration to the intrusion system can also result in a message sent to the store security personnel’s two-way radio when a panic button is pushed, or a bill trap sensor is activated. If no security guard is onsite, video monitoring services can allow the monitoring centre to intervene through audio, alerting the perpetrator that his or her actions are being monitored and that the authorities have been contacted. This may cause the offender to flee the area, helping to mitigate the safety risk as well as the potential for loss. Panic buttons or bill trap sensors connected to the intrusion detection system ensure silent alarms are issued when employees are at risk High value displays Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items such as electronics, using video analytics integrated with audio communication Protect high-value or frequently-stolen items such as electronics, using video analytics integrated with audio communications. For example, a person standing at a display for longer than a pre-defined time or touching items on display can trigger a video snapshot to be sent to the store manager and an audio message to play through a nearby loudspeaker, such as: “Thank you for your interest in our smartphone selection; an associate will be there soon to assist you.” This not only alerts potential offenders that their actions are being watched, it also serves to improve customer service for legitimate shoppers – as a retail floor associate is notified that a customer may need assistance. Cash office An access control reader at the door to the cash office restricts access to only authorised individuals. Integrating video can automatically capture an image of the person requesting access for verifying an employee’s identification prior to granting access or for retrospective analysis in the event of a theft. Exit doors If an employee props open a back door – either for easy re-entry after a break or to allow access to another person with intentions of theft – integration of the intrusion detection system to the video and audio system can significantly reduce risk of loss. For example, the intrusion detection system can monitor doors for abnormal conditions, even when the system is disarmed.Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door is accidentally left open A door left open for longer than a pre-defined time can cause an alarm on the intrusion panel, which can trigger a nearby camera to send a snapshot of the open door to the store manager and trigger the public address system to play a pre-recorded message through a nearby speaker. This prompts the employee to close the door, reducing risk of theft. Coolers and freezers Loss isn’t just about theft. Loss can also occur when a cooler or freezer malfunctions or when the door of one of these units is accidentally left open. The same concept for monitoring exit doors can also apply to doors for coolers and freezers to prevent spoilage. A cooler or freezer door monitored by the intrusion detection system can trigger an alert or chime to play in the area to remind an employee to close the door or to alert the store manager to the issue. While providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera's video analytics can be used to trigger an alert in case the queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold Serving a dual purpose Retailers can use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store While the technology solutions described above positively impact loss prevention in a retail store, they can also extend beyond security to improve health and safety and enhance customer service as well as customer engagement and sales. For example, while securing a store’s main entrance with IP cameras featuring on-board video analytics, retailers can use the metadata from the cameras to gather business statistics like counts of people entering the store. This data can help them understand peak days and times when making decisions about staffing. Or while providing surveillance of the cash register area, the camera's video analytics can also be used to trigger an alert in case the number of people in a queue exceeds the pre-defined threshold. At this point, the same public address system and loudspeakers used to play background music to enhance the shopping experience could be activated to broadcast a message to request another cash register to be opened, improving store operations. For security and loss prevention purposes, video analytics can also be used to ensure that no one enters or leaves the retail shop using the emergency exit. To address health and safety issues, these same cameras can also trigger an alarm if that emergency exit is blocked by an object – improving the safety of customers and employees. When systems are used to deliver data for purposes beyond security, other departments may be willing to contribute toward the cost Metadata generated by the cameras can also be used to gather information that when processed with sophisticated algorithms in the cloud can show trajectories of the paths that shoppers take as they travel throughout a store as well as heat maps indicating where they walk, stop and dwell – all while protecting the privacy of individual shoppers. This information can be used by merchandisers to evaluate the success of displays and store layouts, which directly impacts customer engagement and sales. When systems are used for and deliver data for purposes beyond security, other departments may be willing to contribute toward the cost of the system. This provides an added benefit by relieving some of the cost burden from security or other operational budgets. Product selection Integration is becoming easier using standards and expanding industry partnerships. However, in some cases, choosing systems from a single vendor that are designed to work together can help to speed and simplify installation, while also reducing system costs for both the integrator and the user. Regardless of the products chosen, it will be important for a retailer with many locations to have consistency in the type of equipment installed at each site. This makes support easier and enables a more uniform response to incidents that happen at various stores. As many retailers already understand, there is no silver bullet to reducing loss. However, a combination of the right technologies working together to prevent shrink and improve investigative capabilities can result in smarter and more effective loss prevention.

The evolution of facial recognition: from body-cams to video surveillance
The evolution of facial recognition: from body-cams to video surveillance

Facial recognition has a long history dating back to the 1800s. To track down criminals, such as infamous bandits Jesse Woodson James and Billy the Kid, law enforcement would place “Wanted Alive or Dead” posters advertising bounties and soliciting public cooperation to help locate and even apprehend the alleged criminals. In addition to the bounty, these posters would include a photo and brief description of the crime, which would then be circulated to law enforcement agencies around the country and displayed in every US Post Office to speed up apprehension. Facial recognition Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology have led to the widespread use of computerised facial recognition Today, technology such as social media, television and other more specialised communication networks play a more influential role in the recognition process. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology, including the development of Machine Learning capabilities, have led to increased accuracy, accessibility and the widespread use of computerised facial recognition. The significance of this means that facial recognition can occur on an even larger scale and in more challenging environments. This article will explore key milestones and technological advances that have resulted in the modern incarnation of facial recognition, before discussing the capabilities of cutting-edge “one-to-many” technology which is increasingly being used by counter-terror defence, police and security forces around the world. Technology inception and developments The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour, which was considered very impressive at the time The 1960s marked the start of computerised facial recognition, when Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe developed a way to classify faces using gridlines. Bledsoe’s facial recognition still required a large amount of human involvement because a person had to extract the co-ordinates of the face’s features from a photograph and enter this information into a computer. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour (each face took approximately 90 seconds to be matched) which was considered very impressive at the time. By the end of the 1960s, facial recognition had seen further development at the Stanford Research Institute where the technology proved to outperform humans in terms of accuracy of recognition (humans are notoriously bad at recognising people they don’t know). By the end of the century, the leading player in the field was a solution that came out of the University of Bochum in Germany – and the accuracy of this technology was such that it was even sold on to bank and airport customers. From this stage on, the facial recognition market began to blossom, with error rates of automatic facial recognition systems decreasing by a factor of 272 from 1993 to 2010 according to US Government-sponsored evaluations. The aim for facial technology is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware Modern usage of facial recognition Fast-forward to the modern day and facial recognition has become a familiar technology when using applications such as the iPhone X’s Face ID capability or MasterCard Identity Check, passport e-gates at airports and other security and access control points. These solutions implement a consensual form of identity verification, as the user has a vested interest in being identified. This is a “one-to-one” facial recognition event, one person in front of the camera being compared to one identity either on a passport or the app. In these scenarios, the hardware is specifically developed for the application at hand, therefore technically much easier to accomplish. Facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments The safety and security world brings a much more complex problem to solve – how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve. It’s even more challenging when the aim is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware. And unlike in the 1960’s where identifying a face every 90 seconds was acceptable; the safety and security market requires near instant feedback on who a person matched against a watchlist is. Security and safety applications The idea behind all facial recognition technologies is broadly the same: you start with an image of a person’s face (ideally a high quality one, although machine learning means that to a point we can now even use video without reducing accuracy). A fully front facing image is best, think a passport photo, but machine learning and new software has made this more flexible. An algorithm converts this image into a numeric template, which cannot be converted back to an image and so represents a secure one way system. Every numeric template is different, even if it started out as an image of the same person, although templates from the same person are more similar than templates from different people. The accuracy of facial recognition continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments What happens next sounds simple although the technology is extremely complex: templates of people’s faces are taken in real time and compared to those in the database. The technology identifies individuals by matching the numeric template of their face with all the templates saved in a database in a matter of seconds or milliseconds. To put this into perspective, imagine you are at the turnstiles of a busy train station looking for a person on the run. Today’s facial recognition technology would be able to identify that person should they pass in view of a CCTV camera, as well as notify the police of any additional persons of interest, whether they are a known terrorist or missing vulnerable person on an entirely separate watch list. Because of technical progression, facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments, from identifying barred hooligans attempting entry at a football stadium or helping self-excluded gamblers at casino to overcome addiction. Real-time assessments The latest evolution of facial recognition pits the technology against an even more challenging application – directly matching individuals from body worn cameras for real time recognition for police officers on the beat. This capability equips first responders with the ability to detect a person from a photo and verify their identity with assurance. The broader implication for this means that every interaction, such as stop and search or arrest, can be supported by real-time facial recognition which will see cases of mistaken identity driven down on the streets. First responders can now for the first time be deployed and furnished with the ability to identify wider groups of people of interest with a degree of accuracy that previously relied only on the fallible human memory. As the accuracy of the technology continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments, its ability to support government initiatives and law enforcement means the debate about the lawful and appropriate use of facial recognition must be addressed. Facial recognition should not be everywhere looking for everyone, but when used properly it has the potential to improve public safety and we should make the most of its potential.

Six reasons security integrators should adopt cloud technology today
Six reasons security integrators should adopt cloud technology today

As technology advances, the world is becoming increasingly connected, changing the way users think about and interact with security systems, which continue to evolve across all verticals and applications. With this change comes new opportunity for security integrators; security systems are advancing, creating new needs for products and services — some of which can be met through the adoption of cloud-based service systems. Cloud technology is no longer a dreamt-up version of the future of security — it’s here. If you’re hesitant to make the move to the cloud, consider these six reasons to embrace this new technology now.Cloud technology has created an opportunity for integrators to offer managed services to their customers Increased RMR Cloud technology has created an opportunity for integrators to offer managed services to their customers, producing a new business model that generates more stable and predictable income streams. By offering managed services on a subscription basis, integrators can build a part of their business to provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR), allowing them to scale faster. This business model is especially beneficial for customers who prefer to pay a fixed monthly or yearly rate for services rather than a large upfront fee, which can help attract new business while growing revenue from current customers. Stickier customers Providing managed services fosters a more involved relationship between integrators and their customers, which can help boost customer retention. This is primarily the result of three factors. Firstly, customers who buy managed services are committed for a specified term, which helps develop an ongoing business relationship between them and the integrator. Secondly, providing managed services creates an opportunity for more customer contact — each interaction is an opportunity to build rapport and monitor customer satisfaction.While the functionalities of each system vary, their potential is evident in the cloud-based services available Third, customers who purchase managed services generally tend to do business longer than customers who purchase products or services individually; with the monthly purchase of their services on autopilot, customers get into the habit of receiving these services, which helps reduce the chance that they’ll cancel their subscription while also building customer loyalty. High gross profit margins Cloud managed services create an opportunity for a service and technology to be purchased together, helping to generate a higher gross profit margin from the beginning of the customer relationship. On an ongoing basis, cloud service platforms offer a new level of accessibility to integrators, helping to provide better insight on activity trends to identify opportunities to continuously grow their revenue through subscription-based streams. Easier to provide managed services Traditionally, serving more sites required integrators to hire more technicians to meet the needs of their growing customer base, but the cloud has helped overcome this demand. While the functionalities of each system vary, their potential is evident in the cloud-based service platforms that are available today. When a problem occurs on a site that is managed by a cloud-based system, the integrator can receive a real-time notification regarding the issue The Avigilon Blue™ platform, for example, is a powerful new cloud service platform that helps integrators address the needs of their customer sites using fewer resources by offering the ability to administer system upgrades, fixes, health checks, and camera or system settings adjustments remotely.  The Avigilon Blue platform automatically sends, and stores video analytics highlights in the cloud, which can easily be accessed from any PC browser or mobile device. This data can be used to efficiently manage customer sites and maintain the health of those sites, helping to increase speed of service and expand the capacity to have more sites up and running. Cloud service platforms have the potential to revolutionise the security industry by providing new opportunities for integrators Not only does this help integrators scale their business faster, it creates an opportunity to provide added value to the customer at a lower cost as new upgrades and services come out. Proactively fix problems before they occur In addition to automating notifications and tedious maintenance tasks, cloud service platforms help provide integrators with the information and abilities they need to keep their customer sites running smoothly. When a problem occurs on a site that is managed by a cloud-based system, the integrator can receive a real-time notification regarding the issue — possibly before the customer even notices a disruption in service. They can then identify the problem and determine whether it can be resolved remotely or requires a technician to be deployed. By having the capacity to pinpoint service needs and make certain adjustments via the cloud, integrators can streamline their customer service processes and lower their response times to provide better, more efficient service. Increased valuation of business Companies that utilise cloud technologies are experiencing as much as 53 percent higher revenue growth rates The ability of cloud service platforms to help integrators manage more sites remotely and expand their revenue through subscription-based streams offers a competitive business advantage. Security innovators have harnessed the power of the cloud to enhance integrator efficiency so that they can spare their attention, resources and effort for where it’s needed most. As a service that helps offer scalability and a high gross profit margin while requiring fewer resources to maintain customer sites, cloud service platforms have the potential to revolutionise the security industry by providing new opportunities for integrators that may ultimately increase their business valuation. According to a study by Dell, companies that utilise cloud, mobility, and security technologies are experiencing as much as 53 percent higher revenue growth rates compared to those who do not such technologies. Integrators who adopt cloud service platforms can benefit from numerous advantages — cost-saving maintenance capabilities, the potential to generate new monthly recurring revenue, and user-friendly design and data security — which make them a significant development within the industry as well as a potential lucrative new business model. The dream of cloud technology is no longer a distant idea of the future, it can become a present reality — and integrators who harness its power can reap its business benefits now.