ONSSI's new ocularis 3.5 simplifies large-scale system management
ONSSI's new ocularis 3.5 simplifies large-scale system management

The new version of Ocularis, OnSSI’s flagship surveillance and security platform, focuses on system-wide administration and optimized hardware utilization. The new version of Ocularis introduces automatic licensing, a huge time-saver for system administrators and overall cost-saver. Now, the system administrator is free to connect and replace cameras – which are immediately fully operational – whenever convenient. System-wide administration is further enhanced with a brand-new streamlined method of assigning user privileges for viewing and controlling cameras.  Ocularis 3.5 also introduces 64- and 32-bit support for its ES feature set, in addition to dual streaming in all feature sets, for much improved hardware utilisation.  “Ocularis is all about creating the most user-friendly environment for operators. Now more than ever, we’ve expanded the Ocularis experience to the system administrator,” said Gadi Piran, President and Chief Technology Officer, OnSSI. “Ocularis 3.5 streamlines the job of the system administrator in every possible way, bringing down costs while adding new functionality.”  Enhancements to Ocularis 3.5 include:  Automatic, online batch camera licensing – Camera licensing is now fully automated and performed instantly over OnSSI’s new online licensing system, with a 30-day grace period for each camera before it needs to be licensed.  Granular management of user privileges to more camera features and client functions – User privileges, per user group or individual user, can be batch-assigned to entire camera groups, with more detailed rights to view pane controls and the ability to create, delete or view a bookmark.  Camera aliasing – Cameras can be assigned aliases reflecting their function and location, such as “North Parking Lot PTZ Camera,” while retaining the naming convention used by the system administrator.  Universal privacy masking – Even on cameras that do not support privacy masking natively. New recorder components – For all four feature sets of Ocularis. Video Wall Management – Support for the Ocularis VideoWall add-on, which turns any PC running Ocularis Client into a full-fledged remote video-wall host, has been expanded to include the Ocularis IS feature set, in addition to CS and ES.  Ocularis-X – Utilising High-Definition Interactive Streaming (HDIS) technology, Ocularis-X, now included in Ocularis 3.5, allows high-quality, full frame rate delivery of multiple cameras to mobile or web clients, with complete interaction with camera controls. (Available September 2012) Dual-streaming – Camera feeds can now be recorded and viewed at two different quality levels, frame rates or compression types – e.g. H.264 for live monitoring and MJPEG for recording. Encrypted HTTPS streaming – To enable secure connection to cameras both inside and outside the organisational network. MxPEG – Ocularis now supports Mobitix’s MxPEG compression format. Axis One-Click – Ocularis ES supports Axis’ One-Click camera connection feature.  Some new features are unique to the Ocularis ES feature set, including availability in 64-bit as well as a 32-bit version, support for on-edge storage for cameras, and sun-clock scheduling.  Ocularis 3.5 is available in four feature sets – Ocularis PS, IS, CS and ES – each scalable to virtually any number of cameras at multiple sites. Each Ocularis feature set includes a complete video management system (VMS) for streaming, recording and managing an unlimited number of cameras.  Ocularis provides the broadest camera and device support in the industry, and is compatible with third-party technologies such as video analytics, access control, environmental detection and more.

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CCTV software - Expert commentary

The intrinsic role of lighting for video surveillance clarity and performance
The intrinsic role of lighting for video surveillance clarity and performance

The sound of sirens in the distance is commonplace, nowadays. Whether related to a medical emergency or everyday crimes, such as theft, property crimes, and so on, we’re all accustomed to hearing these sirens by now. It is worth noting that many incidents that police respond to take place at night. According to a recent report by the Sleep Judge, more than half of murders, manslaughter, sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts happen long after the sun has set. To anyone looking to address the round-the-clock security challenge, deploying the most comprehensive surveillance solution is a must, and this means, looking at the instrumental role illumination plays in video capture. Limitations of traditional video surveillance For surveillance cameras relying on video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver functionalities such as facial recognition, license plate reading and motion detection, nighttime crimes can pose something of a problem. Without adequate illumination, images from video cameras are grainy and unusable.If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and/or resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete Without proper lighting, potential criminals and moving objects essentially become indistinguishable, at night, thereby inhibiting even the most advanced security technologies. This limitation of traditional surveillance technology not only hinders immediate police response, but it also stops crime investigations dead in their tracks. Often, without video evidence that is clear and discernible, conviction in a court of law is next to impossible. A common response to this issue is to place security cameras near streetlights or well-lit areas. After all, according to NPR, street lights are effective in deterring crime,  as “there are people such as neighbors, pedestrians, or police, to actually see suspicious activity.” However, even if streetside and primary entrances are well lit, the areas that still need most to be surveilled are rear or side doorways shrouded by darkness, unlit back alleys, and so on. If surveillance cameras can’t be used to prevent, detect and resolve crimes that occur in these areas, the entire security operation is obsolete. Best-in-class security solutions must be able to see everything, day and night. A purpose-designed illumination solution Addressing this issue is easier than you might think. Much like a human eye needs some sort of light to “see,” so does video surveillance technology. Integrating external illuminators into a security solution can optimise camera performance exponentially, expanding a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities and ensuring the operation of video analytics, day and night. Opting for an external illuminator allows system integrators to select a device that matches the exact emission range of a camera’s field of view (FOV). The result is an evenly lit visual field, where captured images are clear and effective for security purposes. The two most common options available to integrators include infrared (IR) and white light illuminators. Each technology is built to optimise particular deployments, depending on their needs. Infrared versus white light IR illuminators emit IR light, which is invisible to the human eye and perfect for covert surveillance operations. When cameras need to be able to detect potential threats over long distances, IR illuminators are perfect for the job as they typically have longer emission ranges. IR illuminators are optimal for surveillance operations in license plate recognition, border patrol, safe cities, theme park, and medical sleep lab applications.Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night If an end user needs to implement full-color video analytics for identification purposes, such as facial, object and license plate recognition, white light illuminators are undoubtedly an integrator’s best bet. IR illumination and traditional thermal security cameras, after all, are only able to provide black-and-white images, whereas object recognition software often identifies objects based on their color. White light illuminators installed alongside AI-powered surveillance cameras enable enhanced video image clarity, which, optimises video analytics performance. When customers want to physically deter suspicious activity, deploying white light illuminators is effective. A recent study out of Crime Labs New York found that businesses that deployed visible lights to deter crime “experienced crime rates that were significantly lower,” which “led to a 36 percent reduction in ‘index crimes’”. On top of all this, LED based white lights operate at low running costs and typically have long lifespans, saving end users thousands of dollars a year in energy costs without having to sacrifice surveillance optimisation. External versus built-in illumination Security customers looking to use lighting to deter crime and improve the performance of video surveillance may consider “all-in-one" solutions, as some cameras have LEDs (light emitting diodes) built into them. These LEDs typically encircle the lens and therefore shed light in whatever direction the camera is pointed. However convenient these may seem, built-in illumination can cause problems. First, LEDs built into cameras and next to other electronic components often cause heat to build up, which attracts insects that can trigger motion detection and obstruct a camera’s view. This heat buildup also shortens the LED lights lifespan. Built-in LEDs also tend to create “hot spots” with glare and reflection back into the camera, often because these lights only cover a 30-degree field of view (FOV), even though the average camera’s FOV is 90 degrees. This issue can severely limit a camera’s visibility, essentially rendering those remaining 60 degrees dark and unusable. All in all, when integrating lighting solutions into your security deployment, a cost-effective solution that enhances a camera’s video capture and coverage abilities, are external illuminators because they offer flexible choices of field of view and distances. Best-in-class security solution When it comes to criminal conviction in a court of law, “seeing really is believing.” Cameras deployed without proper illumination are rendered blind, especially at night, just as any security officer would be when patrolling the same unlit area. To guarantee end users the most reliable and highest performing security solution, consider integrating best-in-class illumination into your offerings.

Safety in smart cities: How video surveillance keeps security front and centre
Safety in smart cities: How video surveillance keeps security front and centre

Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.

Securing mobile vehicles: The cloud and solving transportation industry challenges
Securing mobile vehicles: The cloud and solving transportation industry challenges

Securing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the transportation industry is multi-faceted for a multitude of reasons. Pressures build for transit industry players to modernise their security systems, while also mitigating the vulnerabilities, risks, and growth-restrictions associated with proprietary as well as integrated solutions. There are the usual physical security obstacles when it comes to increasingly integrated solutions and retrofitting updated technologies into legacy systems. Starting with edge devices like cameras and intelligent sensors acquiring video, analytics and beyond, these edge devices are now found in almost all public transportation like buses, trains, subways, airplanes, cruise lines, and so much more. You can even find them in the world’s last manually operated cable car systems in San Francisco. The next layer to consider is the infrastructure and networks that support these edge devices and connect them to centralized monitoring stations or a VMS. Without this layer, all efforts at the edge or stations are in vain as you lose the connection between the two. And the final layer to consider when building a comprehensive transit solution is the software, recording devices, or viewing stations themselves that capture and report the video. The challenge of mobility However, the transportation industry in particular has a very unique challenge that many others do not – mobility. As other industries become more connected and integrated, they don’t usually have to consider going in and out or bouncing between networks as edge devices physically move. Obviously in the nature of transportation, this is key. Have you ever had a bad experience with your cellular, broadband or Wi-Fi at your home or office? You are not alone. The transportation industry in particular has a very unique challenge that many others do not – mobility Can you trust these same environments to record your surveillance video to the Cloud without losing any frames, non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? To add to the complexity – how do you not only provide a reliable and secure solution when it’s mobile, travelling at varying speeds, and can be in/out of coverage using various wireless technologies? Waiting to upload video from a transport vehicle when it comes into port, the station, or any centralised location is a reactive approach that simply will not do any longer. Transit operations require a more proactive approach today and the ability to constantly know what is going on at any given time on their mobile vehicles, and escalate that information to headquarters, authorities, or law enforcement if needed; which can only occur with real-time monitoring. This is the ultimate question when it comes to collecting, analysing, and sharing data from mobile vehicles – how to get the video from public transportation vehicles alike to headquarters in real time! Managing video data In order to answer this question, let’s get back to basics. The management and nature of video data differs greatly from conventional (IT) data. Not only is video conducted of large frames, but there are specific and important relationships among the frames and the timing between them. This relationship can easily get lost in translation if not handled properly. This is why it’s critical to consider the proper way to transmit large frames while under unstable or variable networks. The Internet and its protocols were designed more than two decades ago and purposed for conventional data. Although the Internet itself has not changed, today’s network environments run a lot faster, expand to further ranges, and support a variety of different types of data. Because the internet is more reliable and affordable than in the past some might think it can handle anything. However, it is good for data, but not for video. This combination makes it the perfect time to convert video recording to the Cloud! Video transmission protocol One of the main issues with today’s technology is the degradation of video quality when transmitting video over the Internet. ITS are in dire need for reliable transmission of real-time video recording. To address this need a radical, yet proven, video transmission protocol has recently been introduced to the market. It uses AI technology and to adapt to different environments in order to always deliver high quality, complete video frames. This protocol, when equipped with encryption and authentication, enables video to be transmitted reliably and securely over the Internet in a cloud environment. One of the main issues with today’s technology is the degradation of video quality when transmitting video over the Internet Finally, transportation industry has a video recording Cloud solution that is designed for (massive) video that can handle networks that might be experiencing high error rate. Such a protocol will not only answer the current challenges of the transportation industry, but also make the previously risky Cloud environment safe for even the most reserved environments and entities. With revolutionary transmission protocols, the time is now to consider adopting private Cloud for your transportation operations.

Latest On-Net Surveillance Systems, Inc. news

Qognify delivers expanded product portfolio, enhanced service and support for customers and partners
Qognify delivers expanded product portfolio, enhanced service and support for customers and partners

Qognify - the trusted advisor and technology solution provider for physical security and enterprise incident management – reveals the advances that have been made since the acquisition of On-Net Surveillance Systems, Inc. (OnSSI) and SeeTec GmbH in January. The company is delivering its expanded product portfolio, complemented by enhanced service and support for its expanded global customer-base and network of channel, technology and camera partners. The new unified company will demonstrate how it is ‘Safeguarding Your World’ on Booth 13074 at ISC West in Las Vegas, April 10-12, 2019. Provider of VMS, PSIM and video analytics Qognify is dedicated to supporting and developing its portfolio of award-winning technologies, including VMS platformsQognify is one of the largest VMS, PSIM and video analytics providers for mid-market and enterprise organisations and CEO, Steve Shine states: “Our customers place a premium on their physical security strategy, either because of the complexity of their needs, or the specifics of the industries in which they operate. Therefore, our focus is to deliver the solutions they need to achieve their required outcomes.” From its research and development centres in Germany, Israel and the United States (as well as additional offshore resources), Qognify is dedicated to supporting and developing its premium portfolio of market-leading and award-winning technologies, including VMS platforms – VisionHub, Ocularis, Cayuga, NiceVision and FAST, and enterprise incident management platform – Situator. Benefits for customers   Shine adds: “Qognify, OnSSI and SeeTec have always shared a similar solutions philosophy. Thus, it was a logical step to combine these companies in order to accelerate global growth and to extend the portfolio of products and technologies available to customers, resulting in faster access to new markets and vertical industries.” Customers are benefiting from expanded professional services offering, customisation capabilities and support Customers are already benefiting from expanded professional services offering, customisation capabilities and worldwide support. Furthermore, the ability to share developments across three of the market’s leading VMS solutions such as camera integrations, gateways, analytics and mobile applications, is creating some very exciting opportunities for organisations. In addition to its headquarters in Pearl River, New York, Qognify has regional offices positioned throughout Europe and Asia, ensuring it is geographically close to all its customers and partners.

OnSSI releases Ocularis 5.7 VMS with a new Recorded Video Backup function
OnSSI releases Ocularis 5.7 VMS with a new Recorded Video Backup function

OnSSI announces the launch of Ocularis 5.7, the latest release of the company’s industry leading Video Management System (VMS) solution. Key featured enhancements of Ocularis 5.7 include a new Recorded Video Backup function that allows recorded video to be saved to a secondary location on the system at no extra cost. Additionally, the new Mirrored Recordings feature, available in Ocularis 5.7 Ultimate, allows the simultaneous recording of all cameras on two recording servers, ensuring that recorded video is never lost from failure of the primary recording server. Ocularis 5.7 includes numerous enhancements to improve user access and scheduling, along with more robust cyber security protection. New data protection capabilities Additional enhancements in Oculars 5.7 provide users with greater speed of operations and convenience"“In addition to the superior VMS performance provided by Ocularis, this latest version delivers new data protection capabilities to ensure that critical video and information is always accessible,” said Ken LaMarca, VP of Sales & Marketing, OnSSI. “Additional enhancements in Oculars 5.7 provide users with greater speed of operations and convenience, further elevating their user experience and surveillance capabilities.” The new Recorded Video Backup and Mirrored Recordings features are just two of the enhancements offered in Ocularis 5.7. New updates to Ocularis allow system administrators to better control when users can access the system, including the ability to schedule when users can log in, as well as restricting user access during off hours. Ocularis 5.7 also employs enhanced TLS 1.2 encryption for stronger system security against cyber-attacks. Smooth video streaming Additional new features in Ocularis Client include: a new Export Alarm Recordings Only function for faster video export; a smooth video streaming option to improve performance when connecting to remote sites with an inconsistent network connection; faster log in times on large systems; added Smart Camera Drivers for Vanderbilt, Eclipse, Uniview and Sony Generation X imaging solutions; and two-way audio support expanded to include Bosch cameras.

A busy year: rapid mergers & acquisitions suggests more to come in 2019
A busy year: rapid mergers & acquisitions suggests more to come in 2019

A rapid string of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions as 2018 passed into 2019 suggests the physical security industry may be on the verge of a busy year of companies buying other companies. Observers have noted a large amount of investment capital currently available to be invested in security M&A, and plenty of entrepreneurial companies are looking to be acquired. Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, previously hinted at upcoming M&A activity for his company by the end of 2018, foreshadowing ACRE’s late-year announcement to acquire access control company Open Options, Addison, Texas.The VaaS cloud-based image capture platform includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning Just days later, in the midst of the holiday season, Qognify announced its plan to acquire On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI) and sister company SeeTec GmbH. Then came an even larger announcement: Motorola has acquired VaaS International Holdings Inc., a data and image analytics company for $445 million. The VaaS cloud-based image capture and analysis platform includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Most recently, ADT announced yet another acquisition, Advanced Cabling Systems, a technology integration company in the South, thus continuing consolidation on the integration side of the business. There are likely to be further mergers and acquisitions in the video surveillance supply base in 2019 Continuation of the trend In the case of the Qognify and Motorola deals, Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst, Video Surveillance & Security Services, IHS Global Limited, sees them as the next chapter in an M&A trend going back several years. “I think this is a continuation of what we have been seeing in recent years of video surveillance software vendors being acquired,” he says. In the face of intense price competition, vendors have found it increasingly difficult to compete based on hardware features" “In the face of intense price competition, vendors have found it increasingly difficult to compete based on hardware features and are looking at software to offer unique competitive advantages.” In short, he sees it as a continuation of a trend that previously saw Canon acquiring Milestone Systems and Briefcam, Panasonic acquiring Video Insight and Tyco acquiring Exacq. “There are likely to be further mergers and acquisitions in the video surveillance supply base in 2019,” adds Cropley. “However, a spree of large-scale mergers and acquisitions is not expected.” Memoori, another market research firm, forecasts that the value of acquisitions could actually decline marginally in 2019 in value terms but increase in number. This observation is based on Memoori’s charting of physical security deals over the last 18 years. Jim McHale, Managing Director of Memoori, says there have been four cycles of increase and decline in activity, often exaggerated by billion dollar deals in one year such as the merger of Johnson Controls and Tyco of $165Bn in 2016. Access control when combined with identity management is punching well above its weight, and this trend has continued Access control to open systems Only time will tell whether the new year pattern of M&A activity is a coincidence or a harbinger of a busy M&A year ahead “It may be too early to make judgements on the future based on the last four weeks, but there are some interesting points that can be made when compared with our 2018 analysis,” says McHale. “Access control when combined with identity management is punching well above its weight, and this trend has continued. "Acre has been a major contributor and has completed some 10 acquisitions. In general, the access control business has been slow to move to open systems, and hopefully we can expect this trend toward openness to continue as it will give additional growth to the business.” For more commentary from Memoori, see their report “Major Trends in the Global Access Control Market 2018”. Only time will tell whether the new year pattern of M&A activity is a coincidence or a harbinger of a busy M&A year ahead. While past trends may provide a glimpse of what’s coming, there are always new variables. It’s a sure bet the overall trend toward consolidation will continue but predicting the pace and timing of individual transactions is almost impossible. In any case, it will be interesting to watch how 2019 unfolds on the M&A front, among other factors in a changing industry.

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