TDSi unveils new integrated solutions at Essen
TDSi unveils new integrated solutions at Essen

Security Essen saw access control specialist TDSi unveil its new VUgarde IP video solution, as well as demonstrate a wide selection of systems from its reader, controller and software ranges. Speaking after the show, TDSi's Managing Director, John Davies, said: "We were absolutely delighted with the exhibition and particularly the great feedback we received both from our existing customers and from the new contacts we made there. With visitors from Germany, the Benelux countries, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, we had the opportunity to fully demonstrate the versatility, functionality and integration capabilities of our access control and video solutions. This was the largest stand we had ever taken at Essen and it gave us a tremendous platform to showcase the breadth and depth of our range." At the heart of the company's stand was a preview of the new VUgarde system. Developed to deliver powerful yet straightforward surveillance, the cost-effective VUgarde range offers a suite of products for all requirements, from an entry level, stand-alone system capable of controlling up to 16 cameras, to VUgarde PRO, capable of managing hundreds of cameras from multiple video servers. Visitors saw demonstrations of both stand-alone and integrated options, and were particularly impressed with the functionality and capability of VUgarde when integrated with EXgarde, which enables users to seamlessly integrate video and access control. EXgarde is the company's fully featured access management software solution; proven in projects throughout the world, EXgarde provides users with a wide range of integration, control and security management functionality. Fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate software suites, as well as Microsoft Vista Business and Ultimate, EXgarde provides flexible expansion and integration options, with a wide range of building management systems including CCTV, intruder, fire alarm, lift control and energy management. John Davies concluded: "As one of the world's premier exhibitions, Security Essen provides a great opportunity for us to showcase our products to an international audience. With our full product development programme continuing to deliver innovative systems and solutions, we're already thinking ahead to the next event!"  See image with caption

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TDSi unveils VUgarde PRO edition
TDSi unveils VUgarde PRO edition

VUgarde PRO is TDSi's range of powerful IP video surveillance solutions, providing full management control of live and recorded surveillance feeds and alarm systems. VUgarde can operate in stand-alone mode, or as part of a fully integrated system and provides a number of options to suit all project and application requirements.The VUgarde PRO client interface is extremely user friendly to operate and easy to install and configure. It uses drag and drop functionality throughout and display multiple live and recorded video stream. It has been designed to complement TDSi's other long established access management products to help provide strong integrated access control.VUgarde PRO delivers many user benefits from fast detection of potential threats or emergencies, which can enable operators to clear areas and start a security procedure in a short space of time, to various levels of security personnel with intuitive and reliable control, enabling operators to ensure that the correct personnel can gain entry whilst being mindful of emergency exits.TDSi's VUgarde range also includes:VUgarde Site, which provides everything you need to programme your VUgarde PRO video management system through a highly visual user interface. VUgarde NVR, a Microsoft .NET framework based service which is a high-end enterprise level Networked Video Recorder application capable of handling up to 32 streams of IP video.VUgarde WALL, a surveillance solution for a central monitoring and control room applications.VUgarde PLAY, a real time streaming protocol (RTSP) which is used to video streams from the VUgarde suite of products and also compliment any RTSP stream.VUgarde TOUCH, the latest in IP video control that connects easily and manages live and recorded video simply by touching the screen. For further information on TDSi's IP Video Surveillance Solutions please visit www.tdsi.co.uk or phone 01202 724535.

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TDSi launches new VUgarde2 VMS surveillance solution
TDSi launches new VUgarde2 VMS surveillance solution

TDSi, a global leader in access control systems for all sizes of businesses and organisations announces the launch of its new VUgarde2 IP CCTV software suite and the associated range of security surveillance products. VUgarde2 is designed to offer a portfolio of integrated IP surveillance products that offer greater flexibility and systems evolution with regards to monitoring of security, including direct integration with TDSi’s powerful EXgarde Access Control software to be included later in the year. Individual elements in the VUgarde product range include the VUgarde2 VMS (video management system), VUgarde Full Client (a comprehensive user interface to the VMS platform), VUgarde Anywhere (which allows users to access live and recorded images on a variety of devices including smart phones, tablets and laptops) and VUgarde ANPR (an automated number plate recognition application which can be added to the VUgarde VMS). VUgarde hardware includes a full range of IP cameras, video encoders and video capture cards (to allow the retention and connection of existing analogue cameras), USB keyboards (that allow users to easily control fully functional cameras) and a wide range of client and server hardware which is available in both tower and rack formats. Managing Director of TDSi, John Davies, commented, “TDSi is dedicated to offering total flexibility and integration opportunities, so VUgarde2 has been designed to offer this whilst providing a reliable and easy-to-use interface. At the heart of the new product range is the VUgarde2 VMS Software suite which brings together the different parts of the CCTV system to offer a truly combined and fully scalable solution. VUgarde2 gives a firm basis for organisations to build the security and surveillance system that exactly fits their specific needs.” The VUgarde2 VMS excels from having a powerful yet straightforward approach to digital video management. From its modular construction through to its intuitive operator graphical user interface it simplifies the design, installation and commissioning of complete IP CCTV surveillance systems. Where legacy analogue cameras need to be retained, smart encoders and video capture cards are available to maximise the previous investment. VUgarde2 is available in two editions (Express and PRO) to suit the project requirements. Both editions have a built-in simplified user management system that provides user authentication, multi-level auditing and group based permissions to limit access to permitted personnel. With the capability to be fully integrated with TDSi’s EXgarde version 4 access control platform, VUgarde2 VMS offers a single platform solution to simplify the security management of any site. Operators can quickly select their preferred camera layout and sequences whilst being alerted both visually and audibly on an alarm incident. The inbuilt dynamic multi-layered mapping application assists the operator in quickly selecting the most relevant camera. Specific benefits of using VUgarde2 software include: A simple licensing system - Buy only what you need. A modular and flexible platform - VUgarde2 can be tailored to suit any sized project and is flexible enough to expand as desired. Multiple setup wizards - Reduce installation and commissioning time. Drag & Drop functionality - Minimal operator training required. Intuitive Graphical User Interface - Simple to use with a focus on common user needs, yet powerful enough to be flexible for the largest installations. EXgarde access control integration - Allows complete integration with TDSi’s powerful access control software. Multi-level mapping - Provides full map management and drill-down, ensuring operators can quickly select the most relevant camera. Powerful event search - Quickly identifies relevant footage from the archive. VUgarde2 Anywhere - A platform agnostic application to view live and recorded CCTV footage anywhere on any smart device. VUgarde2 ANPR - A powerful optional application to detect, recognise and register vehicle number plates. For more information on VUgarde2, TDSi and all its products please visit www.tdsi.co.uk/vugarde2 or call 01202 723 535. For further information please contact TDSi’s press office on tdsi@mccint.com. 

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CCTV software - Expert commentary

Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?
Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?

A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and whilst business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback programme, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security centre, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyse what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximise surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyse suspicious behaviour or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.

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.

Latest TDSi news

Beyond video analytics, what are the benefits of AI and machine learning?
Beyond video analytics, what are the benefits of AI and machine learning?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have made a big splash in the physical security market, transforming video analytics to a new level of accuracy. In fact, the terms have become common buzzwords throughout the industry. However, the potential for AI and machine learning to impact the physical security industry goes far beyond their ability to improve video analytics. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Beyond better video analytics, how can artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning benefit the physical security market? 

What are the new trends and opportunities for biometrics?
What are the new trends and opportunities for biometrics?

A shift toward touchless devices during the coronavirus pandemic has been a boon to the biometrics sector. Another factor in the recent increase in use of biometrics is lower prices, which are a symptom of a maturing market and of new technology capabilities. Increasingly, integration of biometrics with access control and other security systems is expanding use cases and sales numbers. For additional insights, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new trends and opportunities with biometrics (facial, fingerprint, iris and/or voice)?

What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?
What are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

The emergence of smart cities provides real-world evidence of the vast capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). Urban areas today can deploy a variety of IoT sensors to collect data that is then analysed to provide insights to drive better decision-making and ultimately to make modern cities more livable. Safety and security are an important aspect of smart cities, and the capabilities that drive smarter cities also enable technologies that make them safer. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the physical security challenges of smart cities?

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