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

How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages
How smart technology is simplifying safety and security in retirement villages

James Twigg is the Managing Director of Total Integrated Solutions (TIS), an independent life safety, security and communication systems integrator, specialising in design & consultancy, technology and regulatory compliance. Total Integrated Solutions work primarily with retirement villages, helping to ensure the safety of residents in numerous retirement villages across the country. In this opinion piece, James shares how smart technology is helping security teams and care staff alike in ensuring the safety and security of their spaces, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Impact of smart technology Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives Smart technology is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. From how we travel, to how we work, to how we run our homes. It’s not unusual to have Alexa waking us up and ordering our groceries or Nest to be regulating the temperature and energy in our homes. And while there’s a popular misconception that people in their later years are allergic to technology, retirement villages and care homes are experiencing significant innovation too. And the result is not only improved quality of life for residents, but also improved safety and security systems for management teams. Switching to converged IP systems I’ve been working in the life safety and security industry for over fifteen years. When I first joined TIS, much of the sector was still very analogue, in terms of the technology being installed and maintained. Slowly but surely, we’ve been consulting and advising customers on how to design, install and maintain converged IP systems that all talk to each other and work in tandem. I'm excited to say retirement villages are some of the top spaces leading the way, in terms of technological advancement. Improving the quality of life for residents A move into a retirement village can be daunting and one of the key concerns that we hear about is the loss of independence. No one wants to feel like they are being monitored or to have someone constantly hovering over them. One of the ways we’ve used smart technology to maintain residents' independence is through devices, such as health monitors and motion sensors. For example, instead of having a member of staff check-in on residents every morning, to ensure they are well, sensors and analytics can automatically detect changes in routine and alert staff to possible problems. Similarly, wearable tech, such as smart watches give residents a chance to let staff know they are okay, without having to tell them face-to-face. As our retirement village customers have told us, a simple ‘I’m okay’ command can be the difference between someone feeling independent versus someone feeling monitored. Simplifying and improving security systems Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents For the teams responsible for the safety of the people, places and spaces within retirement villages, smart technology is helping to improve and simplify their jobs. Smart technology gives care staff and security oversight of the needs of residents, and ensures rapid response if notified by an emergency alert, ensuring they know the exact location of the resident in need. And without the need to go and physically check-in on every resident, staff and management can ensure staff time is being used effectively. Resources can be distributed where they are needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who need extra consideration. 24/7 surveillance When planning the safety and security for retirement villages, and other residential spaces, it’s no use having traditional systems that only work effectively for 12 hours a day or need to update during the evening. Surveillance needs to be 24/7 and smart technology allows that without the physical intrusion into people’s spaces and daily lives. Smart technology ensures that systems speak to each other and are easily and effectively managed on one integrated system. This includes video surveillance, which has also become much more effective as a result of advanced video analytics, which automatically warn staff of suspicious behaviour. Securing spaces amid COVID-19 This year has, of course, brought new challenges for safety. COVID-19 hit the retirement and residential care sectors hard, first with the initial wave of infections in mid-2020 and then, with the subsequent loneliness caused by the necessary separation of families. As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed As essential workers, we worked closely with our customers to make sure they had everything they needed during this time, equipping residents with tablet devices to ensure they could stay connected with their families and friends. It allowed residents to keep in touch without risking transferring the virus. Thermal cameras and mask detection And now that we’re emerging out of COVID-19 restrictions and most residents can see their families again, we’re installing systems like thermal cameras and mask detection, so as to ensure that security will be alerted to anyone in the space experiencing a high temperature or not wearing proper PPE. Such steps give staff and families alike, the peace-of-mind that operational teams will be alerted at the earliest possible moment, should a COVID-19 risk appear. Thinking ahead to the next fifteen years, I’m excited at the prospect of further technological advancements in this space. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how complex your security system is or how you compete in the industry. It’s about helping teams to protect the people, spaces and places that matter. I see smart technology playing a huge role in that for years to come.

The post-pandemic mandate for entertainment venues: Digitally transform security guards
The post-pandemic mandate for entertainment venues: Digitally transform security guards

As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behaviour. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behaviour, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organised campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behaviour Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behaviour, particularly when they are the targets of that behaviour. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labour, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditised business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labour-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practice since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.

Impact of challenges in the component supply chain on security manufacturers
Impact of challenges in the component supply chain on security manufacturers

Prices and delivery times for essential components in CCTV systems are being driven up as demand soars from other industries. Secure Logiq’s Robin Hughes explains the current state of the market. Challenges Component shortages and supply chain challenges are a hot topic in just about every industry based on semi-conductors and silicon chips right now, and security is no exception. It’s common knowledge that the global Covid lockdown caused a shutdown in the mining of silicon and spherites as large industries such as motor manufacturing cancelled or postponed their chip orders – this has caused a supply gap that every industry is feeling. However, there is a second challenge that is hitting the security sector particularly hard, and it may not be one you are expecting – cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies and security When people discuss cryptocurrencies and security, thoughts often turn to cybersecurity and ransomware payment tracking. But the issue for the majority of the security industry comes from crypto mining. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) are a key component in CCTV, they decode images and display them onto screens. With the increase of video analytics, these have also become key to running the complicated algorithms required for creating the metadata and presenting it in a meaningful way for end-users. However, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, GPUs are intrinsic for ‘proof of work’ mining. Demand for GPUs When Bitcoin prices were relatively low, it was hard to justify the cost of a GPU and the associated power consumption for Bitcoin mining applications. But as the price of Bitcoin has increased exponentially, demand for GPUs to do the number-crunching has grown dramatically causing a major shortage and huge price hikes. This rise in prices is not correlated with an increase in technological performance on the new GPUs, it is entirely a case of demand outstripping supply and a resulting bidding war. To put this in context, cards are currently going new for around twice the original price and manufacturers simply cannot keep up with the demand. Chia On top of this, there is a new cryptocurrency creating a new threat to a different part of the CCTV industry. A new ‘environmental’ cryptocurrency called Chia has dispensed with the processing power and electricity demands of traditional GPU mining, instead of utilising the spare storage space on hard drives (HDD) to verify blockchain transactions (‘proof of space’). The demand for this particular cryptocurrency has to date called on 30 Exabytes of storage since May this year – that’s 30 Billion Gigabytes of data, and it’s not just HDDs, high-capacity SSDs are also in demand. This is causing massive hard drive supply issues globally, thus rocketing prices for those that are available. HDD consumption The security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days to 6 months Of course, this has a particularly large knock-on for the CCTV market. There is nothing more data-intensive than video, other than multiple streams of HD video. With this in mind, the security industry sits comfortably in the ‘Big data’ category and with storage retention times running from 30 days typically up to 6 months and longer in some regions/applications, the CCTV market consumes more HDDs than many other markets. Growth of data centres While you would think that this would make security an important area for HDD manufacturers, our market is a relatively small player. IT vendors will always focus on their core customers, and the rise of the gaming market, as well as the growth of data centres due to remote working in the pandemic, has created a more important sector to serve – and these customers will always come first. Imagine the daily storage space required if 5 Billion people uploaded just one image a day to ‘the cloud’! Component manufacturers These factors combined with the lack of raw materials leading to longer lead times for component manufacturers mean that the prices for hard drives and GPUs are likely to remain inflated well into 2022 while factories play catch up on the backlog. The market for IT hardware is currently strong enough to continue even with the increase in component prices and the extended lead times for products. If you can get your hands on any HDDs, the delivery times from most distributors are around 6-8 weeks. Increased delivery times All of this has had a serious impact on the security industry. CCTV projects are now facing the combined issue of increased delivery times and higher costs. Many manufacturers, integrators, and distributors are doing their best to absorb the price increases where they can, but this is unsustainable over the long term. So what can be done? Second-hand applications Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market Some people are getting more creative by purchasing from the second-hand market. However, it is unlikely that commercial applications will be willing to risk potential downtime or data losses by using second-hand components that have been pushed hard for months on end mining cryptocurrencies. Making early purchases While I can’t comment on what other manufacturers have done, at Secure Logiq we have been watching this market trend closely. We always try to keep a close eye on anything that has the potential to significantly impact our manufacturing capabilities and try to offset any potential challenges with early purchases before the impact is fully felt. As such, we have been able to secure enough products to continue manufacturing as normal for more than six months. Increased demand as a challenge While we have this existing stock to meet current and anticipated orders, we continue to scour the market for any available stock to make sure we are at the top of the list when any fresh products come on the market. This has meant that throughout our 10-year history we have never failed to deliver a customer order within 7-10 working days. The delays with component manufacture and the ongoing increased demand will continue to present a huge challenge to the CCTV and wider security industry. However, good planning and intelligent design will allow projects to remain on track. Security technology manufacturers are not alone in this challenge, but the dual-threat is perhaps unique. It will take a while for this threat to be overcome, but with robust planning and by paying close attention to the market forward-thinking CCTV manufacturers can still deliver projects for their clients.

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