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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Genetec showcased latest advances in IP license plate recognition, video surveillance and access control technology at ASIS 2012
Genetec showcased latest advances in IP license plate recognition, video surveillance and access control technology at ASIS 2012

At the ASIS trade show and conference, Genetec, a pioneer in the physical security industry and a leading provider of world-class unified IP security solutions, showcased the latest advances in its unified security platform, Security Center, which blends license plate recognition (LPR), video surveillance and access control into one easy-to-use platform. Show attendees had the opportunity to climb aboard Genetec's AutoVu Demonstration Vehicle to experience the state-of-the-art in mobile license plate recognition technology, while driving around the streets of Philadelphia.  The newest version of Security Center introduces a host of new features designed to further enhance security events and video monitoring, simplify the system's operation, streamline upgrades and maintenance activities, and help users easily monitor the health of their entire security platform. Also featured in Security Center is Plan Manager, an advanced map-based interface that allows users to create a virtual environment from maps, floor plans, or GIS (geographic information system) maps for all types of sites including cities, neighbourhoods, airports, campuses, industrial sites, and buildings. With Plan Manager, each video surveillance entity (cameras, sensors, doors, alarms, etc.) is represented on the map by an icon. Operators can simply click on these icons to trigger actions such as 'show a camera', 'lock a door', 'execute a macro', 'turn off an alarm', etc. Security Center also features the latest in mobile applications allowing organisations to equip their security personnel with an Apple® iPod touch®, iPhone®, iPad®, RIM BlackBerry® or Android™ Smartphones so that they can monitor and control their security operations over any wireless network, while on the move. At this year’s ASIS, Genetec will demonstrate video playback on smartphones, as well as streaming video from smartphones back to the Security Center for live viewing and recording. Security Center Mobile also features the industry's first platform-independent, universal web client for video, access control, and license plate recognition. The unified web client allows customers to connect back to their platform to view live video streams, control PTZ cameras, configure aspects of their access control and LPR systems, and run reports from most web browsers including Microsoft Internet Explorer®, Mozilla Firefox®, Google Chrome®, and Apple Safari®. Show attendees who were interested in experiencing the latest advances in mobile License Plate Recognition technology were able to sign up to drive around the streets of Philadelphia in the Genetec Demonstration Vehicle, a fully equipped Dodge Charger featuring AutoVu, Genetec's innovative LPR system. AutoVu automatically collects vehicle license plates and alerts the user of issues or infractions and offers a perfect solution for wanted vehicle identification, mobile license plate inventory, or for permit and/or time-limit parking enforcement. Inside the car, on a ruggedized laptop installed for driver use,  was the AutoVu Patroller, a highly mobile, easy to use software designed to automate the verification of vehicle license plates. On the car's body there were several AutoVu SharpX IP-based LPR cameras. Specifically designed for mobile applications, the SharpX IP on-vehicle camera is one of the smallest high-resolution LPR cameras in the world. It provides images with two to three times higher resolution than most other LPR cameras on the market and results in extremely accurate license plate read rates – even in bad weather, at poor angles, and at high speeds.  The trunk of the car housed the AutoVu LPR Processing Unit and Security Center which provided the back-office management capabilities of the system so that in-vehicle users are able to download all the latest hotlists and updates. The in-vehicle patroller application allows users to review all data collected throughout the day while the Security Center operator can monitor reads from all vehicles in the back-end. Wirelessly, or at the end of a shift, all data collected can be synchronized with the organization's central Security Center system for ongoing analysis.

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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.

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MOBOTIX announces release of ManagementCenter 1.2
MOBOTIX announces release of ManagementCenter 1.2

MOBOTIX is pleased to announce the latest major release of our new video management software. Download and experience the enhanced features of MOBOTIX ManagementCenter 1.2. New Features of MxMC 1.2 Enhanced export capabilities. MxMC allows the export of the complete video as an overview or the zoomed part of the image in different formats. This new function supports the export into different resolutions, frame rates, ­virtual PTZ views, including the transformation from 360° hemispheric (fisheye) to surround, panorama or special views independent from the export source. Histogram with MxEventStatistics. The display of events in a Histogram allows a fast graphical analysis of irregularities and related information. This is a perfect tool to get a quick overview of all events from the database, generated inside the camera without any additional PC. Playback analysis with post video motion. Automatic post video motion analysis allows high-speed search including time lapse of the complete video footage to find particular motion events. This will help to reduce playback research considerably. Smart Alarming features & scalable display area. Different events in the individual camera configuration can be defined as an alarm. This way, you can focus on the most important events, which can be defined as alarms depending on the specific application. Immediate display change between events and alarms is supported as well. User action log & system health check. If the recording path is not valid or accessible, you can analyse the correct server settings. Connection failures to cameras are directly shown for further investigation.

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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 brought innovation and partnerships to ISC West 2017
MOBOTIX brought innovation and partnerships to ISC West 2017

During ISC West 2017, MOBOTIX, the German System Manufacturer of Professional Video Management (VMS) and Smart IP Cameras presented its latest IP video security products and innovations including vertical specific solutions for IoT, retail, home automation, perimeter, transportation and industrial markets.Mike Bomas, General Manager for the Americas at MOBOTIX Corp. said, “Our innovative decentralised camerasystems and efficient video analytics within our ultra-reliable chassis are designed for a wide range of applicationsrequiring quality video along with flexible automation and integration tools to deliver a customer & applicationspecific solution.”As part of a strategic focus to open up its technology to the market, MOBOTIX demonstrated its latestinnovations and integrations with key technology alliance partners including Genetec, Accel Robotics, SierraWireless, E-Holovision and Overland.The event also featured demonstrations of MxActivitySensor 2.0, the intelligent 3D motion detection systemusing on-board analytics to reduce false alarms caused by atmospheric conditions, animals and debris.The MOBOTIX range of award winning Thermal radiometry cameras were also showcased, including dual lensconfigurations able to offer both video and thermal imagery with alerts for up to 20 different kinds of temperatureevents in a range from -40 to +550°C for both security applications and fire detection.“Our diverse portfolio combined with innovative application interfaces and system development tools enablesystem integrators to build high value solutions that seamlessly combine a wide range of technologies to meet theneeds of our customers, while preserving the integrity & security of their computer networks”, Bomas adds.

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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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MxEasy: Intuitive control software for all MOBOTIX security cameras
MxEasy: Intuitive control software for all MOBOTIX security cameras

The intuitively designed user interface of the new MOBOTIX MxEasy offers quick access to all the main camera functions. This software represents an innovative new approach to the monitoring and controlling of MOBOTIX cameras. Up to 16 cameras can be managed using the software's easy-to-understand layout and four cameras can be viewed simultaneously. All of the camera settings in MxEasy - such as image section, zoom, brightness, volume, microphone sensitivity, image storage, connections - are immediately active and instantly stored to the current camera's configuration file.The software's calendar functions are an innovative tool for managing time-based settings, for single as well as multiple cameras. For example, it is now possible for the first time not only to control the recording time according to dates and times, but also to activate/deactivate the motion sensor, brightness or the microphone in a time-controlled way. Easy-to-use video management softwareIdeally designed for the wide range of functions of the MOBOTIX camerasMonitoring of up to 16 MOBOTIX camerasSupports decentralized system concept and works with internal camera recording Simple, quick setup; user-friendly and intuitive operationTransparent layout of operating elements; compatible with touch panelsIdeally suited for small office and home security environmentsPlatform-independent format (Windows, Mac, Linux)! Absolutely free of charge! MxEasy is available for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems as a free download.

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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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CCTV software - Expert commentary

Fighting illicit trade with artificial intelligence
Fighting illicit trade with artificial intelligence

AI has opened doors to many transformation opportunities and increasingly minimised many risks  -- personal and economic -- that are alarming today. And illicit trade is one of those pains AI can offer a promising solution against. Illicit trade is a serious threat and problem that affects governments and societies on every level. While governments lose financial funds in tax revenues, thriving businesses are losing potential customers, and customers are getting tricked into purchasing counterfeit, low-quality products. Transnational organised crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion through transnational criminal organisations, complicit corrupt facilitators, and other threat areas. The list of criminal activities is long and involves such horrific crimes as trafficking of narcotics, opioids, arms, humans, fake medicines and other counterfeit and pirated goods; illegal tobacco and alcohol; illegally-harvested timber, wildlife, and fish; pillaged oil, diamonds, gold, and other natural resources and precious minerals; stolen antiquities; and other contraband or valuable items sold across streets, social media, online marketplaces, and the dark web. In short, illicit trade is a contributing cause to large-scale insecurity and instability across markets. AI-driven technologies Here is where revolutionary AI-driven technologies come in, with their capability to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. There are a few ways that AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. Transnational organised crime generates revenue of $2.2 trillion For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents -- often billions of pages of documents -- in a short period of time. Among these documents widely in circulation, most have an unstructured and inconsistent format -- from invoices to insurance documentation -- are a complex system to tackle; in this whirlwind of pages, the likelihood of non-compliant and misrepresented figures to go by unnoticed. But this is also where AI can thrive as solutions become a necessity, enhancing humans’ capabilities of identifying fraud risks in the early stages. Relying on natural language processing, the technology can begin interpreting the text from the scanned and digitised documents in order to process trade information at high speed. In this context, AI-powered solutions are capable of comparing, contrasting document information and identify anomalies worth looking into further. By automating a large portion of the process, AI-driven technology allows the staff to focus on more pressing, high-involvement issues that require human judgement while saving time on the time-consuming manual work of analysing documents by hand. Identifying covert interactions between criminals As criminal networks become increasingly intricate in their illegal operations, cutting-edge AI technology is crucial in the battle against it. In 2019, EU launched a project with the goal to deploy advanced AI technology and robots to identify smuggling across the borders of Portugal, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.  With the help of AI, it will be possible to send drones and autonomous vehicles to the most dubious border areas in order to enforce border control and detect smugglers quickly and efficiently. Illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals The issues the EU is trying to address through the project include drug and weapon smuggling, as well as human trafficking. From tight border control tracking crossings to communication monitoring to identify covert interactions between criminals on both sides of the border, the project is one among many that will expand the scope of solutions to the illicit trade problems today. AI’s contribution is significant on many levels: from predicting crime and threats to safeguarding public health and safety (in face of human trafficking, counterfeit medicines, and toxic products), these are simply inklings of major shifts that AI technology promises for the future of the battle against illicit trade. So why is fighting illicit trade so crucial? Here are a few reasons why AI’s role in fighting this global issue is crucial. In a world where customers run the risk of being deceived and tricked into buying counterfeit products, companies who provide the original products suffer through the loss of revenue and market share. The same companies are also robbed of their intellectual property and proprietary data. Furthermore, people who are employed in these companies run the risk of losing their jobs as a result of revenue and market share loss. And finally, the last straw is the loss of brand integrity and reputation to the need to compete with low-quality, sometimes even dangerous counterfeit products. Just like a domino effect, illicit trade triggers a chain reaction of negative impact across industries, governments and individuals. And it’s time for AI to step in and stop it.

Edge computing, AI and thermal imaging – the future of smart security
Edge computing, AI and thermal imaging – the future of smart security

Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. With 4K-compliant cameras projected to make up over 24% of all network cameras shipped by 2023 – there is a fast-growing desire for reliable storage on-board security cameras. The question for businesses is: do they look to break up their existing smart video network, by separating and compartmentalising cameras to handle data requirements, or do they increase its storage capabilities? As some people begin to venture out and return to work following initial COVID-19 measures, we are also seeing demand for thermal imaging technology increase. New technology like this combined with more of these always-on systems being rolled out, means organisations will need to carefully consider their smart video strategy. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data and there are some key trends you can expect to see as a result of this evolution. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. Edge computing and smart security As public cloud adoption grew, companies and organisations saw the platform as a centralised location for big data. However, recently there’s been opposition to that trend. Instead we are now seeing data processed at the edge, rather than in the cloud. There is one main reason for this change in preference: latency. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data Latency is an important consideration when trying to carry out real-time pattern recognition. It’s very difficult for cameras to process data – 4K surveillance video recorded 24/7 – if it has to go back to a centralised data centre hundreds of miles away. This data analysis needs to happen quickly in order to be timely and applicable to dynamic situations, such as public safety. By storing relevant data at the edge, AI inferencing can happen much faster. Doing so can lead to safer communities, more effective operations, and smarter infrastructure. UHD and storage AI-enabled applications and capabilities, such as pattern recognition, depend on high-definition resolutions such as 4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD). This detailed data has a major impact on storage – both the capacity and speeds at which it needs to be written, and the network. Compared to HD, 4K video has much higher storage requirements and we even have 8K on the horizon. As we know, 4K video has four times the number of pixels as HD video. In addition, 4K compliant video supports 8, 10, and 12 bits per channel that translate to 24-, 30- or 36-bit colour depth per pixel. A similar pattern holds for HD — more colour using 24 bits or less colour using 10 or 12 bits in colour depth per pixel. Altogether, there is up to a 5.7x increase in bits generated by 4K vs. 1080 pixel video. Larger video files place new demands on data infrastructure for both video production and surveillance. Which means investing in data infrastructure becomes a key consideration when looking into smart security. Always-on connectivity Whether designing solutions that have limited connectivity or ultra-fast 5G capabilities, most smart security solutions need to operate 24/7, regardless of their environment. Yet, on occasion, the underlying hardware and software systems fail. In the event of this, it is important to establish a failover process to ensure continued operation or restore data after a failure, including everything from traffic control to sensors to camera feeds and more. Consider the example of a hospital with dozens or even over a hundred cameras connected to a centralised recorder via IP. If the Ethernet goes down, no video can be captured. Such an event could pose a serious threat to the safety and security of hospital patients and staff. For this reason, microSD cards are used in cameras to enable continuous recording. Software tools – powered by AI – can then “patch” missing data streams with the content captured on the card to ensure the video stream can be viewed chronologically with no content gaps. Thermal imaging Health and safety is the number one priority for all organisations as people return to work and public spaces. Some organisations are deploying thermal imaging to help screen individuals for symptoms as they return. Organisations that operate with warehouses, depots and assembly lines will traditionally have large amounts of cameras located outside of the entrance. With thermal imaging smart video in place, these cameras can now serve a dual purpose as a screening device. The thermal imaging technology is capable of detecting elevated body temperatures, with 10-25 workers being scanned in one shot, from one camera – making it an efficient and accurate process. This way, staff can use the information to help identify people who may need further screening, testing, and/or isolation before returning to work. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices While this may not increase data storage requirements, it can change your retention policies and practices. Smart security today is about utilising AI and edge computing, to deliver an always-on, high-resolution video provision that can help keep people safe 24/7. These trends increase the demands and importance of monitoring, which means requirements of the supporting data infrastructure improve to match that, including the ability to proactively manage the infrastructure to help ensure reliable operation. Companies need to make sure they have considered all the storage and policy challenges as part of their smart security strategy for the future.  

The new marriage between AI and stadiums
The new marriage between AI and stadiums

Stadiums around the world are still paralysed from the effects of COVID-19. Fans and spectators in masses have been absent from stadiums since April and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan on how or when they’ll be able to return to near capacity. The NBA recently opted to form a bubble philosophy concept in Disney’s facilities, although it’s been a relative success, it’s also been a $200 million temporary solution. This then begs the question: How long can stadiums survive like this without spectator’s present? History tells us that stadiums, venues and sport recover from disasters, so what can stadiums do to speed up the process? This is the catalyst for AI to be integrated on mass level to stadiums around the world. AI is the answer AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back is huge, through capabilities such as: Social Distance Monitoring Crowd Scanning/Metrics Facial Recognition Fever Detection Track & Trace Providing Behavioural Analytics Technologies such as IREX.ai is now working alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. Stadiums around the world are still paralysed from the effects of COVID-19 AI surveillance software such as IREX.ai when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. Crowd metrics Arming stadiums with AI-powered surveillance tools can detect crowd metrics such as “people counting” and “group statistics”. This ensures stadium personnel can monitor social distancing with precision, accuracy and immediately. Alerts can be set up throughout parts of the stadium to alert senior staff members when overcrowding can appear with real-time videos, analytics and photos to their hand-held device, such as a smartphone. Fever detection Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures. What IREX.ai implements is an alert system, coupled with facial recognition of any individual(s) that read an elevated body temperature. This alert system then provides security and health officials with a photo of the individual with the elevated body temperature, meaning staff can react quicker to the situation prevent this individual from entry. Pandemic monitoring by facial recognition  Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures Through facial recognition, staff members will be able to locate individuals through simply uploading a photo. It has never been easier to find a person of interest. With masks becoming an everyday part of society, facial recognition has come under scrutiny regarding the accuracy when a mask is worn. Irex.ai still maintains a 96% accuracy with individuals wearing masks and can set up alerts for any individuals not wearing a mask. Another important aspect of facial recognition is finding persons of interest quickly through technology like IREX.ai’s “searchveillance”. The future is here. Designated staff can track a person from when they enter the stadium by simply uploading their photograph. An example of how this can assist stadium personnel is to help relocate lost children inside the stadium with their guardians/parents when they are separated. Another attribute would be any individuals banned from entering the stadium would trigger alerts once they appear under surveillance, a fantastic collaborative tool to use with Law Enforcement.    Return on investment With security solutions, one of the biggest issues with any security investment is a lack of an ROI. This is where AI security is breaking the mould. The ability to provide business analytics, consumer/fan behaviours, traffic patterns, etc, allows other departments within the organisation to gain vital information that can assist with their strategies and practices. Stadium security will never be the same in a post-COVID world, so why will its practices stay the same? AI & Stadiums is no longer the future, it’s the 2020 solution.

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