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 Eagle Eye Networks, Inc. news

Eagle Eye Networks launches cloud-based, turnkey elevated temperature screening system
Eagle Eye Networks launches cloud-based, turnkey elevated temperature screening system

Eagle Eye Networks, the global renowned provider of cloud video surveillance, has announced the availability of a passive elevated temperature screening solution with the Eagle Eye Cloud Video Management Systems (VMS). Eagle Eye Networks will be providing a complete system via its reseller partners which includes a thermal camera, blackbody calibration unit, cloud-based recording subscriptions, and real-time notifications. Calibration unit The calibration unit is recommended by the FDA for these applications to increase accuracy The calibration unit is recommended by the FDA for these applications to increase accuracy. Eagle Eye resellers can offer solutions to restaurants, factories, warehouses, office, retailers, hotels, health care, fitness, and other industries in order to provide passive temperature screening as business resumes. “Elevated temperature screening, although not fully proven, is a potential tool to enhance people’s safety as the world resumes business. The desire to measure everyone’s temperature when entering a facility is new, but the technology was quickly integrated into the open Eagle Eye Video API platform, providing an excellent example of why an open platform is superior,” said Dean Drako, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eagle Eye Networks. Eagle Eye Cloud VMS Dean adds, “You cannot accurately predict all your security system needs as the world and technology changes so rapidly. You really must have an open platform, like the Eagle Eye Cloud VMS, to be prepared.” Applications which require around-the-clock monitoring, such as passive elevated temperature screening, are best accomplished using a cloud video surveillance solution. Leveraging the cloud avoids the need for an attendant to be present, helps in maintaining proper records, and provides for quick deployment in global multi-location situations. Eagle Eye elevated temperature screening system The turnkey Eagle Eye elevated temperature screening system includes all the necessary components for efficient functioning. The integrated cameras are manufactured by overseas third-party companies. To address cyber security concerns, Eagle Eye Networks utilises its Cyber Lockdown feature to ensure all cameras are cyber secure at all times. Eagle Eye also supports thermal cameras from Sunell, HikVision, Dahua, Mobotix, FLIR, and other companies. Joshua Baer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Capital Factory, the globally renowned start-up incubator in Austin, Texas, US said, "As we look to re-open our facilities in the near future we want to make sure the environment is as safe as possible for our members and entrepreneurs.” Joshua Baer adds, “We see passive thermal elevated temperature measurement as a powerful tool to make sure we are doing what we can to keep everyone safe. The fact that it is fully passive and does not require any action by the members or require attendance by a staff member is critical to us." Eagle Eye Cloud VMS integration with thermal camera Existing Eagle Eye Cloud VMS customers can easily add a thermal camera to their existing system Existing Eagle Eye Cloud VMS customers can easily add a thermal camera to their existing system and perform elevated temperature measurement. "We all want to do what we can to battle COVID-19," continues Dean Drako, adding "As a cloud video surveillance company we have been working on integrating, testing, and validating thermal cameras for elevated temperature screening." Complete turnkey system Darko further said, “Our results have indicated that these solutions, while not perfect, can be a useful tool as we strive to return to a more normal workplace. A number of our partners and customers have asked us to provide a complete turnkey system." Passive Elevated Temperature screening is a new technology that comes with a complete set of new challenges. Eagle Eye Networks will continue the development on these thermal screening systems to reduce costs, increase accuracy, and improve robustness.

Eagle Eye Networks completes citywide surveillance program of installing cameras in Mexico city
Eagle Eye Networks completes citywide surveillance program of installing cameras in Mexico city

Eagle Eye Networks, the provider of cloud video surveillance, announces one of the fastest completions of a large scale, fully integrated citywide surveillance program, installing 13,720 cameras in 4 months. This project has been a large success for Mexico City C5, contributing to Mexico City's larger ‘Citizen Safety’ mobile application. This mobile application facilitates content sharing for more effective neighbourhood watch and a panic SOS button. “Effective citywide surveillance is more than installing cameras in a few key locations, it’s about creating a platform that meets the unique needs of each municipality.” Unique web application The cameras are all operational, remotely monitored, and providing safety and security to citizens today “In partnership with Eagle Eye Networks we leveraged the Eagle Eye Video API and SDK to customise a unique web application that is designed to integrate fixed, mobile body worn, and vehicle cameras into one interface, providing an unprecedented level of insight and awareness into our cities operations, ” said Jaime Abad Valdenebro, CEO, Omnicloud.mx. 4G connectivity with Eagle Eye Networks’ bandwidth optimisation was utilised in order to facilitate this quick deployment, installing approximately 250 cameras per day at its peak. The cameras are all operational, remotely monitored, and providing safety and security to citizens today. Integration of new technologies This fast-paced install occurred amidst the global supply chain challenges caused by COVID-19, however, Eagle Eye Networks’ strong partnership with both the Reseller, Omnicloud.mx, and suppliers provided alternatives and solutions to keep the project on schedule. Eagle Eye Networks solution was chosen because the Eagle Eye Cloud Video API Platform provides an open solution that allows integration of new technologies (AI, advanced analytics, search, license plate recognition), new suppliers, and new cameras at any time. Future and cybersecurity proofing the city’s investment and eliminating the headaches associated with managing large premise based data centres was crucial in their decision. City-wide surveillance project Eagle Eye’s cloud video retention and massive on demand scalability make it ideal for large scale deployments" “When deploying a city-wide surveillance project, scalability, retention, and cellular transmission must be considered. Eagle Eye’s cloud video retention and massive on demand scalability make it ideal for large scale deployments. To operate your own large data centre system for video recording is expensive and challenging.” “With Eagle Eye’s subscription service we provide a more robust and lower cost answer for large scale deployments. Furthermore, our open platform provides a future proof solution, integrating AI, video analytics, and advanced search at the click of a mouse,” said Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. Cost-effective solution “More than half of the world’s population resides in cities, creating an increased demand for smart, accurate insights to help streamline everyday operations including public safety, traffic flow management, infrastructure and transportation. Enormous amounts of data collection, aggregation, and storage are necessary to drive the deep analysis that is required to produce these smart insights.” “The only way to efficiently manage this data is to aggregate and analyse in the cloud,” said Jeff Kessler, Managing Director of Imperial Capital and Publisher of the Security Industry Annual Report. The Eagle Eye Cloud is a robust, scalable and cost-effective solution, purpose-built to support the data storage and analysis demands that city-wide deployments require.

Eagle Eye Networks enhances Cloud VMS to support dual spectrum cameras used in elevated temperature detection
Eagle Eye Networks enhances Cloud VMS to support dual spectrum cameras used in elevated temperature detection

Eagle Eye Networks, the pioneer in cloud video surveillance, announces enhancements to the Eagle Eye Cloud Video Management System for full support of dual spectrum cameras used in elevated temperature detection. Interest in the use of dual spectrum cameras with integrated analytics for locating faces and measuring temperature has greatly increased amongst Eagle Eye Resellers as they look for tools to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Eagle Eye Networks wants to do anything they can to assist with the current situation as well as service their Reseller partners. Large range of thermal cameras The Eagle Eye Cloud Video platform has always supported a large range of thermal cameras, however, some newer thermal cameras, that claim higher accuracy, operate simultaneously in the visible spectrum and the thermal spectrum. They combine information from both spectrums to obtain temperature readings more accurately on the human face. These cameras output specific analytic information which has been integrated into the Eagle Eye Cloud VMS. It is now simple to operationalise the deployment of these advanced cameras, view them remotely, record them to the cloud, and receive notifications when temperature setpoints are exceeded. Advanced thermal technology The Eagle Eye Cloud VMS is built on the Eagle Eye Video API Platform “The quick support for this advanced thermal technology, hosted on the Eagle Eye Video API Platform, demonstrates the future proof nature of this service. Integration of new technologies, new cameras, and new capabilities are core to our open cloud platform.” “This is a great example of being able to rapidly deliver a solution, in response to an unexpected situation, with a technology that could prove to be very important. This is only possible with an open cloud platform,” said Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye Networks. The Eagle Eye Cloud VMS is built on the Eagle Eye Video API Platform making integration of new technologies like this quick and straightforward. Temperature reference point Eagle Eye has completed this integration, however, given the open nature of the Eagle Eye Video Platform anyone could have done it. Eagle Eye has tested and integrated a series of thermal cameras at diverse price points, all with varying levels of accuracy. Some of the more accurate cameras utilise a blackbody calibration unit in the field of view to provide a temperature reference point. Eagle Eye Cloud VMS support for Dual Spectrum Camera Elevated Temperature Measurement is available immediately. There is no additional cost for this support. Eagle Eye Networks Cloud VMS is fully integrated with the access control systems, such as the cloud based Brivo Access, which can connect the temperature measurements to the names of people entering the building.

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