CCTV software - Expert commentary

Can CCTV become a more effective tool?
Can CCTV become a more effective tool?

We all know that having CCTV around your home can help to protect you and your family. Without CCTV, you could end up in danger and an intruder could get away with breaking into your house, hurting your loved ones and stealing your possessions. Similarly, without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process. In short, making sure you have CCTV is important for both home and business security. However, it can be improved to become a more effective system so that you’re better protected, and can even deter a potential intruder without having to panic. In our world of ever-changing technology, we’re able to upgrade and enhance our CCTV systems so they can become a monitored system. Remote CCTV monitoring is an ideal way to protect everyone and everything whether you’re at home or at a workplace. What is remote CCTV monitoring? For a long time, CCTV was one of the best ways to keep your home, the office and people safe. But people started to notice that it would only deter people so much of the time and often the cameras were ignored by intruders. They would just cover their faces and hope for the best as they steal from a home, office or any other premises. Remote CCTV monitoring is a system that can loop into your existing CCTV, or come preinstalled with a new system. This technology sends a feed to a control room full of trained operators that are on call 24/7. Within this control room, operators are able to respond to any sort of distress call or unauthorised movement on the property line.  How does it work? Remote CCTV monitoring works by attaching to a live feed of your CCTV system, existing or new, so that the signal and images can be passed to a team of operators. These operators are on hand 24/7 so that if there is a problem, you know that you're safe in the hands of a specialist team. The specialist team has been trained to mitigate the chances of somebody breaking into your home when the system is triggered; similarly they call the local authorities instantly so that the potential intruder has less time to flee the scene. This is especially important if an intruder is already inside your property because they have less time to steal your items and leave. Without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process One of the biggest questions that revolve around remote CCTV monitoring is the idea of operators watching the CCTV at all times. Luckily most remote CCTV monitoring systems will incorporate a motion detection system to accompany your CCTV. Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line. These motion detection systems are state-of-the-art and so, depending on the system that you choose, they can watch over your property from a number of angles. Once the motion detection system has been triggered and the alert has been sent to the control room, then and only then will the operators get involved. This means that until the motion detection system has been triggered, nobody will watch your live CCTV feed. After one of the systems has been triggered, one of the specialist operators will instantly jump into action. This means that they can take different measures to deter any potential intruder and make sure that they do everything in their power to stop any damage or theft from the premises. In addition to the motion detection system and CCTV, you are able to opt for a public address (PA) system too. This means that an operator is able to shout commands through the PA system and potentially scare away any intruder. The intruder will also be warned about the fact that local authorities have already been called to the location.  Remote monitoring versus traditional CCTV Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line Having a monitored CCTV system means that you're able to better protect yourself, your business, employees and even your loved ones. Whether you're at home or in the office, having someone looking over your shoulder protecting your every move is something that can be appreciated by everybody. The biggest problem with just having traditional CCTV, is that it is a reactive system. This means that rather than stopping crime, a CCTV system just records it. While the thought is that having a CCTV camera visible can deter some intruders, there's no real evidence to suggest that it stops anybody; anyone can simply cover their face and carry on breaking into your home, office or even your car. As mentioned, remote CCTV monitoring is going to tackle that problem and make sure that someone is on hand to protect you at all times.

Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places
Thermal cameras and smart cities: Preventing COVID-19 in public places

With the pandemic still in full swing and no certainty as to when exactly it will come to an end, the world has been battling anxiety for months now. And with each day, circumstances change quickly and almost make it impossible to predict what will happen next, how events will unfold, and what actions to take in light of a new situation. But one thing is certain: the world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way. In this situation, what is possible to control is how the world will continue reopening – and specifically, how to ensure the safest possible reopening that will ensure the return of some degree of normalcy to people’s lives and business operations, while also managing the risk of COVID’s spread in the most efficient way. Our highly digitised, technologically advanced world This is when the power of technology comes to rescue the day: what truly sets the global crisis we face today apart from other calamities that humanity has encountered over year is the fact that it has developed in a highly digitised, technologically advanced world where each day brings about innovations with a sole purpose to make daily life and operations easier and more streamlined. And among these, the star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence. The world has been shut down and paralysed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way While AI has many avenues of introducing efficiency and fast problem-solving, there is one specific application that will further fuel the reopening of the world and successfully keep the spread of the virus abate. This “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. With such a level of sophistication that can ensure uninterrupted monitoring and analysis of large public spaces, these AI technologies can ideally operate best as cloud solutions to ensure a collaborative network with maximum scalability and widespread implementation. As these technologies increase in ubiquity and find their way into daily operations of businesses globally, the cost of the smart solutions will decrease proportionally to the growth of their reach. There are some highly specific ways to create this collaborative network of interconnected safety tools in the current climate. Here are some applications that have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. Maintaining social distancing practices The most important step everyone around the world has taken to contribute to the effort of slowing the spread of the virus has been social distancing. A six-foot-distance has become a new social norm that has quickly been adopted globally and become a habit to people who are naturally used to being close to others and socialising without giving distance a second thought. The star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence So, it is natural that such distancing measures take time to get accustomed to – and it is also natural that individuals may forget about them from time to time. To help maintain the six-foot distance between people at all times and give them slight nudges to keep the rule top of their minds, AI video technology can be trained to estimate the distance between individuals in public and commercial areas and identify the cases in which people get too close to each other. By notifying local merchants or authorities about such cases, the system can help ensure the safety of everyone in the area at all times while positively reinforcing the public to gradually get more accustomed to maintaining the distance and thus helping stop the spread of the virus. Detecting the virus through facial recognition Perhaps the straightforward application of such high-level technology is using video surveillance to identify persons of interest who have tested positive for the virus. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity, making it possible to identify individuals whose records show they have antibodies from those who can be potential carriers of the virus. After the initial differentiation and identification, the system can then notify the employers and employees of the facility about the results of the conducted analysis and the pursuant results, allowing them to be more vigilant and take action where necessary to ensure a safe experience for everyone. PPE reinforcement Wearing a mask or some sort of face coverage in public spaces and especially within facilities (such as stores, for instance) has been - and will continue to be - a requirement for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people to continue with their day-to-day lives and businesses to resume regular operations. To this extent, the object detection and identification abilities of smart cameras can further reinforce this requirement and ensure that the absence of protective equipment doesn’t go unnoticed.  Essentially, these cameras can easily identify if an individual has coverage at any given point of time or not, notifying the local authorities about any risks immediately and helping them maintain necessary safety measures without having to interrupt their workflow or worry about missing a visitor without a mask. Detecting high temperature One of the key (and the most widespread) symptoms of COVID-19 is a high fever - a certain indicator of whether an individual may have been infected with the virus or not. While identifying fever with a regular human eye is nearly impossible, AI can do so at a fraction of time by quickly scanning body temperatures of any incoming individuals and determine whether it’s above CDC’s recommended temperature of 100.4F in order to determine the risk factor and notify the local authorities to take action. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity This technology is a good tactic to objectively assess potential risks that come with elevated temperatures - and sometimes, the people themselves might not realise they might (unconsciously) be carriers of the virus and thus endanger the safety of others in their vicinity. The technology is yet another step towards ensuring a safer reopening of the global economy and a more streamlined way of getting back on track while minimising the risk of spreading the virus further. It’s not all about the theory  We have tested the described approaches in our own R&D campus in Europe. The latest release of the IREX cloud enables remote fever detection and monitoring of social isolation and mask policies with AI. We have integrated thermal cameras to detect people with elevated temperature and CCTV cameras for identification and notifying those who potentially ill. In case of any health threat, the venue manager gets an instant message with a picture and exact location. These preventive steps helped our employees return to the office months earlier than it's happening in other countries. Moreover, personnel coming back to the office by their own wish as now they feel a virus-free environment in the campus - even safer than in their own homes. Now we are launching a pilot project for a well-known pharmacy chain in Florida, USA. With the help of a Computer Vision platform, staff will be able to divide customer traffic into those with normal body temperature and those who come in with elevated temperatures, as well as effectively monitor social distance norms. The goal of our potential client is to maximise the safety of customers in the post-pandemic period. Also, IREX is already deployed across hundreds of locations in the UK and will add health monitoring capability soon.

The role of building systems to ensure safety as employees return to work
The role of building systems to ensure safety as employees return to work

Returning to work after the global pandemic will not be business as usual, and security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices – like ventilation and temperature controls – and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. “While the ‘new normal’ is still being defined, we believe there will be a greater focus on creating healthier environments while also complying with new regulations,” says Marcus Logan, Global Offering Leader, Honeywell Commercial Security. “Temperature, humidity, energy efficiency, security, safety, comfort, productivity, and demonstrating compliance with regulations are all a part of a healthy building.” For example, social distancing is a new concept for the workplace. How do you make that happen in an open work setting, in breakrooms, elevator lobbies and meeting spaces? Optimised systems create healthier environments Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace Building owners will need to look at how they can optimise their systems – or deploy new ones – to create a healthier environment. Building technologies, like those provided by Honeywell's Healthy Buildings solutions, provide building owners with more control over critical factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations, and a company's risk management policies. These solutions also provide transparency for occupants into a building's status, says Logan. Hygiene will be a critical issue: People will want to know that the spaces are ready for their return. Increased cleaning procedures and schedules will evolve, and a way will be needed to demonstrate the procedures are effective and that they have been strictly adhered to. Identifying ways to measure effectiveness of sanitisation and track compliance to the procedures will be a key challenge to solve. This is a space that will evolve significantly in the coming months and years, says Logan. Access control and video analytics Contact tracing is a new requirement in some businesses, and security technology – like access control and video analytics with advanced reporting – can help. Access control technology integrated with video analytics can be used to trace occupant movements within a facility. These technologies capture data that can be used with advanced reporting to provide a digital footprint of where a person has been within a facility and if they may have been exposed to someone identified as being infected with a contagious virus. Building owners can then proactively notify exposed individuals evolve to self-quarantine and minimise further spread of an infection. Video analytics can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other Anxious employees will need reassurance about returning to the workplace. They will not only seek confidence that the building is optimised for a healthier environment but also that processes are in place to quickly identify and respond to potential issues. Transparency and visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace. “One way to do this is to share building analytics with occupants – to help them understand factors about the indoor air quality or occupancy density,” says Logan. Controlled health, safety and security Honeywell’s solutions provide building owners with more control over critical health, safety and security factors to encourage sustained compliance with changing building standards, safety guidelines, government-issued regulations and a company’s risk management policies, Logan adds. Visibility into how the building works and the health of the environment will help to reassure occupants returning to the workplace Every day there is new information coming from the medical and scientific community about COVID-19, and the building industry is just starting to learn what it all means. Logan warns that there is no single solution that will keep every environment healthy and safe. A good strategy features deploying a combination of solutions, optimising systems and being vigilant to make sure that companies are sustaining compliance to new and changing regulations, says Logan. “Today more than ever we must be mindful of the changing culture of how buildings are managed by making apparent the need to be mindful of health and well-being in all aspects of our lives,” says Logan. Honeywell has developed outcome-based solutions that allow building owners to transparently address building quality factors while supporting their business continuity needs in the uncertain environment. “We’re giving them the data they need to confidently reassure their employees to accelerate their business operations,” he adds.

Latest Pivot3, Inc. news

Pivot3 unveils next-gen video surveillance solution, powered by Lenovo ThinkSystem server with AMD EPYC processors
Pivot3 unveils next-gen video surveillance solution, powered by Lenovo ThinkSystem server with AMD EPYC processors

Pivot3, the globally renowned provider of intelligent hyper-converged infrastructure solutions for mission critical video, has announced a new platform for video surveillance solutions that enable organisations to do more with less in supporting their mission-critical security operations. Powered by the next generation Lenovo ThinkSystem SR655 server platform with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor, the new Pivot3 solutions deliver 10% lower cost per terabyte, 14% better capacity density and 100% more bandwidth than similar solutions. The result is improved camera density at a lower overall TCO for customers who consider their video mission critical. Pivot3 Surveillance Series “More and more customers are juggling how to enable better business decisions through technology, including capturing, storing and analysing massive amounts of video data to enable real-time decision making with tight budgets,” said Kamran Amini, Vice President and General Manager of server, storage and software defined infrastructure, Lenovo Data Centre Group. He adds, “Lenovo is collaborating with Pivot3 to deliver innovative solutions that empower customers with the performance they need to handle today’s fast-paced environments while eliminating their challenges.” Powered by Lenovo ThinkSystem SR655 server platform Pivot3 Surveillance Series appliances provide the performance of a dual-socket server at a lower acquisition cost With the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR655 server platform, the new Pivot3 Surveillance Series appliances provide the performance of a dual-socket server at a lower acquisition cost. The single-socket configuration also offers the potential of up to 50% savings on software licensing compared to the dual socket x86 alternative without sacrificing any performance. These savings are due to the solution’s use of one CPU instead of two CPUs. Because the Lenovo ThinkSystem servers include the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors they also support PCIe 4, which delivers 100% bandwidth increases compared to PCIe 3. Enhanced bandwidth for video recording With this update, customers get significantly more bandwidth for video recording and 150% increase in networking speed, with 25GbE support to enable faster video transfer from the edge to the core. The new Pivot3 solutions empower organisations dealing with the enormous growth of video to capture, store and analyse massive amounts of video data while controlling infrastructure investments. Optimised for video workloads The new solutions combine the power of the AMD EPYC processors along with Pivot3’s software optimised for video workloads to help ensure video loss and degradation never occur and video is always accessible and available. The Pivot3 solution also enables non-disruptive scalability and provides intelligent monitoring and analytics capabilities for real-time system health monitoring to maximise system uptime and reduce time to repair. Mission-critical IoT, security and video deployments AMD EPYC processors provide an additional layer of value to the new Pivot3 platforms" “The combination of Pivot3, Lenovo and AMD delivers the resilience and optimal performance organisations need to support mission-critical IoT, security and video deployments,” said Greg Gibby, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Data Center Products, AMD. He adds, “AMD EPYC processors provide an additional layer of value to the new Pivot3 platforms, empowering customers to make the most of their budgets upfront while increasing cost-effectiveness over time, critical for businesses that seek to expand their video deployments as needs evolve.” Single, modular software-defined platform The flexibility of the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR655 allows servers to be configured to support the massive processing requirements of new video analytics applications as well, meaning customers can deploy one modular, flexible software-defined platform to meet all their mixed security-workload requirements. This significantly reduces complexity and cost of ownership over traditional 3-tier proprietary systems or bare-metal servers. Enhanced security and safety measures “While video data output is growing, budgets have remained the same and this leaves security and IT professionals challenged on how to deliver on security and safety imperatives,” said Ben Bolles, Vice President of Product, Pivot3. Ben adds, “Building on more than a decade of experience creating solutions purpose-built for video and leveraging the latest in processing technologies, Pivot3 delivers the performance and economics that today’s security decision-makers require.”

The critical factor of specialisation in improving IoT, video and business practices
The critical factor of specialisation in improving IoT, video and business practices

When considering new IT solutions to support today’s modern security and IoT challenges, the number of options to choose from can make finding the tight solution a daunting task. One important factor to consider is whether a solution was actually designed to solve the problem at hand. For example, many storage systems support video ingest from surveillance cameras, but many are not specialised for that very purpose. Instead, video is simply a use-case for a product that was designed for traditional IT workloads. They should be designed to handle the ingest requirements of video and IoT data streams, and retain it in a secure, reliable and efficient manner. While traditional servers and SANs are considered acceptable, when it comes to data storage for video and IoT devices as well as analytics, stakeholders should to consider newer option that have been delivering major efficiencies in the IT space for years. The data dilemma Video and IoT data itself are considered mission-critical for many organizations Video and IoT data itself are considered mission-critical for many organisations. Cameras and intelligent devices provide situational awareness, record events, alert teams of potential threats, and improve safety and security. To glean valuable insights from this captured data, it must be available. And for that it must be stored properly. Furthermore, various regulations mandate retaining video for a certain time or in a way that meets minimum security standards. It does not matter whether high-quality data storage is mandated or desired — to be useful and reliable, it all needs to be both protected and available. This range of considerations is what makes the infrastructure designed for keeping that data a paramount concern. Several factors are converging that bring video and IoT data — and its secure and reliable storage — to the forefront of infrastructure considerations. More cameras, higher-resolution cameras and more cross-channel applications for that information all point to the creation of more data and more ways it possesses value for organisations. IP video cameras are becoming ubiquitous and are being applied more frequently and in higher density applications than previously imagined. Cameras have evolved to provide better resolution, more functionality in low-light or stressful environments and incorporate technologies like thermal detection. And now, video management systems and analytics solutions are making that wealth of data more valuable for both security and business intelligence. The bottom line is that more data needs to be securely stored so that it can be easily retrieved and analysed, all while protecting against data loss. The bottom line is that more data needs to be securely stored so that it can be easily retrieved and analyzed How HCI helps Hyperconverged infrastructure purpose-built for video and IoT data can eliminate frame drops, protecting against video loss and image degradation, while delivering on the overall efficiency promise of HCI. Businesses also need to make sure their infrastructure retains certain functionality during moments when a system is compromised. The right solution can keep storage elements online, automatically restart virtual servers and allow video data retrieval without needing external methods of redundancy.  While today’s capacity and performance requirements are important now, so is having the capability to expand and scale with the business efficiently. By utilising an HCI solution, companies can handle video data, video management systems, analytics and other related applications without worrying about overspending now or encountering any difficulties in expanding their data storage in the future. Business teams in charge of managing and utilising video data need to prioritise proper and efficient storage. The efficiencies you can realise There’s the efficiency of function, efficiency of management and efficiency of cost Businesses know that efficiency comes in many forms. There’s the efficiency of function, efficiency of management and efficiency of cost, to name a few. HCI that’s designed to manage the specific challenges related to video — such as 24/7 operations — provides efficiency in many different forms. HCI done right brings together the previously disparate elements of storage, servers and management processes into a singular piece of hardware. By virtualising the servers and storage that run video and security systems, efficiencies are created that reduce footprint and simplify management, which both reduce costs. Every business should be looking across their enterprise for ways to increase efficiency. When that gaze comes to video surveillance systems, it should be supported by an IT infrastructure that’s purpose-built to maximise the value of video. 

Qognify to showcase and demonstrate the features of its VisionHub VMS+ at ISC West 2020
Qognify to showcase and demonstrate the features of its VisionHub VMS+ at ISC West 2020

Qognify - trusted advisor for physical security and enterprise incident management, will showcase its new VisionHub VMS+ during ISC West 2020. The enterprise-class security management solution is taking video management systems (VMS) to a new level by going beyond the pure management of video streams to include superior workflow support, situational awareness and system management capabilities. The first version of VisionHub was launched in 2016 to much industry acclaim, being awarded the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) New Product Showcase Best Video Surveillance Management System, as well as the CCTV System of the Year at the Security & Fire Excellence Awards. Security management solution The new VisionHub VMS+ is the ideal security management solution providing organisations such as airports, seaports and operators of critical infrastructure with: Enhanced resiliency – VisionHub VMS+ helps to avoid the loss of video footage with redundancy across all VMS components and with active/active dual recording. Situational awareness – The advanced geo-positioned maps within VisionHub VMS+ helps to localise and to assess an event within seconds. Furthermore, its built-in incident management component provides step-by-step guidance through the resolution process. Incident response management – VisionHub VMS+ provides actionable guidance and facilitates collaboration throughout the process of resolving an incident. Enterprise incident management solution Qognify has the most comprehensive range of solutions available on the market today Qognify will present VisionHub VMS+ at a special event on Thursday, March 19th at 11 am, in the presentation room Marco Polo, 804. With a multi-award-winning VMS portfolio comprising VisionHub VMS+, Cayuga, Ocularis and NiceVision, Qognify has the most comprehensive range of solutions available on the market today. Whether an organisation operates from a single high-security facility or has a highly complex distributed infrastructure across hundreds of sites and many thousands of cameras, Qognify has a VMS to meet its exact specifications. Qognify will also be present on the main showfloor, participating with Pivot3 – the provider of intelligent IT infrastructure for mission-critical hybrid cloud and IoT surveillance environments on booth 26067. For organisations looking for a full-scale enterprise incident management solution, Qognify will also be showcasing the Situator platform on Wednesday, March 18th from 14:00 – 15:00 in Marco Polo, 804. The President of the Columbia-based surveillance and security company Siete 24 will explain how Qognify Situator is helping to reduce theft and false alarms while controlling costs for a large bank.

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